My first day at Deutschland is certainly a memorable one. At the same day I have seen two sides of people’s behavior towards foreigners.

Scenario 1:

When I first landed on Frankfurt (am main) Airport, I was not sure how to go to my place at Kleve, NRW. After grabbing my baggage, I was looking for regional railway platforms. I was confused how to collect ticket. A young guy showed me how to get ticket from automatic machine, also showed where to get exchange for 100 Euro note from. I felt gratitude to him. Again I was happy when he himself operated the machine for my ticket. After that he showed me which way to go to the platform. Then came out the real cause behind his assistance.

He demanded 25 Euros for his own ticket. As a token of thanks for his help. I knew about this type of people. So I said, “Look Man, I am thankful for your help. But in exchange giving you money is insulting you. I am not buying service from you”.

He said, “No, no. I don’t feel insulted. I helped you when you needed with the machine; you help me now with money. Come on, 25 Euro is not a big deal.”

I replied, “Look, if you want money you should have told me earlier. I would definitely not take your service. I cannot give you any money, instead you take away the ticket. Grab it, take it. Moreover, I have come to study with very little money in hand. Also the money supply from my family back at home will be limited. If I give you 25 Euros, I will fall short of it. Do you understand me?”

Reluctantly, with a pale face he agreed and bade me goodbye.

Scenario 2 & 3:

I found the platform but again was not sure at which spot to wait for the train. I asked an old couple. The old man showed me the exact spot (it was the same where I was standing) and appreciate me knowing I am from Bangladesh, said, “You have come a long way for study. It’s good to see you. I wish your success.”

In train again one person avoided to help me other instructed me the way to change the next train (as I needed to change the train at Dusseldorf Hbf).

Scenario 4:

From the Kleve Bahnhof I was destined to go to Youth Hostel at St. Annaberg; but it was late, no bus was available. Luckily I found a taxi. I didn’t have exchange for 100 Euros. He went some where and collected the exchange. Moreover, at that time there was no one at the hostel whom I can talk with about my reservation. The driver called the contact number from his cell and helped me finding the key from some kind of locker posted outside, there they put the keys of main entrance door and my room. And above all, he didn’t demand a cent for that.

to be continued…


By Ratul Chowdhury

Studying Economics and Finance (M.Sc) in Hochschule Rhein-Waal

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