The first (long) weekend in May, my family went to playmobil Funpark near Nuremberg. I accompanied them. Instead of joining an Open Space Barcamp in Hamburg.
I am not that excited, because I like playmobil less than LEGO. In playmobil the possibilities to play are more pre-limited than in LEGO. In the grown-up world, I call products and services “encapsulated complicacy”. So, in kids world, playmobil I would call “encapsulated creativity”.
LEGO colors: red with white – playmobil colors: blue with white. By accident?
But, to get it right … The people at playmobil are admirably creative. I am always astonished about the abstraction in these toys. You can guess what their original might have been, but You recognize a playmobil toy as a complete kind of its own.
On the other hand, there are so many little presets that annoy me – now, that I am grown up.
The website characterizes exactly where my problem lies. You can chose a country and by that, the language will be preset with no ability to change.
The world, where I am living in, has country and language which are not the same.
Recently, I am sitting in Germany, blogging in English, ate Pasta in the evening and being always amused about the story of “Döner Kebab” that is nowadays a fixed part of Europe’s kitchen.
There are stories told about European tourists going to Istanbul or Antalya (years ago!) and refused local kebab to be no “real” kebab … They accepted only Stuttgart style or Berlin style or wherever they came from as “the real” and refused the local – in fact “realer” – variants.
Btw. Kebab styles differ from location to location in Germany in nuances. Berlin differs from Leipzig and Frankfurt differs from Stuttgart. But, You can tell this only if You are familiar with them. You need to travel open-eyed, open-mouthed and open-hearted with the will and ability to reflect.
And there we go. “Open” vs. “Limited”. The old story again – and again.
/we are all foreigners
… somewhere in this world.
At HOB-center there was a really homogenous group of people. They were all parents or kids. No-one was alone there.
Everybody there cares about exactly one thing: happiness – mostly of others.
Parents care about their kids and their happiness. The kids themselves cared about their happiness with the toys, sometimes occupied by others.
Staff cares about all of them and it.
I saw and heard people from Germany (all regions), Asia (India, Korea, China and Japan), and other countries in Europe (Poland, Czech Republic and presumably other East European countries nearby). Italian, Spanish, Nordic. African people, obviously partnered to white people – guessed from the skin-shade of their kids. No British or US people from my experience.
All more or less “middle-class”, with obviously enough money to afford entry fees, accommodation and travelling to there.
At their system cantina, there was a variety from Franconian food (grilled chicken with Bavarian style Coleslaw), “Asia” Wok with rice and the all famous Kids Menu (Chicken Nugget with French Fries).
Funny detail: while I got “my” Kids Menu from an Asian looking man, a Local served others the Wok dish.
Later I got Ice Cream from other Locals, while colleagues next to them served Pizza and Pasta. Nobody seems to be of Italian origin.
In my Youth, there were exactly two families that had their kids on “my” school. The operators of the Chinese restaurant and the operators of the first Döner foodtruck of the quarter.
Nowadays there are the kids of the Russian immigrants of German origin (early 90ies). The 2nd and third generation of Vietnamese or Kurdish. 1st to cannot tell any more generation of Polish, Spanish, Portugese, Anatolian and whatsoever immigrants to Germany.
You can get Pita bread, frozen Springrolls, Ayran and Greek style Yoghurt at the supermarket and nearly every German family has a bottle of “Curry” spice at their kitchen shelf.
There is a famous fast food dish in Germany, called “Currywurst“.
Old Fritz once opened up his country for refugees of religious belief (Huguenots and Jews). “Religion is Privacy” he stated about 250 years ago. He implemented the general duty for education (basically reading and writing German). Generations later, German was the lingua franca in science (1st half of 20th century) as nowadays English is and Latin was back in the Middle ages.
He, himself corresponded in French. Funny enough. It was the language of the upper class in continental Europe that time.
Recently, I travelled to a client. I had some time while switching trains and decided to catch Asian food from a train station foodcourt. While waiting for my order, I noticed that two quite similar looking women organized themself in German with heavy Asian accents. I asked and they explained that most of them are Vietnamese, but the “other” woman is from Thailand. German is their lingua franca.
I met several very impressive Taxi Drivers. Ex-Elite Soldiers from Iran fled on sole via Kurdistan, now owning a Taxi Business with 10 cabs in Hamburg. Pakistani with Ph.D. who could not stand financial pressure (“economization”) in science any more.
The Turk who came in early 2000’s. He set himself the goal to learn one new word from German papers. Every day. He started with “Bild-Zeitung”. At that time, he was at Süddeutsche.
They all work as hard as they can to finance education up to University for their kids.
These kids of 2nd or 3rd generation study law or economics, they do IT and Business like everyone else.
Maybe, they do a little more, because they do not take their state in society for granted. They still know, that it is enduring hard work to be where they are. And the certain smartness to come there.
/culture is the result
These days, the German minister of the Interior, stated what is the leading culture in Germany.
You cannot goal on a specific culture to be reached. It will always be the result of several aspects influencing each other.
Once, You got highspeed internet, You do not need to watch TV at “given” times anymore. You can refer to several sources and watch whenever You like. Except, You wish to participate to the talk of the town (or any other community that is important to You).
One of my major learnings in my (law!) studies at University was one from Game Theory. Once You dominate the game and You are serious challenged, You already lost. Your fight will only determine the volume of loss.
But, there is one exit from loss: integration.
Make challengers part of Your team. Eye-level. Red path.
Then, You will share.
Together You will not only divide what’s there (“the cake”).
You will bundle Your forces and gain what will be baked instead of fighting.
The cake, the cookies, the bread, the bun, the bagel, the Pita, the Börek, the Baklava, the Cornbread, the Tortilla and so on and so on.
/ninja building cleaner
Finally, I had fun. We stayed overnight. We took catalogues to our hotel and evaluated them. My older son has a knights castle since last Christmas. He and his sister planned to declare her dolls house as the opponent’s castle. They imagined shooting with cannons on each other.
We as parents were not that amused. But, we joined their phantasies and hacked the game somehow.
We announced entering his castle with our Ninja Building Cleaners – great laugh, great fun!
There are systems all around us. In some of them (i.e. family) we are part of, others we just use from outside (i.e. as customers or guests).
You can also hack the system. It depends on what You aim for. You might need system’s output for something completely unintended as it once was established for. You can also change from inside to make it cope better with current reality of surrounding pre-conditions.
It depends … and this makes it so difficult to determine, what is currently the needed change and therefore the best way to reach the newly needed status quo.
You do not need to act completely on Your own. Use Your fellow human beings to determine what is of more importance and less harmful impact than Your single, isolated imagination. That is the basement of successful co-operation and lean conflict co-existence.
You can determine by first taking the read path.
/famous last words
Life runs in circles. Some are smaller, some are bigger.
In the end, there is no end – only another beginning.
“Enjoy, and share if You like.”
“Feel free to make life great!”
“Likes” are welcome. Comments are appreciated.