What the hell just happened??
Germans aren’t the law-abiding sticklers they are stereotyped as. For example, they jaywalk when it makes sense, not egregiously. On the other hand, some people are taking things (and themselves) quite seriously indeed. I was walking in a very touristy part of München. Think Times Square. After taking a panorama of an awesome little square, I hear some guy calling out to me:
— Excuse me!
— In Germany, we have a law that says you cannot take pictures of people.
— Yes, not unless you have their consent. This means you have to ask all of these people if they agree to be in your photos.
The guy waves at the crowd of people coming and going around us.
— You must show me your phone and delete the last picture that has me in it.
— I’m sorry, I didn’t know about such a law. Thank you for telling me. Does this mean that taking pictures in public places is verboten? That sounds insane! Do you talk to all these other tourists?
I wave at the throngs surrounding us.
— Yes, when I notice them taking pictures with my face in them. I will call the Polizei if you don’t show to me that my photo is removed from your phone. And don’t take such pictures again or you can get in trouble!
— OK, fine. Auf wiedersehen!
The dude was quite agitated throughout our brief conversation and talking quite loudly. And he was dressed stylishly and nicely (not a гопник by any means). So weird.
Wish I had a picture of the guy to show you, but a gargoyle will do instead.