In Germany, they hang brightly coloured eggs outside on trees in the weeks leading up to Easter. Sometimes they are real eggs, blown out, self painted and decorated; but only to use inside. Outside they have to be plastic. For the first couple of years I was dismissive; I considered it ridiculous. I have changed my mind.
I have come to realise that flowers show up much later here in Berlin than in Ireland or UK.
St David’s day is March 1st. The symbol of St David’and the Welsh national flower, is the Daffodil. In Wales, by January there are snowdrops, Crocuses and daffodils arrive in Feburary and by March 1st, daffodils are in full bloom in parks, gardens and along the roads. Later, about Easter, Tulips arrive.
But here in Berlin, no such luck. It’s too bloody cold at night. All the flowers delay blooming until late March / early April. Its nice, but a bit like having a firework display with only the finale, its not the same, or as good, as a gradual lead up.
So, German Easter tree decorations, here they are, a nice colourful, cheery, substitute for the flower progression.
Although I would love to live in Ireland again, there are some things that I do not have fond memories of.
Biffing, what a great word, almost like spiffing! A spiffing good biffing! Now that’s something I never heard…
Anyone who thinks a thin bamboo cane doesn’t hurt was never biffed in school as a child. I was caned in school in Ireland between the ages of seven and fourteen. It only stopped at fourteen because we moved.
A 1 cm diameter bamboo cane was the priests weapon of choice. It had a curved handle where they used to hang it from the rope around their waists, with the rosary beads and the crucifix – for fucks sake, the irony.
A cane this size is both stiff and flexible. If it is used with force it acts like a whip, the tip initially lags behind but then catches up with the rest of the cane -travelling much faster. When the cane hits your hand, instantly, at the point of contact you feel a terrible stinging, as if you had been stung 20 times by wasps on every finger (the priests usually hit you in the middle of your fingers). A second or two later the ends of your fingers go numb but also continue to hurt really badly. The point of contact of the cane remains white for some time whilst the rest of your fingers become red and inflamed. Sort of like hitting a finger with a hammer. Normally we were hit six times, three on each hand (perversly termed “six of the best”). Naturally the cane hitting you twice again in a place you had already been hit was exceedingly painful.
As younger children naturally we cried when we were hit; as we got older we would not give those fucking sadist priests the pleasure of seeing us cry. The priests would play sick psychological games on us: when you were sent to stand outside the classroom for some minor transgression (perhaps dropping a pencil more than once), the dean of discipline patrolled the hallways and he would tell you that if he passed by again and you were not back in class, you would be hit. The classroom doors had large frosted glass windows and everyone inside, including the teacher, could see and hear these exchanges. Sometimes the teacher would you let you back in at this stage if you asked, but often he would say no. Sometimes they would let you in without asking.
Although getting hit was bad, I never asked a teacher to let me back in, and I was always beaten. Fuck them. When you walk back in the classroom after being beaten, the teacher and all the other kids knew you could have begged to be let back in, but you didn’t. In some way, it seemed like a small win at the time. I suppose it was. But look how bitter they have left me; their legacy. Fuck religion.
There was an industry in Ireland, a factory or more, which made laminated leather straps for beating schoolkids. They were made with layers of leather with lead or coins sown into them so that it hurt more when they were used for beatings. These straps were specifically for beating school children. This was not during the time of Dickens, this was late 20th Century Ireland – for fucks sake…
This is what the Jesuits beat me with. Bad as it was, the cane hurt more.
I pointed out that this idiot is pushing his self-proclaimed, healthy lifestyle down the throats of the gullible, whilst knowingly or unknowingly serenading ben and Jerry american ice cream. Ice cream made from american milk. Milk which is full of antibiotics and pus, yet somehow BJ ice cream is allowed to be sold in Europe. The U.S. has the highest upper limit for pus (750 000 cells/ml) out of all the major dairy producing countries of the world. The E.U limit is 400 000 cells/ml.
BJ Ice cream has also been found to contain glyphosate:
BRUSSELS, Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — EU and US organizations, led by US-based Organic Consumers Association (OCA), will confirm today at a press conference that samples of Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s ice cream contained glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
Draw your own conclusions. Note, I may have got some facts wrong but I dont think so.
