Monday, March 21, 2016

Television and my friend’s vision

Sometime soon after my move to Germany, I received a € 27.00 monthly bill from Deutschlandradio and freaked out. This is a monthly bill for using a TV and radio connection. The thing is I do not even have a TV or radio at home. I took it to the departmental secretary for translation (remember, all important mails are in German), and she had that knowing look on her face. Seems like this is a bill that everyone in the country has to pay, whether they have a TV/radio or not. These channels have no ads and hence there is no other way for them to make money. Since I did not believe it, I asked around a bit. Seems like it is true. It is like paying tax, it is compulsory.

The good news is this bill is included in my rent, so I do not need to pay anything extra.

When I went to my Korean friend for venting out, she looked at me all surprised. Then, she retrieved her crumpled bill from the trash can. When I asked why she trashed the bill, she shrugged and told me that since it was in German, she threw it away. She assumed that it is some company asking for a donation. She said, "Since I did not understand what is written, I assumed that it is not important. If they want my money, they should tell me in English."

I love her carefree attitude, and the basic difference in the way we see life. I, on one hand, get hyper every time I see a letter in German, and show it to at least three different people to make sure I got all the information right. I even meticulously translate all the useful information in English and write it down. And my friend simply assumes that if she cannot read something, it is not meant for her to know.


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