We have returned from visiting the boyfriend’s family, and already he’s disappeared again to help set up for a conference that’s taking place in Karlsruhe from tomorrow. Never mind… it gives me plenty of time to catch up with the blogging world.
1. First up is Morbid Holiday, a site which describes itself as being “updated daily with a new offbeat comic or cartoon”. Unfortunately, the artist only did the daily thing for one year, so updates are now sporadic at best (there was a post yesterday, but before that there hadn’t been any updates since October) but if, like me, you only found it now, you have a whole year’s worth of hilarious comics to go through. My favourite is the real Cookie Monster:
I know, I know… two posts in one day. How sad am I? 😉 But having no time at all to blog yesterday meant I completely missed the Stamp of Approval Saturday link up at Ifs, Ands & Butts. And I really, really need to share this with you.
What is an Alot, you ask? Well, in the words of the author, “The Alot is an imaginary creature that I made up to help me deal with my compulsive need to correct other people’s grammar. It kind of looks like a cross between a bear, a yak and a pug, and it has provided hours of entertainment for me in a situation where I’d normally be left feeling angry and disillusioned with the world. ”
If you have ever been annoyed at somebody’s inability to use an apostrophe or actually hit the space bar between words, you NEED to read this post. If you’re anything like me, the Alot will soon become your new favourite animal…
Over the next few days, I’ll be publishing a series of posts about what I did on Berlin. And naturally the first of these has to be dedicated to the marvellous Eddie Izzard – the main reason we went there and something I’d been wanting to do for at least ten years. And Mr Izzard did not disappoint. The show was exactly as funny as I was expecting. I don’t want to give too much away, but for those who are familiar with his previous tours, Darth Vader makes a return (as does Penne all’arrabbiata – which I’ve just had to look up the spelling for. How many b’s??). Force majeure is, of course, a French word that literally means superior force. In legal terms, however, we speak of an act of God… and so, as you might have expected, religion was a topic – including the fact that Charles I of England was obviously not appointed by God, no matter what he believed, otherwise the whole beheading thing probably wouldn’t have worked out (watching Eddie Izzard do the actions for an axe boinging off somebody’s neck was hilarious!). Other topics include human sacrifice, the simplicity of the English language (spoon, spoons…. none of this gender lark!) and ghost cows wondering round a New York hotel. A slightly surreal sounding mixture, but if you were there I’m sure you would have laughed just as hard as I did!
We weren’t allowed to take photos during the show (obviously), but here’s a rather blurry one of the poster advertising it:
Sardonic Salad is a webcomic that I came across after seeing one of their cartoons on Facebook. Once I started looking at the site, I just couldn’t stop! Here are some of my favourites from their cartoons:
There are more, but I think I should stop now and let you go see the rest for yourselves. Here’s the link: http://sardonicsalad.blogspot.de/ (plus clicking on any of the pictures should also take you directly to the specific cartoon).
Seen anything on the Internet that you approve of this week? Then you should link up with Alex, too!
And on an entirely unrelated note, I read today that one of my favourite authors died on Wednesday, aged 69. RIP James Herbert! Haunted was one of the first “adult” books I read (when I was about 13) and it scared the pants off me! Sad to think there will never be another book by him.
After not blogging all weekend, you’d think I’d have lots to say today, but my mind is completely blank.
I know need to do another post for my 30 German towns before 30 series, but that will have to wait until I have the patience to upload photos. This computer becomes unbelievably slow if I even think about pressing the “Add media” button. For one photo I don’t mind, but each of the posts in my before 30 series has taken over an hour to complete! So instead, have a cartoon. I originally saw it on Facebook and it seemed oddly appropriate given the events of earlier this month…
Quite a few of the bins in Mannheim currently have speech bubbles stuck on them, saying things like “Don’t throw it away, give it to me!” (in German, obviously). I assume it’s part of some campaign to get people to keep te place tidy.
There’s one particularly bin that used to say “Bekomme ich deinen Kaugummi?” – “May I have your chewing gum?”
As you can see, someone has stuck a white sticker over the “Kau” part, leaving the word “Gummi”… German slang for condom.
Why yes, dustbin. If I’m ever so overcome with lust that I can’t resist stripping and getting down to it right in that carpark behind you, you may certainly have my chewing gum.
It made me smile anyway.
Here’s something else that made me smile recently:
I spotted this tiny little snowman sitting on the roof of a car yesterday evening. I’m glad somebody managed to find some enjoyment in the March snow! (What season is this again? Last week I could have sworn spring was on its way…)
I’ve been in Germany for a while now, and gradually I’ve been noticing signs that I’m becoming assimilated. Pretty soon I’ll be eating Sauerkraut* at least once a day and wearing a Dirndl to work.** If you’re afraid you, too, might be turning German here are a few ways to tell:
You own both indoor and outdoor scarves. Back in England, it would never have occurred to me to wear a scarf while inside a building. In fact, I’m not sure I owned a scarf at all after the age of about 10! In Austria, a learned that when you live in a country where it snows all year round*** you need a scarf. Now I own scarves in all colours and thicknesses, including ones that would be pointless in a snowstorm but make pretty accessories for indoor use.
