One Year in Germany: WM Fever

by Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

The end-of-term workload has begun to pile up quickly. While I’ve been managing to chip slowly away at my three final papers, a game theory exam is still looming on the horizon. To top it off, I’ve got a German C-1 level proficiency exam next week, which will determine if I have the language skills to directly enroll in a master’s program here in Berlin. I’m familiar with the stress from the winter semester, but it’s nevertheless going to be a long couple of weeks before everything is officially over. Luckily however, the World Cup (German: Weltmeisterschaft, or simply WM) is in full swing and helps to take my mind off of all the work. It’s become all the more exciting now that Deutschland has moved on to the final round of the tournament after this week’s remarkable 7:1 victory over Brazil.

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The Week in Germany: Learning German, Blockupy, 1991 Berlin, and Something to Laugh About

Photo: Gratisography

Photo: Gratisography

Wondering why you’re not learning German quickly?

Around the Wherever lists some habits that might be hindering your progress here.

If you followed Blockupy in the news last week

Stadtkind FFM has a link collection of Frankfurt websites that covered or commented on the happens in the city on March 18th.  Find it here.

Travel back in time in Berlin

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The Germans Have a Word for It

by Alie of The Erlangen Expat and Starting Over in Stuttgart

Copyright dpa

Copyright dpa

A lot of articles point at German for being a complicated language full of compound words (you know the ones that hurt your head), but it’s also filled with words that describe a whole situation in one word.

These are some of my favourites :

The present a man brings home when he has stayed out too late or done something wrong ‘Drachenfutter’ literally dragon food.

The feeling of comfiness, coziness and all being well with the world, usually when you have a drink in hand ‘Gemütlichkeit’.

To get together over coffee and chat (or rather, gossip) ‘der Kaffeeklatsch’.

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One Year in Berlin: How German Unis Work

by Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo

As my time in Berlin slowly creeps to a close one of the thoughts that’s constantly been on my mind is the impending “reverse culture shock” that so many travelers have warned me about. I may have spent 20 years of my life in the US, but I have a feeling that a year in Germany has done away with many of my American habits and rituals.

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The Week in Germany: Solar Eclipse, Jörg Fauser, Grad School, and Hamburg

Photo: Gratisography

Photo: Gratisography

There is a solar eclipse today!

And people with solar power are being warned about outages in Germany.  Very conscientious.  Read more here.

Ever heard of Jörg Fauser?

Jörg Fauser is one of Germany’s most overlooked countercultural icons. He “drank more beer than Bukowski and shot more heroin than William Burroughs”, yet still found time to write Raw Material, a savage satire about the decay of the dreams of the sixties. Originally published in German as Rohstoff, this semi-autobiographical masterpiece was translated into English last year.”  überlin are giving away five copies.  Enter (and find out more) here.

Why attend grad school in Germany?

Beer Time with Wagner has seven good reasons for you.  Here.

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German Comfort Food

by Nadia Hassani

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

“Do you want to come over for plum dumplings?”, I asked my friend Gabriele last week after I found a bag of Italian plums in the freezer that I had bought at a farm stand in late summer specifically to make those dumplings. Of course she said yes. Although she has lived in the United States twice as long as I have, she craves that stuff just as much as I do.

So here we were sitting in the kitchen, blissfully digging in. With this type of food, every forkful brings up memories of mothers and grandmothers in their kitchens who made it for us many miles and many years away. Nostalgia lingers in the air, leaving behind a few sprinkles of homesickness like the cinnamon sugar on our plates.

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