Your picture is so ugly!

Germans are very straight forward, as they usually just say what they think, no PC-limits attached. That can be incredibly rude. Or incredibly refreshing. Or both. Today for example, I had to go to the post office to run some errands, which required showing my ID (yes, even in Germany sometimes we have to show our IDs. The picture on my ID is probably the worst picture of me that has ever been taken. Take me not being the most photogenic person and the new requirements for facial recognition that won’t even allow you to smile, and you get the ugliest pictures in the history of official documents. The lady behind the counter took my ID, looked at it, then at me … and then simply said: “I am sorry, but I just have to say this… this is a really, really horrible picture!” First, I was taken a little aback. Did she really just say that??? But then again, she was right. I laughed: “Yes, I know. I am embarrassed every time I have to show it.” “Well, I can tell that that’s not a picture your boyfriend would carry in his wallet. Or that your parents would show their friends. Or that you would send your relatives.” She was on a roll. So I went with it: “Or that I would put on my CV,” I offered. Loud laughter. “Not at all! I mean, unless you want to work for a funeral company. But probably not even then. I know though, for some sort of horror cabinet it would be perfect!” Now we both were just giggles and laughs. She could have been polite and not said anything about my picture, but then we also wouldn’t have had so much fun either! 

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