German hamlet vies to become world’s most courteous town
The cranky counter agent.
The uncouth waiter.
The monstrous flight attendant.
Sure, these icons of travel might provide the kind of nightmare stories you end up repeating for years, but few things get us as riled as rude service people.
If a German group has its way, however, tourists will suffer the abuses of insolence no more.
At least not in the small Bavarian town of Grafenau, a scenic hamlet located in the Bavarian Forest and headquarters of the Bavarian Forest National Park Authority.
As reported by IOL Travel, “the German Knigge Association, a society which promotes good manners,” has chosen Grafenau as the town in which to launch a pilot project designed to teach citizens unimpeachable manners.
Locals hasten to point out that, rather than due to a current lack of decorum, Grafenau was selected because the town’s welfare depends on tourism.
“Good demeanor and politeness are the solution to many everyday problems,” says Knigge Association etiquette expert Hans-Michael Klein, who will lead the campaign to abolish inconsiderate behavior.
The town of great manners
Between October 18-21, etiquette experts from around Germany will descend upon Grafenau to instruct local service industry workers on how to greet visitors with smiles and treat them with utmost respect.
In addition, local husbands will learn how to surprise their wives with bunches of flowers. Children will be taught to give up bus seats for the elderly. A fashion show will teach locals how to dress better.
The goal, according to IOL Travel, is to “turn the town into an epicenter of great manners.”
Klein says that other cities are already interested in his group’s etiquette training, but won’t reveal which ones.
Paris? New York? Beijing? Delhi? We’re looking at you.