But friends helped and brought to the former Russians, now citizens of Germany. Residents of Hamburg and Leipzig. And throughout the week I tried hard to talk about what is happening today in Germany and how life is there in general.
Tried - this is because it really did not work out for me. To be honest, I planned to make several blitz-interviews, on the basis of which one could draw some conclusions on the topic of what the Germans breathe today. Well, let the Germans be for short.
However, it was a great surprise for me that with Germans you can speak or write far from everything.
So what can you talk to the German?
About taxes. Everyone speaks about taxes with pleasure and in details. Indeed, the theme for the Germans is not that sick, but any German will complain long and fervently about how much he unfastens in this regard. I found out that medical insurance is 15,8%, pension - 20%, insurance in case of dismissal - 2,8%, insurance in case of incapacity for work - 2,4%. The numbers are pretty, but all this is paid by the employee and the employer in half.
In general, in Germany, each of its residents pays from their salary to 50%. And also taxes on car, real estate, church (!!!), help from East Germany. It seems that in this country taxes are imposed not only on everything that moves or moves, but also on the fact that it sits quietly in the mud.
About this the Germans speak with pleasure. Especially about church tax. Because of this tax, the church loses its importance and weight every year, as any burgher is able to calculate the number of his 10-50 euros per month.
You can talk about beer, what is better, Mercedes or Audi, where it is better to come as a tourist, how much is a week at Oktoberfest. How well you can improve your health in German clinics.
But God forbid to talk about problems with migrants. Or ask the German opinion about the police (in the light of recent events) or about the Bundeswehr. Or how the Germans relate to the problem of sexual minorities.
Full stop, rounded eyes. And unwillingness to continue further conversation. I was not warned on which topic you can ask questions, and on which not. And during the conversation, he repeatedly shocked his interlocutors. Well, as if I am the smallest and do not quite a decent offer. More precisely, quite obscene.
Fear. This is the most accurate definition of what drives the Germans in this regard. All my interlocutors and the interlocutor were in full confidence that the special services were listening to our conversation. It does not matter whose. FSB clearly did not scare them. But two of the three conversations were crumpled and stopped with the note "Let's agree on it some other time." When I complained in passing to his last interlocutor, Eugene, he looked at me as if he was sick. “And what did you want? Here, dear, Europe. Here is order. This is not Russia, where you can hang your“ fairy ”at every corner. And to my accurate objections on the topic “What about freedom and democracy” quite weighty said the following: “Yes, we have a decent free democratic social state. Do not be confused ... with anarchy and mess. We have order. In general, you need to live here for years 5-10, to understand everything. Immediately it does not work out ".
Order ... "Everything must be in order." Yes, I am familiar with this phrase in Germany phrase. The Germans are accustomed to the established procedures and they are happy to follow them. The whole country. And there is nothing worse for a German than not to comply with the established procedures.
But now other times have come. And the Germans really were not ready for them. Purely in Russian. In the courtyard of badabum universal scale, but we are not ready. But, if the Russians each time, when they covered almost with their heads, they all the same swam, then the Germans got harder. And my interlocutor Eugene has been very actively looking east lately. And what? Children grew up, parents who initiated resettlement to historical homeland, already resting in German soil, business due to sanctions actually dies.
Once it seemed to them that Germany was a fabulous country of unreal possibilities. Well, not all of the tale becomes true. Yes, the welfare state is beautiful. I understood this from the stories of my interlocutors. German medicine and the insurance system are really fabulous and luxurious. But ... there are now some "but" that overpower many of the advantages of modern Germany.
Fear. No, not the fear of losing your job or business. "Yes, to hell with him, with the business, I will return to Russia, I will turn around again. Pigs are pigs everywhere." Eugene - hereditary piggy class. And scraping the knife. And considering that he is in Germany, that in Russia before retirement is still at least 9 years old, he is relatively calm for himself. Apparently, there is something to turn around again.
Security is what worries everyone today. New Year's events showed complete helplessness of both the authorities and the security forces of Germany in the event of a repetition of such events. Of course, not everyone there is sure that events will repeat. There are exceptions. But the majority understand that the New Year's Eve is a certain Rubicon, which Germany has passed. And whether there will be a way back, and how quiet and calm it is, there is no certainty for the majority of them.
It was very unpleasant to me to feel like a stone thrown into a quiet pool and made a wave. The real concern that I actually caused to strangers left some residue. But if you choose between the order, when it becomes scary from the question asked by the interlocutor, and the anarchic mess, when you can discuss such questions not only in conversation, but how are we doing here, on our pages, I am definitely a mess.
So with the Germans have something to talk about. But not about politics and freedom.