Germans are too complicated

is what John, the father of the host family I stayed with in Newcastle upon Tyne during an internship back in 2003, kept telling me all the time. He said so because he remembered being in germany after world war 2 and hearing germans call a tank a “Panzerkampfwagen”. In his words:

It’s a friggin tank for god’s sake. And you krauts say “Panzerkampfwagen”.

I was able to convince him that this is more of an old fashioned word for tank and that nowadays noone would actually call a tank that.

Today, this sentence came back to me while using the train to Düsseldorf. At some station there was an announcement saying

Bitte beachten Sie die Lücke zwischen Zug und Bahnsteinkante.

In Britain, they have a similar announcement, but they only use 10 characters to express it.

Mind the gap

I couldn’t help but smile … maybe John was right.

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