Konrad has just returned from a trip to the West Bank, and while four and a half days in Palestine might not make him Robert Fisk, he has distilled his observations into four useful reasons why German society could benefit from more Arab influence.
1) No passive-aggression on the streets. Obviously an organized society needs traffic laws, and it is laudable that Germans treat them with so much respect. But unfortunately this often takes the form of a sort of repressed, perplexed ‘but why aren’t you following the rules’ anger which frankly will give you a hernia in the long run. Ramallah taxi-drivers drive as if they were mentally ill, and they don’t believe in any new-fangled ideas like ‘”lanes”. When the taxis and buses bang into each other, as they often do, they just shout abuse over their shoulders and get on with it.
2) Family values. Arabs have much better family values than Germans. They marry young and ensure that their bloodline has several options early on. Eva Herman would love it there.
3) Zero tolerance policy on bottled juice. Considering that the place is under military occupation, Palestine has an extremely health-conscious attitude to fruit juice. They will not serve you bottled juice in a restaurant unless there is no fresh citrus within two square miles. They will actually refuse your order until someone has at least checked every house in the street for unsqueezed fruit.
4) Importing Cadbury’s chocolate. Bizarrely, the entire Cadbury’s range is available for sale in most Palestinian corner shops. Germans urgently need to take a leaf out of this book, for they labour under the misapprehension that they are master chocolatiers. I suppose they think that if the Swiss and the Belgians can do it, then they should manage. Hate to break it, but unfortunately Milka tastes of dry farts.