Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Handbags at Twenty Yards

Handbags.

Damn useful for keeping stuff in.

Purse, credit cards, keys, make up- loads of uses and essential for the modern burds around town.

Also, it appears a trend for 21st century German man, (mannsch) to adopt.

Now, is this just gay or screaming hommie gay...?

Saturday, 27 May 2006

Laugh? I Pissed Myself...

Walking into town today I took the usual route which include some roads that are cobbled. These roads are not particularly user friendly for push bikes and once again "Mr Arrogant Twat on Two Wheels" decides he has right of way on the pavement to avoid jarring his bony arse and hurled abuse at me as I flattened myself against the wall to allow him to pass. Tosser.

So what's funny about that then? Listen on:

As I recovered from my encounter with the rider I saw a car driving very slowly up the road towards me and I noticed the reason for the lack of speed. It was a Chav Mobile (yes, they have them here too) and his spoiler was ultra low making it difficult to drive on the cobble stones.

It was at this point that the Chavster must have got fed up at his lack of progress and he put his foot down. Unfortunately, it was also at this point that the road dipped slightly and the whole of his front spoiler got ripped off!

That was enough to send me into hysterics but it got better- the cyclist also observed all of this and was laughing so hard that he drove into the kerb and promptly fell of his bike in a painful heap.

Naturally I rushed to his aid.










Did I fuck- funniest thing I have seen all tour and I'm still pissing myself now.

Tourist Trials

I'm not sure why, but in all of the major cities I have been to in Germany I have been stopped by someone either asking for directions, or help with finding somewhere. To date that is at least twenty or more times.

If they're cute I'll do my best. If they're not I'll lapse into English, and if they're objectionable I'll send them on their merry way in any direction I care to choose so long as it is in entirely the wrong way.

I really can't understand why they think I'm a local unless perhaps it's the leather shorts, pork-pie hat (with feathers) and my goose step that gives them the wrong impression...?

Vaters Tag

Snigger all you want in the back rows but it's just "Father's Day", all right?

And here instead of using any old Sunday for an excuse to sell vastly expensive and twee cards, they go the whole hog and make it a Thursday and a Bank Holiday to boot. Neat, eh?

Naturally the men use it as an excuse to bog off down the pub for the whole day to either celebrate their achievement of siring off-spring or, in my opinion, to drown their sorrows and most of the pubs open at 9.00 am to help them achieve their aim.

Our local even went a step further by offering a free pint and burger if you brought a picture of your child(ren) as proof you were a father!

Not one to miss out on a freebie I happened to "borrow" my cousin's photo of her two nephews but my cunning plan didn't quite work out.

"But both the kids have blond hair and blue eyes, Sir" (still at the "sie" point and most awfully polite.)

"Yes, from my wife's side" (smug retort)

"I see, but your wife is next to you and she is a brunette."


Damn clever these Germans...

Da, da, da, da...da, do, do, do...

I'll name that song in eight...

"We" don't know how lucky we are in England. It's all you and that's it.

Now in Germany (and indeed France, but there it's "tu" and "vous" and anyhow that doesn't fit in with my snappy title. Speaking of which, does anyone know the song I'm referring to?) it's either "sie" or "du", the first being for formal/polite situations and the latter for friends and social occasions.

Simple, eh? Is it shite! Even in the pub the waitresses refer to you as "sie" and how informal an environment is that??

It's all most confusing...

Friday, 19 May 2006

Next Phase

OK chaps, we're now off to "flat sit" my cousin's place whilst they spend a deserved two week break away on holiday. We're looking forward to this a great deal as it is further out of the city by a river and a forest so we can grab a bit of R & R, away from the hustle and bustle of Berlin centre.

This does however mean we'll not get so much access to the internet for the next fortnight so you get a break from us too. See, everyone wins.

Tschüss. :-D

German Sense of Humour

It is a well known fact that Germans, supposedly, do not have a sense of humour. However, having spent nearly two months here I can assure you all that is not true and give you the following example as a demonstration:

English Joke:-

*Knock, knock*

"Who's there?"

"Maybe it's a big horse?"

"Maybe it's a big horse, who?"

"Maybe it's a big horse, I'm a Londoner, that I love London town..."

German Joke:-

*Knock, knock*

"Come in..."


See? Absolutely outstanding!

Seriously though, you think the Germans are without humour? Wait until the national team starts playing in the forthcoming World Cup.

Saturday, 13 May 2006

Herr Kutt in Germany

Yes, well I thought that the title was bloody witty, OK?

Wifey decided that she wanted a hair cut and despite my offer to give her the once over with the clippers, she demanded a professional see to her locks and so we wandered off to find such an establishment.

Throughout our travels in Deutschland so far, we have noticed a chain of hairdressers called the "Haircut Factory" and their approach is quite unique. You stroll in, grab a ticket and then have a seat until your number is called- a bit like the deli at Sinsbury, and then you simply tell them what you want. It's the same for burds and blurks and the price is identical!

