My name is Ranjith. I come from India and of course I do IT support.
How many doing IT support here? Okay, How many software consultants here?
(Pick one and ask what they do. Do you have neck pain?)
I had neck pain last year. So, I went to my house doctor.
How many of you have heard of the term “house doctor”? In Germany, your family doctor is called the house doctor. The first time I heard it, I thought the house doctor is the one who treats you at home. When I called my house doctor and asked him when he could visit me at home, he said that would not be possible. I made an appointment with him for my neck pain.
He checked my neck and said, you are Indian – Do Yoga.
I said, I am Indian – that is why I do not do yoga.
Yoga is what we export to countries like Germany.
I tried Yoga in Munich once for 90 minutes.
They did Yoga for 90 minutes.
No talk, no messing about, just plain Yoga and I was half-dead by the end of it.
In India, if the yoga session is for 90 minutes.
You start around 30 minutes late.
You do yoga for 15 minutes, have a tea break for 15 minutes, do another round of yoga for 15 minutes and then talk for last 15 minutes.
We talk, mess about and by end we are still alive.
And that is how we achieve inner peace!
Back to my doctor. He said, forget the Yoga – do swimming.
I grew up in India with quality entertainment.
Hollywood movies with George Clooney, Bollywood movies with Shah Rukh Khan and Baywatch.
I always wanted to be a lifesaver like David Hasselhoff and preferably run behind Pamela Anderson.
So, I put on my gear for the swimming pool.
I got out my faithful Birkenstock with socks.
To complete the picture, I needed a bag.
Not just any bag, I bag which would advertise that I was integrated, that I had arrived in Germany.
I picked up a shining ALDI bag.
Somehow my Birkenstock and ALDI combination did not go well with the police car that pulled over.
They stopped me and said “Ausweis, Bitte”. Who takes their identification card to the swimming pool?
I heard the Germans even take the Ausweis to the Sauna. Where would you possibly keep it?
I waved my Aldi bag and showed off my Birkenstock sandals. the police officer did not look impressed.
He said again “ausweis, bitte”
I put in my hands in my pocket to take out my wallet.
I was glad this is Germany. if it was the us, I might have been shot for putting my hands in my pocket.
I come from India. I thought I should give them a small bribe so that they let me go.
But i remembered the German integration course which said that you should not bribe the German police.
If you are polite and have the paperwork, the German police will leave you alone. i had the politeness, but was missing the paperwork.
The police said I will have to go with them for a ride.
I was so excited. I had never been on a BMW car. this was brand new BMW car with blinkers and sirens.
I was so important that one of the policemen opened the door for me. they even locked my side of the door so that I do not fall out.
One sat next to me for company. one was driving. I thought it was pretty cool to be chauffeured around.
I was hoping that the blinkers and sirens would go on, but I was not important enough.
the police took me to my apartment and checked my passport. what happened afterwards surprised me. I was walking to the swimming pool when they stopped me. now they drove me all the way to the swimming pool and dropped me in front of it.
I must say, the German police are really great, if you are polite and you have the paperwork.
to all the Indians and brown people, if you want a free ride to anywhere in a shining BMW, come to me for some fashion advice