Archive for July, 2008

I vs. We

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Today is my second last day of 21 days stay in Germany. I am sitting in Atlas Post Hotel´s restaurant in Garmisch at border of Germany and Austria. This is my first visit to western world and I have come across number of differences in human behaviour. Most important is difference between “I” here and “we” in Pakistan

For example the pattern of ordering food in restaurants here is in stark contrast with Pakistan.

I will come to it in a moment. First let me explain what I mean by “in Pakistan”.  When I say “in Pakistan” I refer to  middle class  semi urban-to-urban Pakistanis who do not go to Freddie’s or cafe aylanto. I am referring to people who eat at salt and pepper village, salt and pepper liberty, khan baba, sarhad hotel, bhaya kabab etc.

In Pakistan, if a group of people goes out for food to a restaurant, selection of food is heavily influenced by what is ordered by first individual in the group. Interestingly, same is true here in Germany.

The difference is in “how” it affects. In Pakistan effect is of “to be similar”. Individual prefer to order food near to what was ordered earlier by first person in food contents, price and cooking time.

In Germany, no one orders similar item. Rather, emphasis is on going as far as possible from the first ordered item.