Today during the Stadtrat’s dinner break from 19:00 to 20:30 a few of us met with a group of apprentices in the city’s administrative offices. The city offered sandwiches and mineral water and we sat around to a very interactive round of questions and answers.

A few of their questions:

  • Is it not a bit disrespectful that one is speaking at the podium, the rest of the colleagues are making so much noise and walking around?
  • If so much gets discussed and decided ahead of time, why does one need the parliament?
  • What was the motivation to be in the city parliament?

It was a very animated discussion, a good mixture of people who like to speak in public anyhow – parliamentarians – and youth makes for very lively dialogue. We also had a chance to spend a few minutes to chat around. One of the young men in my little corner of the table likes writing fantasy stories that he publishes in German.

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Discovering also that multitasking in the Rathaus is a skill to be trained. Listening, reading, writing, and yes… choosing which button to push – aka voting – at the right moment, while IMing, or at least trying.