A biopic called “Lust for Life” about David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s time in Germany is set for production.
“The time between the two rock titans spent living in their Hauptstrasse apartmen, shopping in KaDeWe and hanging out at Dschungel club resulted in Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy albums (Low, Heroes and Lodger) and Iggy’s Idiot and Lust For Life.” Read the full article here.
Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds
Bye, Bye Benedict
Of course, the biggest bit of news this week has been the resignation announcement of German Pope Benedict XVI. Immediate contraversy spread around the announcement:
This is a preview of The Week in Germany: David Bowie and the Pope.
Nothing can complicate a conversation like a foreign language. Photo (cc) flickr user julien ‘
“Are we using du or Sie?” A woman leaned over to me to ask this question this morning in an exercise class. “Du,” I answered. There was nothing remarkable about the exchange, and afterwards that woman used the information to address the teacher. But still, every time it happens, every time the concept of du vs Sie gets brought up in conversation here I am reminded that I live in Germany. It’s one of those little differences that has not faded into the background of my life.
This is a preview of Learning German: Minding Your Dus and Sies.
You might think that after seven years of living in the same place, you’d be used to all the differences between that place—which in my case just happens to be a different country with a different language and culture than where I was raised—and the one that you still, irrationally, refer to as “home.” And while I might be used to speaking German and having really good bread available cheaply on every corner, there are still those little things. As they say, “it’s the little differences.”
This is a preview of Expat Life: Philosophers and Drafts.
Germans take their relaxation seriously, and the sauna is an important part of their culture. The sauna is more than sitting in the heat for 15 minutes and calling it a day; it’s an event that can take hours.
I confess I’m a total convert to the German sauna experience. I wish travelers would put this at the top of their list when visiting Germany, because I think it’s a way to gain insight into Germany’s culture as well as one’s own. If you open yourself to the experience, you may just find you learn about your own relationship to your body and what your culture says about your body. Plus, it’s a refreshing way to kick the jet lag after a long flight.
This is a preview of The German sauna survival guide.
One thing newcomers have got to learn about Germany is the importance of regional identities: That’s why I posted on state elections in Germany just last week. Especially for Brits, the sheer variation between different parts of this country is astonishing; Germany is far more American than British inasmuch as the capital city is not the be-all-and-end-all of everything – and every city has its own identity markers of which it is exceptionally proud.
So just as each American city has a nickname (Chi-Town, the Big Apple, etc) and a baseball team, no German city would be complete without a major football team, a regular episode of the long-running who-dunnit legend Tatort, and a trademark item of baked goods. Germany is, after all, well known for its penchant for baking, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
This is a preview of Hamburg and the Franzbrötchen: Real Classy.
Our resident Bavarian with his first glass of the morning. Photo Nicolette Stewart.
Beer. Pretzels. Sausages dipped in sweet mustard and horseradish. Sound like fun? Probably. Sound like breakfast? Probably not. But in Bavaria weissbier or weizenbier (both names for wheat beer), weisswurst (white sausages), and bretzeln (pretzels) are a long-standing brunch tradition. And the name of the game is Frühschoppen.
Perhaps you remember the great cheap beer taste test of 2009. Well it turns out one night, six people, and 15 of the cheapest beers that we could find wasn’t going far enough. It was time to go advance to the next level in German beer connoisseur-ship and tackle wheat beer, with a side of sausage and pretzels.
This is a preview of Frühschoppen: German Beer for Breakfast.