Dropping An Awkward Bomb

, , , , , | Friendly | August 14, 2018

(A coworker told me this story. They have friends over from Germany who were born in the 50s. My coworker shows them around the city of Rotterdam. While they love the city, they keep on comparing it to other cities. The text below is the latest of a string of complaints about the historic center of Rotterdam. My coworker is getting fed up with it.)

Friend: “I went to Utrecht and saw the lovely old center. And Amsterdam, oh, that too had a lovely historic center. But Rotterdam… Rotterdam has no historic buildings at all! Such a shame; why don’t you have a historic center like the other towns? It’s all so modern. I thought Rotterdam had such a rich history, but all the historic buildings are gone! Such a shame. Why is that?”

Coworker: “Because you guys bombed it!”

(There was an awkward silence, and the friend no longer mentioned it. Later on, the friend apologized, having learned that most of Rotterdam was bombed during the beginning of World War Two. Even though the friend wasn’t born back then, she did understand why my coworker didn’t appreciate the comments about the lack of a historical center from a German person. They are still friends to this day.)

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