Ahhh, news from the old homestead:
For decades, Germans holidaying on the white sandy beaches of Usedom have opted to leave their swimming trunks at home. Their penchant for naked bathing is nothing unusual in a country where naturism is popular and seen as, well, natural.
But this summer, border controls between Germany and Poland were dismantled as part of the Schengen agreement. Now flocks of Poles stroll along the leafy coastal paths to nearby German towns – and many are shocked by what they see.
Despite the inherent silliness of the article, it does contain perhaps the pithiest account of a rather fundamental and important point about humanity that is easy to overlook or forget.
Says the Pole:
‘It is unheard of. People sunning themselves in the nude! And right on the coast, where normal people go walking,’ Stanislawa Borecka, a 63-year-old from the Polish town of Szczecin, told the Märkische Allgemeine newspaper. ‘What should I tell my grandson?’
Says the German:
‘It’s an FKK beach. It’s awful that fully dressed Polish people come and stare at us,’ said 46-year-old Elke Bernholz.
People frame things differently. A simple fact that smacks of triteness, yet it is amazing the number of people who behave as if it were not true, as if there were always some objective reality in which subjective perceptions played no role.
Then again, the wide recognition of this truth would collapse the comedic goldmine of gender-based misunderstanding, so perhaps we should not be so vigorous in our quest for clear thinking.