What happens when a sort-of German dude, softened by years of Californian informality, returns to Germany and encounters the natives?
Why, it’s friggin’ awkward, of course. Just one aspect: When meeting different kinds of people, should I use Sie or Du, the formal or the informal version of “you”?
The resulting contortions, as I tell them in The Economist’s sister publication Intelligent Life, are meant to be amusing. So go be amused, please, and have compassion with me.
(BTW, the English “you” is actually the formal second person, which completely replaced the informal “thou” centuries ago.)