Category Archives: Uncategorized

Folk Music cool double hand clapping

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.

Listen to this recording of Broom Bezzums playing live at Radio Eins, Berlin. Slide the play bar to listen at time 24:17 to 24:42 and you will hear what a difference the double clap can make.

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!


not fucking du and sie – again!

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.


A funny time on the autobahn

Driving home to Berlin from Opa’s house – a long 6 hour drive. We are tired and road noise makes it difficult to hear what people say.

The autobahn at night is bad enough, but my youngest boy in the back seat is doing his best to make it even more nervewracking by continually crackling a plastic drink bottle.

I snap: “Stop clicking your bottle“…


Angry shout from back seat: “I am not picking my bottom”


The German Halloween Bonfire

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.

Feurwehr  use chip fat, not petrol


Why is the meat so big and the roll so small?

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


A crone for halloween

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!



Advancement through technology

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…

(-yes,  know it’s aspergers)

This guy is an arsehole which is nothing to do with an arseburger.



Electric Gates and Bad Haircuts

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.

Is this really flattering?