Discussion posted by: David McNamara
On the high-speed train gliding smoothly from Berlin to Düsseldorf, a young man started chatting to me. He eventually asked, “What are some of the cultural differences you’ve noticed between Germans and Americans?” As if on cue, a middle-aged woman hovered over us and gave a harsh, “Shh!” with her finger pressed against her lips. She pointed to a sign of a mobile phone with a cross through it, indicating that we were in the Ruhebereich, the quiet carriage of the train. “You must be quiet,” she said, before returning to her seat.