September in Germany means one thing: Oktoberfest.
Don’t ask me why a festival—actually an excuse to drink a lot of beer—with October in its name always begins in September. At least it ends in October. Germans, who are orderly and logical people, must have an explanation, but I’m not going looking for it.
My only goal is to inform people that beer is flowing in Munich, although the smallest draft costs 10 euros. The sun always rises in the east and beer price always rises in September.
The link below provides photos, courtesy of London’s Daily Mail. The English seem to have thing about Germans enjoying themselves and about beer.
I have never been to Oktoberfest and have no intention of breaking that tradition! I can enjoy beer anywhere and at anytime for much less.
The word is absurd.
Oh, it’s the same word, used as a noun or adjective and applied to totally ridiculous situations, people, acts, etc. What made me think of this word? News stories from the United States, of course.
There have been several articles in various media about the arming of police forces with military equipment. I do not understand why the police need rocket launchers, grenade launchers, armored vehicles, etc. I do not understand the spread of SWAT teams. I do not understand or agree with the need for such brutality. A key factor must be the gun culture that has reached the stage of being the national religion.
I live in a town of about twenty thousand. There is no police station. The closest police station is in a small city, about ten miles away. Police tend to react and do not go looking for trouble. The only uniformed officers one spots in the city are those writing parking tickets. The only time one sees police at a school is when they are instructing children of bicycle safety.
Which country do you think has a better quality of life? In which country is there less fear? In which country do people feel safer? In which country does the word absurd apply, when discussing law enforcement?
Just asking…(a phrase I learned from Fox News jerks)...
The word of the day is Nazi, which could almost be the word of every day. I assume that translation is unnecessary.
What would politicians and “statesmen” do without Hitler or the Nazis? The guy is lucky he’s dead, because he would spend a lot of time in court suing people for misuse of his name and legacy.
Today, I read that the current British prime minister is trying to compare himself to Neville Chamberlin. Perhaps, he misread history and does not know that this man is considered a failure. And, I do not see the parallels in the Ukraine conflict with 1939. But, politician know that most people do not know history and learn most of what they think they know from television/film fantasy and exaggeration of events. They also know that there will be no backlash from the Nazis, because this lovely bunch of folks no longer exists.
I would like to see a bit more thought and creativity in statements by public officials, but truthfulness might not translate into votes, which is the only reason they open their mouths.
This is a lame one, because most people should know this word...
I had heard of Wanderlust, a German word that has insinuated itself into usage of English speakers, but have not really suffered too often from the urge. I am happy to stay at home, but do enjoy a good trip. Lately, I have had the urge to travel somewhere interesting. Perhaps, that is because summer suggests vacation travel or because I have difficulty waiting for future travel that I have booked.
Summer school vacation—when students have no classes, schools are closed, and families tend to go somewhere (if they have money)—tends to demand travel. The problem is to find lodging that is available and not over-priced. In Europe, prices tend to sky rocket in the summer. This is understandable, since many establishments must earn their money in a few months. The highest prices tend to be in August.
German states stagger their vacations, which tend to last for six weeks, and the times rotate each year. For example, if a state has vacation from mid-June to the end of July one year, it might have vacation from early August to mid-September in another year. Early vacations tend to be more favourable, because European vacation spots are less crowded than in August, when all France and all Italy head for the beach.
The state in which I live, has a late slot this year, so we are faced with the dilemma of finding something adequate at a decent price. In the past, we would often fly to Florida, where low season prices offset the cost of flying. I do not want to travel to a state that requires everyone to carry a firearm, so I considered options. I like Asia, but monsoon rains can spoil even a low-priced hotel stay. I like the Maldives and the Seychelles, but ditto. Dubai is too hot, with daytime temperatures often hitting 50 degrees centigrade (that’s boiling point in fahrenheit, I believe). I thought about South Africa, but it is winter in the southern hemisphere and ocean currents deliver cold water from the Antarctic.
Viewing a world map, my eye fell on Mauritius. We have avoided this island in the past, because there have been more attractive alternatives closer to home. Even the Seychelles and Maldives are closer. Although winter reigns in Mauritius, temperatures are only slightly lower than in their summer and it is the “dry” season. If I read correctly, the climate is fairly mild all year, not unlike Hawaii, but with hurricanes (cyclones in the southern hemisphere, for the pedants out there) in their fall (our spring).
So, we have booked a trip to Mauritius in August. Everyone can now look forward to hearing my opinion (which is why people check this worthless blog!). Because it is off-season, prices for flights and hotels are less than half the peak season costs. And, I do not expect to find crowds, like those one must endure along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Stay tuned…or stop by in August…
The German word Mist has many meanings: manure, when applied to animals and rubbish or garbage, when applied to human worthless acquisitions or verbal worthlessness. It is often used as an expletive, as a polite scatalogical burst or a like saying “crap”. As with most German words, one can add prefixes, so ausmisten means to muck out a stall or to discard collected and useless junk. To screw up something is Mist bauen (“build crap”).
