All three nationalities, along with Scandinavians, Dutch, Austrians, Swiss, and the rare Canuck, share the same basic recognition that those already in the queue have higher priority, and will therefore “wait their turn.”
In German restaurants after the waitress has brought you your meal, she will return to ask, “Alles in ordnung?” Instead of asking if she can get you anything else, she wonders, “Is everything in order?” Order is everything. Certainly, Germans take it to an extreme, as I complained last week. But German order is preferable to Italian anarchy–at least in small doses.
To those who view this weekend’s catastrophe as evidence of the end of civility, I say, cheer up. Had it been a German or British ship that went down in the North Sea, I submit that the scene would have been far more reminiscent of the Titanic’s “women and children first” rule, than the chaos of the Costa Concordia.
On the other hand, the Concorida gives witness to the unbridgeable divide in Europe. The Continent is two cultures separated by a common currency. Economic chaos is the inevitable result. And women and children may end up being the first thrown overboard.
Can you imagine how great Catholicism would be if the Vatican had been built in Germany instead?