I used to think Germans behaved strangely in the sun (their manner suspicious, vaguely panicky, a little startled) for the fundamental reason they see very little of it (except for those living in the country’s sunniest city, Freiburg). But living up North these past few months, I have added a second prong to my theorising about the Germans and weather. I now suspect they behave the way they do because one can never be sure, when the sun does eventually come out, whether it will last for 30 seconds, three minutes or three hours and whether, when it disappears, it will be seen again for days or, possibly, weeks.
This is a preview of Living in Germany: Sunlight? What sunlight?.
I’ve already recommended this blog to so many people but I absolutely loved Adam Fletcher’s How to be German in 20 Easy Steps. It’s gone somewhat viral among those of us on Erasmus in Germany because we can relate to so many of the things mentioned and because we all desperately want to learn to be German, obviously.
I loved reading that blog, and generally I love reading anything about “the Germans.” I’ve written about “the Germans,” and yes at times it can seem like a sort of “us” and “them” thing, but that’s just a bit of fun. It’s what we in Ireland would call “having the craic” (.. or in today’s terms “the lols” and “the bants”).
This is a preview of Moving to Germany: Who Are “the Germans”?.
The Irish temperament is quite different from that of the Germans. Photo copyright dpa
The Irish are known for their amazing ability to let things slide and not get too worked up about anything in particular. We’re known for having a good time and not letting things get us down. Even in these dark times of incessant rain and economic doom and gloom, we can always find a way to have a laugh and a good time. We are blessed with this eternal optimism in the form of the phrase “be grand.”
This is a preview of National Temperaments: Germany Versus Ireland.
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.