There’s a saying about stuff accumulating, until it fills all available space. I can assure you that this is true. Most of it is Mist or becomes so over time.
After years of procrastinating and threatening my children with leaving the thankless task of ausmisten my house to them for after I am in Heaven, I decided to start. With or without this generous effort, I expect to end up there, because that is what I was promised as a child every Sunday.
I have decided to ausmisten in the cellar. I have tended to save things—even if there was never a chance that they would ever be used again—because I thought/think that I might use them. I never discarded unused paint or wall paper remainders, from the days when I used to do everything myself. I now pay someone to do most renovations, but I still keep everything I need…just in case the doubtful ever happens.
For some unexplainable reason, that changed yesterday. I started to sort out items in the cellar and carry them to the garage for pick-up by a disposal service. I started with luggage, of which I have several sets. Although we always use the same suitcases and bags, I keep a collection of old ones. No one needs eight suitcases, unless you are some fake celebrity, which I am not and never will be. No one needs 25 sports bags. That is the legacy of working for a sporting goods company, which provided a new bag for every major sporting event. That was just the beginning. I won’t bore you with every screw and washer I saved (and will not discard), but the list is long and the garage is filling up.
The weather is perfect for working in the cellar. Outside, there is the English form on mist, while I am deep in the German form of Mist.
How about something pleasant?
The weather is fine, albeit cooler than past weeks. I am happy with sunshine and blue sky, so will accept temperatures in the 70s.
Tomorrow is another holiday in Germany, again with some religious background. Many holidays fall on a Thursday, so Germans take one day of vacation and have an extra-long weekend. This is called ein Bruckentag or bridge day. This wrecks havoc on many businesses, but the socialist nature of the country accepts this hidden employee benefit. Many companies simply shut down, whenever a Bruckentag blights the calendar.
As mentioned many times before, Germans are not particularly religious but hang on the religious holidays. Most are happy to have a day off or the ability to create a long weekend. Highways are jammed at the beginning and end of each artificial vacation break. Because so many of these holiday are tied to Easter in their timing, the calendar is packed in the second quarter of the year. Clever planners are able to take fourteen or fifteen days of official vacation and stretch that to a month using weekends and Bruckentage, if the holidays fall in just the right constellation. Those are the ones that know how to play the system.
Because every day is a holiday for me, I do not need Bruckentage. I simply have to pay attention, because all shops close on holidays. One must stock up for the day. I do feel less guilty about having such an enjoyable life on a day when others should be enjoying theirs...
Special Bonus Pack: German Word of the Day + Flower or the Day.
This is a strange word, the origin of which I can only surmise. A peony (paeonia officinali) is called Pfingstrose. Pfingsten is Whitsuntide, so I don’t know what a flower has to do with a religious celebration. Perhaps, the name came from blossoming at a certain of year.
Anyway, a Pfingsterose by any other name would be just as lovely...
The word for today is das Tor, which might be a bit mundane, but there’s a reason for it’s choice. This word has several meanings: gate, door (of a garage), goal (both the thing with the net and the bit that ends up on the scoreboard). This is not to be confused with Tür, which is simply a door, either to the house, in the house, or on the cupboards. The most well-known Tor outside Germany is the Brandenburger Tor, which used to symbolize the boundary between East and West Berlin. Now, it’s a tourist attraction. Most large cities have one or more historic gates marking their ancient walls, long since gone.
Why did I choose this word? It’s simple. Today, I ordered new doors for our garages. Although, beside the point, I was astounded at the advances in garage door technology. The company offered both house doors (Tür) and garage doors (Tor). I have no idea about the origin of the difference, which have been melded into one in English. This is just one more cultural difference added to the burden of the poor immigrants struggling to understand a strange culture...
The German word for easter is Ostern, which should be easy to figure out, because east is Ost. I do not know what “east” has to do with this religious day and do not plan to seek the answer. The whole affair is suspect...
Germans celebrate this festival by decorating trees with colored eggs or flowering branches (Japanese cherry, forsythia, pussy willow--okay, so it’s not a flower, the branch serves the purpose). A few even attend church service...
The German word for today is Geier, which is a vulture. This word also refers to a person that is overly greedy and preying upon weak or stupid people for their own benefit.
This word came to mind, when I noticed an article about a Chicago law firm plane planning to file a class action suit against Boeing and Malaysian Airline. They want to represent as many families of victims as possible and will claim mechanical failure. Of course, they do not care that the plane has not been found or that any evidence of the cause will not be available for a long time, if ever. The main thing is to file suit.
But, as you probably know, some lawyers are all-seeing, all-knowing deities, so facts are irrelevant.
Which calls for some humor...
An airliner was having engine trouble, and the pilot instructed the cabin crew to have the passengers take their seats and get prepared for an emergency landing.
A few minutes later, the pilot asked the flight attendants if everyone was buckled in and ready.
"All set back here, Captain," came the reply, "except the lawyers are still going around passing out business cards."
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.