So wifey goes for the short back and sides, get's it washed and cut and all they want is €9.00. Yes, that's six pounds thirty in your quaint English currency.

Not only is it one of the best cuts she's had in ages but compare that to what it costs back in England- at least thirty five quid.

Rip off Britain? I should co-co...

Thursday, 11 May 2006

Pictures

Or the distinct lack thereof.

We have brought the camera and we will take some pictures at some point, but our laptop/cables are in Hamburg and we're in Berlin so can't upload for the moment.

Expect a bog-full when we go back to Hamburg then.

En Guarde

Here's a tip for you when using German public transport.

When you buy your ticket (and you have to buy a ticket), get it date/time stamped at the machine before you embark on your journey.

The rozzers here go undercover and even the harmless, grey-haired, sweet old lady could be the Feds in disguise. And she was...

If you haven't got a ticket or it's not validated, you're toast so be warned.

*smug git mode off, having bought a ticket and seen someone get nicked*

Tuesday, 9 May 2006

Advantage K'Tel...

As I mentioned, my cousin and her husband were over at the weekend for a barbequeue and they offered us their flat to look after whilst away on holidays. We greatfully accepted the kind invitation to extend our stay in Berlin for another two weeks but in the course of further conversation, hubby made us another offer.

"Would you two like to visit the German Open and watch some tennis? The forecast is hot and sunny, it's a world ranking championship (ladies only) and there'll be a bit of a buffet as well."

We consulted our diary and noted that we could free up time to attend...

Monday, 8th May 2006 and we arrive at the Qatar German Open (hubby is senior sales executive with Qatar Airlines*, no less!) to be greeted with VIP passes to all areas and games. We've got a private box in the Steffi Graf Stadium (yes, her- she began her amazing career at this venue) which served complimentary drinks and snacks, including plonk, all day long and of course we had access to the Qatar Hospitality Suite!

* Gratuitous plug: Go fly with Qatar Airlines, they're brill and their country looks absolutely amazing- just take a spare suitcase for your spending money. :)

I cannot begin to do justice as to the splendour and luxuary of this Suite- dining was catered for by Intercontinental Berlin (ie first class) and we had a choice of al fresco in the beaming sunshine, or inside a huge tent which had been made up to look like an Arabian Palace. Naturally as one of the main sponsors of the event we had a great big posh table and as it was the opening day, we had it all to ourselves as the true VIPs only arrive mid-week onwards (the championship is on for a full week.)

As usual we had not taken breakfast so our appetites were set at maximum to make full use of the food. Bleedin' 'ell, what a spread!

Steaks (both lamb, beef and swordfish), bratwürste, chicken, kebabs, salads, breads/rolls, Chinese food, cold meats and cheeses, vegetarian food, fresh exotic fruits and such a choice of desserts you'd pass out just counting them. In fact there is so much I have missed off this list to save time and to avoid intense envy! Truly remarkable and off course, a free bar with all types of drinks.

Oh, and we did watch some tennis too, which was much better live than on TV. (I used to be a big fan in the days of Borg, Connors, McEnroe etc [I even saw Borg play live at Roland Garros, the French Open]) But nowadays it's all too samey with base line rallies lasting a gazillion years so I gave up watching. However, I have to say yesterday it was a pleasure to see some live tennis.

Some of the names you may recognise that are due to play this week are: Amelie Mauresmo (FRA), Mary Pierce (FRA), Martina Hingis (SUI)- saw her! Serena Williams and far too many more to list but a lot of Russian and Croatian stars.

So, that was our Monday, how was yours...?

Sunday, 7 May 2006

More Jam Than a Berliner...

My cousin and her husband have recently moved into a huge flat in a lovley rural and peaceful part of town (on the outskirts of the city) and they are due to take a fortnight's holiday to Bhurma, mid May.

Er, would we mind staying on in Berlin another couple of weeks to look after the flat whilst they're away?

Oh, all right then.

*sigh*

How cool is our family? :-D

Take Me to Your Leader

In the good old days of little green men (LGM) from out of space (as opposed to nowadays being non-racist, sexist and "colourist" {galaxyist?} etc) who'd land on Earth and request to be taken to the powers that be; it was all pretty straight forward.

LGM: "Take me to your leader, English Blurk (EB)"
EB: "Why of course, dear chap. Won't you step this way?"

And off he'd be whisked without fuss and bodily contact.

Similar scenario in Germany.

LGM: "Take me to your leader, German Blurk (GB)"
GB: "At vonce, meiner neu Freund. Goose schteppen Sie diesen way, ja?."

Follwed by much strenuous shaking of the hand.

Now France.

LGM: "Take me to your leader, French Blurk (FB)"
FB: "Ah bien sur mon ami. Marche avec moi, s'il vous plait"

This time with a peck on the cheek.

And Italy?

LGM: "Take me to your leader, Italian Blurk (IB)"
IB: "Bon journo, latero, latero we see il Leadero, but first-a-ment we tak-ah the long luncheo."

Followed by long hand pumping and kisses to both cheeks.

