One of the aspects of contemporary life in Germany that I am very curious about is whether childhood is somehow different. My sense is that the lifeworlds of children and adults are (still) somewhat more separate in Germany which somewhat oddly means that children have more freedom even when they are also more excluded from adult activities. Again, just a sense, but something that I’m curious about.
This is also an aspect that will be interesting to discuss with the girls I think as they experience life here through there soon-to-be-made friends.
We just had a very impressive introduction to this question, though.
On the way out from downtown to my parents’ house we stopped at a grocery store. There’s lots of things different in stores that will surely pop up in future posts.
We turned the corner to the pop-section. Here were three girls, climbing on cases of pop to reach some favoured pop on the top shelf. I asked them whether they needed help, but they smiled and said that they were doing fine.
These girls were 5-8 years old by the estimate of my girls. They were clearly there by themselves and ended up paying individually for their wholesome candy-and-pop diet. They were not at all bothered by a stranger (me) addressing them. They were all about summer, running around your neighbourhood and spending your allowance. Straight of out a Lindgren story! Not really a scene I would expect in a neighbourhood market in Vancouver, but maybe… We’ll see whether we’ll see more scenes like this, but we certainly enjoyed the encounter very much and my girls were impressed.