Speaking of scarves, you may be turning German if you put one on when you have a sore throat. Before Germany, I knew sore throats were caused by bacteria or viruses (or shouting too much) and needed to be soothed with Lemsip, Strepsils and a nice cup of tea. Now, I’ll put a scarf on thinking “letting the cold air get to it probably doesn’t help…“. I haven’t quite got to my boyfriend’s level yet – he’ll wear a scarf in bed if he has a cold!
You are no longer surprised when something with “salad” in the name turns out to consist of precisely one ingredient, plus sauce. Yes, this happens in Germany. For example, if you heard the words “sausage salad”, what would you expect? Sausage, of course, but perhaps some actual salad leaves as well? Maybe something like this Spiced sausage salad, containing chorizo sausage, but also potatoes, onions and *gasp* salad leaves! Not so in Germany. A Wurstsalat (which literally translates as “Sausage salad”) looks like this (I have no photo because I hate the stuff, so I pinched this from the Internet, specifically from here: http://www.gasthaus-lentz-berlin.de/v/essen/Wurstsalat.jpg.html):
Yes, that is basically a plate of meat with a few onions thrown in and some herbs for decoration. Schweizer Wurstsalat comes with an extra ingredient – cheese. So you essentially get a pile of sausage strips with grated cheese. Tasty! There is also Tomatensalat (chopped up tomatoes, maybe some onions if you’re lucky, and salad dressing) and – my “favourite” – Gurkensalat, Cucumber Salad. A bowl of sliced cucumbers with some salt, pepper and vinegar. I wish I was joking…
You bake a cake to take in for your colleagues when it’s your birthday. Before coming to Germany, it would never have occurred to me to bring goodies to work for my special day. Surely the birthday girl is supposed to be the recipient of nice things? Not in Germany…
You automatically take your shoes off when you enter someone’s house.I don’t make people take theirs off at my place though (unless it’s snowing). Neither do I keep extra pairs of indoor shoes (“Hausschuhe”) for guests.
You are no longer surprised when you see dogs in restaurants (and bars, and shopping centres…). And I don’t mean little handbag sized dogs… I’m talking Golden Retrievers here!
You’re invited to a barbecue and bring your own meat along. The host may provide salad (maybe even with more than one ingredient ;-)) and baguette, but when it comes to steaks and sausages if you don’t bring your own you ain’t getting any! Not that I would ever turn up anywhere empty handed, but I’ve never been to a barbecue in England where I was restricted to eating only the meat I brought along…
You know what the Alt Gr key on your keyboard is for and use it all the time.
True story: when I first came to Germany, I had no idea how to get the @ symbol. I could see it on the keyboard, mocking me from its place on the Q key, but could not figure out how to get it to appear on my screen. I resorted to googling “at symbol” and pasting it from there so I could log in to Hotmail. A week later, someone finally showed me what to do.
Fellow Germany dwellers, have you started turning German yet? And do you have any more to add?
* I don’t know a single German who does this. ** Only Bavarians (and Austrians) wear Dirndls and I’m pretty sure even they don’t wear them for work… unless they work in a restaurant where “traditional dress” is the uniform. *** It’s not strictly true that Austria has snow all year round. It did snow for almost the entire time I was there, but that was an extreme year.
My dad sent me this joke a while ago, and as I have nothing else to blog about today I thought I’d share. Fellow northerners will appreciate it. Southerners perhaps not so much 😉
Fahrenheit Temperature Scale:
50 degrees – Southerners turn on their heating. People in Newcastle plant their gardens.
40 – Southerners shiver uncontrollably. People in Newcastle sunbathe.
35 – Southern cars will not start. People in Newcastle drive with their windows down.
20 – Southerners wear coats, gloves and wool hats. People in Newcastle throw on a t-shirt and girls wear mini skirts.
15 – Southerners begin to evacuate. People in Newcastle go swimming in the North Sea.
Zero – Southern landlords turn up the heat. People in Newcastle have a last BBQ before it gets cold.
Minus 10 – Southerners cease to exist. People in Newcastle throw on a light jacket.
Minus 80 – Polar bears wonder if it is all worth it. Boy Scouts in Newcastle begin wearing long trousers.
Minus 100 – Santa abandons North Pole. People in Newcastle put on long johns.
Minus 173 – Alcohol freezes. People in Newcastle become frustrated because the pubs shut.
Minus 297 – Microbial life starts to disappear. Cows on Newcastle town moor complain of vets with cold hands.
Minus 460 – All atomic motion stops. People in Newcastle begin to stamp their feet and blow on their hands.
Minus 500 – Hell freezes over. Sunderland qualify for Europe.