Which finally leads me to the point of this post (big hurrahs in the background). It's all gone tits up when it comes to greetings.

All the countries now use all the available means to say "hi" and no one seems to have the first idea of what the etiquette is.

We now shake hands in England. We kiss in Germany and do both in France and Italy. In fact, that isn't even a fact. We do all mixture of greetings irrespective of which country we happen to be in.

I say enough. I demand we have a European mandate that lays down exactly what we are meant to do in each country and forever ban those embarrassing pauses when you think to yourself "shite, now what?" when being introduced to someone.

As a suggestion I propose the following for consideation but please feel free to add further ideas.

Blurk to blurk: Shake hands and that's it. No gurlie kisses or any other nancy stuff. I mean, really.

Burd to burd: Snogging permitted, nay encouraged, unless one or other is a mungler and then a dainty wave will suffice. If both are mingers, free paper bags are to be provided.

Blurk to burd: If said burd is non-mungler/minger or munter snogging with tongues is perfectly acceptable.


Now go out and practise...

Smirkin'

I cannot believe that in a country like Germany, with all its rules, health and safety ideals, "green" ideas and general well being, the amount of people who smoke!

Virtually everyone does, everywhere, all the time and I am truly suprised.

Even England (hardly the fore-runner of health conscience legislation) is about to make smoking illegal in public places next year and as yet the Germans happily chuff away at every oportunity and with great gusto. Even whilst standing at a pedestrian crossing waiting for the little red man to turn green.

I suppose the price, at approximately €3.00 a pack (~ two quid) is hardly off putting but really, are they so intent on killing themselves?

Still, it's not for me to question the "Master Race" but merely to wonder at its shortsightedness. I do so hope that that word is legit and spelt correctly- all I see in Germany are words that are usually three pages long...

Friday, 5 May 2006

Landed Safely

As the title fiendishly suggests we arrived safely in Berlin a couple of days ago and we've managed to find an internet cafe that is open and doesn't try and arrange a mortgage to cover the use of the web.

First impressions of the city is that it is huge. Large. Big. BLOODY MASSIVE. Get the picture?

I've got lost just coming out of the flat (although those that know me won't be surprised at this startling confession) so I expect we'll be spending quite sometime here, just exploring what there is to offer in this magnificent place.

The weather here is glorious too. Bright, sunny and at least 26 degrees Centigrade (for we are truly European, n'est-ce pas?) so we're shlepping around in our winter kit and frying. Time to bust the budget and get some cooler (although my fashion sense has always been this) clobber 'cos summer has arrived! Hope all is well back home too. *snigger*

Once again all is well with the food- even wifey's found some edible, non-pig stuff and last night we popped out for a curry. It never ceases to amaze me that you can be fluent in German and yet still carry an Indian accent. Just imagine your standard English/Indian waiter but speaking German. I couldn't stop giggling. :-D

The curry itself was authentic too; non of your red-paint-on-the-chicken dish just dead good scoff and cheap too. Couple of veggie dishes, lamb-something, salad, rice, roti bread, dips etc and drinks and it all came to about 14 quid for the two of us. As I keep saying, the diet starts in Poland.

Not much else to report aside from we're having fun in the sun and hope to be back here to continue the "let's piss off the people in England" bit. How is Rooney doing by the way? ;-)

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Berlin By Bus

Is what we're doing tomorrow.

Leaving Hamburg, the car and all our collective shite for a few weeks to have a good old wander around Berlin and meet up with my three cousins and aunt- all burds.

The plan was to originally drive to Berlin but there's no need for a car there, they drive like lunatics in the City anyway and cost-wise, it's 18E per person to get there from here so it's much cheaper in petrol alone.

Not been back to Berlin for quite a few years so another part of the adventure begins and something I'm realy looking forward to.

Anything to avoid work, eh?

Hopefully we'll have better access to internet cafes so expect more updates than here, you lucky people.

Mali @ St Pauli

Last Friday we were at St Pauli's football ground (second league team in Hamburg) and I really fancied watcing the game the next day (Saturday). Unfortunately we'd arranged to meet up with an old pal for a barbeque round his place in the afternoon and felt it was bad manners to cancel so late in the day (sure- the last time we'd met was over 20 years ago...) and so, despite the queues of mental fans we looked around a bit and left.

We got back to where we were staying and M (mother of said old pal) 'fessed up and said she'd made a slight error and that seeing it was a Bank Holiday the BBQ was in fact on the Sunday. Arrghhh.......

However, M generously said she'd drive us to the ground the next day so we could get tickets and still watch the match, which was a dead good result as it's a good half an hour by train to the ground from the house.

We got there as the ticket office was just opening up and I went up and asked (in my bestest German accent) if they had two tickets.

"What for?"

"The game today, please"

"Er, sorry pet that was played yesterday!"

Exactly the time we were wondering why so many fans had been queuing to get tickets (I did wonder why the rush at the time but it was too busy to ask).

So a case of Mali .....at St Pauli....twice....not.


Double bollocks!