Sunday, February 10, 2019

"You don't like blood?"

It's amazing how people from different cultures react to different things.

Let me back up. Because I've been living in Germany for so long now, I've become incredibly used to the German way of reacting to a tense situation -- usually practically, not personally.

But today when I was playing basketball I realised that other people, from other cultures, live in Germany, too, and sometimes they haven't adopted this practical German mentality to the extent I have.

So what happened? At one point while I was playing a half-court game, some guy on my team cut his leg open. And then, after touching his own blood, he said, "I'm fine" even though there was blood dripping down his leg and onto the floor.

None us players were too comfortable with his reaction, and I decided to speak up and tell him I didn't want to just keep playing -- I wanted him first to clean his leg properly. I told him I didn't feel comfortable with the blood and that I don't like blood in general. I thought I was being practical.

Well. This dude was not to happy about my comment. "You don't like blood?" he said to me, as if I were some kind of alien or my comment had no merit whatsoever.

Still, I stuck to my guns. "No, I don't. I just don't, OK?" After looking at me for a few more seconds like I had two heads, he finally said OK and proceeded to clean his knee properly.

I was shocked that he was so upset. In the US it would have been fine to say what I did to him, and especially in Germany, where everyone is so darn practical, my reaction was certainly not out of the ordinary. But maybe in the country where this person was from it isn't so nice to say that you don't like blood, or a person's blood, or what have you.

Oh well. You live you learn.

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