The Week in Germany: Voting, Blogging, and Learning German

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People who live, work, and pay taxes in Germany should be allowed to vote in Germany.

I know I would appreciate having the chance.  Monday on The Local

SPD Vice-President Ralf Stegner said on Sunday that “people who live, work, pay taxes, should also be allowed to vote. Why should we withhold this essential civil right from them?””  Read the entire article here.

Advice for bloggers in Europe. How to make the money happen.

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German Cuisine: High Time for Poppy Seeds

by Nadia Hassani

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

“Can poppy seeds get you high?”, is a question that pops up a lot when you search for poppy seeds on the Internet. In fact, consuming only three poppy seed bagels can lead to false positives in over-the-counter drug tests, as demonstrated in a 2003 episode of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters.

Walk into any well-assorted pastry shop in Germany and you will likely find sheet cake, streusel cake, or poppy seed roll with a generous poppy seed filling. These goodies contain many times over the skimpy amount of poppy seeds that are sprinkled onto a bagel. Does this mean that Germany has it own legalized version of Alice B. Toklas brownies, available at any bakery down the street?

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Playmobil Turns 40

from the Piri-Piri Lexicon

Photo copyright Piri-Piri Lexicon

Photo copyright Piri-Piri Lexicon

Germany’s small towns are great at creating and hosting small businesses that specialise in something very particular and quickly take on the world in their own market. Birkenstock, Huf, and Playmobil are some names you may have heard of.

When I was a kid, my brother and I had quite a collection of Playmobil. We would save pocket money to buy some, trade some at toy fairs and ask Santa for more. We still have quite a collection stashed away in my parents’ attic as my younger brother refused to get rid of them. Our children now enjoy them when they visit their grandparents.

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Destination Germany: Sailing in Brandenburg

When you think about summer vacation and water sports in Germany, you probably think about the North Sea, or the Baltic Sea.

Sailing in Brandenburg (dpa)

Sailing in Brandenburg (dpa)

But there’s a wealth of water sports right at the outskirts of Berlin: there are 3,000 lakes to swim in and lots of ways to explore Brandenburg’s waterways by boat – even with an old sailing yacht.
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The Week in Germany: Gifts, Food, Movies

I heart Deutschland.  A street artist has modified traffic lights to show the love.  Photo copyright dpa

I heart Deutschland. A street artist has modified traffic lights to show the love. Photo copyright dpa

German Food: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

“If you ask Germans about their cuisine, they will get that faraway look in their eyes which one gets from some a lot of thinking. Finally, if the people you ask are anything like my German friends, they’ll probably tell you that it’s very bland and tasteless. But they will point out that you can easily buy cuisine from all over the world in Germany which is the plus side.”  Read the entire blog on My Life in Germany.

While we’re talking about food…

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German Cuisine: Cucumber Glut

by Nadia Hassani

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

During my visit to Berlin a few months ago, I stayed in a modest boarding house at the fringes of the Prenzlauer Berg district. I found it hard to believe this quiet neighborhood of unpaved sidewalks (but with high-speed Internet connection) is only a short bus ride away from bustling Alexanderplatz. Next door was an allotment garden. I relished at the sight of the neat flowerbeds with garden gnomes and impeccable lawns on the small lots. Living in rural America, I had forgotten all about this phenomenon of the German urban landscape.

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