Category Archives: The Germans

Did You Know? They Eat Porcupine.

Anyone who has been in an international relationship has had the talk about customs and traditions. It tends to happen pretty early on and is part of the we’re-different-but-maybe-not-really-so-different (ie “How weird are you and can I handle it?”) conversation that hopefully eventually leads to you figuring out that although worlds apart you were meant to be together.

Right? Right.

Oliver and I met in the Fall and that led pretty quickly to talk about the winter holidays and Christmas traditions. With him being German, I wasn’t expecting anything too shocking or different to pop up: some real candles on the Christmas tree maybe (yes), celebrating the evening before rather than the morning of (yes), and not following the cult of the Coca-cola Santa (yep, non-Coke Weihnachtsmann).

Everything was pretty much as expected until he floored me with the following: For Christmas dinner, he said, his family ate roasted porcupine.

“Porcupine? Really??,” I asked (did I hear that right?). Continue reading

What a (Christmas) Pickle

At the Children’s Christmas market in Nürnberg the other day, I tried to save American’s dwindling reputation. Fortified by two Glühwein mit Schuß (shot of run), I couldn’t help but interrupt the group next to me when I heard this:

Dude nearby: (in German) “…and she was telling me that Americans believe that Germans decorate their Christmas trees with pickles! Real sour pickles. How strange is that?”

Group: (nodding at the strangeness and shrugging at the wonder of it.)


Well, that just couldn’t end there. I usually do not break into conversations I’m not a part of and the only other time I’ve done that over here was when I heard an Italian guy insist that all Americans check their pasta doneness by throwing a few on the wall.

Having spread my own misinformation about Christmas in the past, I felt the need to nip this one on the bud by immediately leaning into their circle and telling them that, sorry, Americans are a bit naive about the world and are inclined to believe or be ignorant of the oddest things (“is there freedom in Germany?“) but there’s no way that we believe that Germans – the inventors of quality seasonal decoration, and models of hygiene and order- would actually hang a real pickle on their Christmas tree.

I mean, there’s no way. Right? Right? Oh, come on people!? This is embarrassing.

Graffiti – Bavaria style

Just down the street, a tagger’s been at work.

I find it charming, but then again, it’s not my wall.

On A Hot Day Like This…

…in Germany (or at least Munich) people will be lying naked along the Isar river and in the English Garden. In Switzerland, according to this video about urban swimming, people go one step further and take the plunge.

With temperatures hovering around the 32 degree mark, this looks so tempting!

Made In Germany

This* came into my inbox this morning, I think it’s a pretty great summary of Saturday’s game.

"Raw" talent isn't enough to win without the right tools.

I am so not a football fan, but after Saturdays’s game against Argentina, even I have to say, “Good job Germany”!

(*thanks Babe!)

May Day Madness

Last Friday I get a call from Oliver at 6:45 in the evening to grab my bag and be ready to jump in the car because tomorrow is May Day.

Crap!

As Michelle over at Jewelled Concrete laid out so well, Germany, actually Bavaria, is great for having a ton of holidays that can bulk up the average person’s vacation by up to 13 days a year. Heaven, right? But given the fact that stores are closed on Sundays, when a holiday falls on a weekend, well, chaos can ensue.

The last place you want to be – if you can avoid it – is in a grocery store, within an hour of closing on an evening before a holiday, or worse a series of days, that will interrupt normal shopping patterns.

It probably has something to do with the tiny fridges that most people make do with here. And the fact that those tiny fridges have even tinier freezers. And of course the fact that Germans are, as a rule, frugal people who are less like to say (as I would), “Screw it, we can order in or eat out for the weekend”. Also, factor in that most people work late enough during the week that they don’t make it before the 8 pm closing time and … then take Saturday grocery shopping out of the mix: Bam, you have a crisis.

Germans would rather not spring for take out. Just say no to Chineese Foooooood.

We rushed to the store and found, with a good 45 minutes left to spare, that sections were already picked bare or clogged with lines of folks trying to get those sausages and that last loaf of bread. We moved quickly through and grabbed the essentials and got in line with a good 20 minute cushion.

Is that the check out counter up ahead?

Still, the lines were already stretched to the back of the store. Now for those that don’t know, Germans and lines don’t mix well. They just don’t do them.  Now imagine stressed out Germans forced into line formation. And then imagine those lines don’t move. At all. Continue reading

German Sparkle Party!

Do You Like To Party Party? Yes, I Like To Sparkle Party!

*WARNING* This will stick in your head ALL day and ALL night.

I am in love with this German Sparkle Party video on youtube from the Something Experience. Now, I can’t stop saying, “party pants, party pants!” in a bad German accent.

Even to people who won’t get the reference.

Put on your party pants everyone! Happy Weekend!