I like folk music. Often people clap along at a live gig. I get it, it’s fun, but it’s also sometimes just a bit granny. For a little bit of effort, if enough people get involved, you can change a mundane hand clap into a great part of the music.
All you need to do is clap “opposite” people who are already clapping. The easiest way to do this is clap twice as fast, using one soft and one hard clap. This does need some rhythm, it it not simply clapping twice as fast; it’s more of a bounce 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 etc.
Try it at home first with a recording so you don’t screw up the timing at a real gig!
I just noticed over past few weeks – in a baumarkt you ask a worker something; if you have bad german skills and are obviously an auslander, 99% of the time they will “du” you in their reply -even if you used “sie” when you first spoke to them.
Is this “just being friendly” or is it a slight which they assume will go unnoticed? or is it just done because “that’s what everyone does”. Children are du, handicapped people are du, and stupid auslanders who cant speak german properly are du – stupid auslanders obviously dont deserve any respect, and if they dont like it they can fuck off back where they came from.
There is a German bonfire night after all; Walpurgis. Same purpose as Halloween, to scare witches and ghouls away, just a different date. Exactly 6 months from Halloween -coincidence?
It’s more like the one I remember from my childhood in Ireland than the crappy guy fawkes ones I’ve seen in Britain (a stack of pallets). Walpurgis bonfire has proper tree trunks piled into a pyramidal pyre. Ok, here it’s the Feuerwehr (what a great name) who do it, not a bunch of 11 year old half-feral bogtrotter kids. Ok, not really bogtrotters, Dublin outskirts – but I like the phrase and rarely get to use it.
Visit the Baumarkt at any time of day and you will see people sauntering around the car park stuffing their face with a huge slab of meat in a tiny roll. From Leberkase to Brarwurst, why is the meat so big and the roll so small?
At first I thought there must be some type of psychological sales aspect to this practice. i.e. look how humongous the piece of meat we are selling you is, it is too big even to fit in the roll.
But it finally dawned on me – there is no psychology going on, it’s really simple: the bread is not supposed to be part of the meal, it’s just a handle for your meat
To the average Germ I probably sound like an old baby trying to speak. If I am lucky, I might remember enough words to formulate a bedraggled sentence -which if it makes any sense at all, proabably means something completely different to what I’m trying to say anyway…
I was waiting in the queue to buy bread today. The wrinkly old crone in front of me paid and was packing her bag. The proprietor looks at me since I am next, I cant think of the words..
– ehh… – I say…
The old crone looks at me and goes Ehh!, Ehhh!! and then blabbers some crap -most likely about my lack of gumption. I had to laugh.
Ich spreke kein deutsch I say. From the look on her face, I don’t think she expected that; then again, maybe the look on her face was: no shit, dumass!
Vorsprung durch Technik – Advancement through technology -this well known Audi tagline should probably be on the German flag.
I’ve come to realize that I am viewing many aspects of life here from entirely the wrong perspective. The impetus for much stereotypical behaviour can be attributed to a nationwide infatuation with technology and technological stuff. Arseburgers syndrome?
This is not a criticism, I love technology and stuff. In fact I’m probably an arseburger myself; but there is often a price to pay, the ability to relate well to others. Is there a predisposition to arseburgership here? If so, I’ll probably be more at home than I realized…
For some reason electric gates are inordinately popular in Germany and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. Do people want to feel like they live in mansions (even if the driveway is only 5M long)? Are they just lazy? Do they have too much money? Did they get one because their neighbour has one? Yesterday I saw Harley rider pull up in front of his gate, stand up, remove a remote control from his trousers and open the gate with it -he was less than 3 feet away…
it would have been faster for him to walk over and open it by hand. I can almost understand it from a car drivers perspective but this was just mad -maybe he wants to get his money’s worth out his expensive electric gate…. or maybe you can’t open them by hand? oops. Ah well, keeps the rif-raff out anyway -oh no, they can use the pedestrian gate…
Motorcyclists seem to go for the Mad Max baddie look here.
In a similar antisocial vein, I’ve just noticed the new style, ‘Hitler’ haircuts -buzz cut sides, long and greasy on top. Apparently they’ve been popular in the US for a couple of years but are only just catching on here.