“Deutschland macht dabei auch ein gutes Geschäft”

Germany is also getting a good bargain in the deal.

What deal you ask? You know, the one the Germans love moaning about so much at the Stammtisch (regulars’ table) these days: How poor Germany has to bail everbody out in Europe (Greece, Ireland, who’s next?) and how said poor Germans are poor victims yet again and blah, blah, tra, la, boo, hoo, hoo.

But there’s always a rest of the story.

Sure, the Germans have to “contribute” the most to this way cool European rescue parachute that keeps getting pulled these days, but they also have the most to gain if everything goes right.

How so? Some call it, I don’t know, refinancing. They borrow the money on the bond market for 3 percent and then loan it to the Greeks and the Irish (and the next folks to come along) for 5.8 percent. If these countries die Kurve kriegen (turn the corner), then the money comes rolling back in–and a big sweet profit to boot.

So dry your eyes over there at the Stammtisch already and take a deep breath after you order your next beer. Es wird alles gut. Everything will turn out good in the end. Maybe even real good.

“Wer sich selbst am Anleihemarkt für knapp drei Prozent refinanziere und an Krisenländer wie Griechenland und Irland Kredite zu einem Zinssatz von 5,8 Prozent ausreiche, könne selbst ordentliche Gewinne einstreichen.”


Americans caught reflecting Germany’s critical media views

In an embarrassing embarrassment following Wikileaks’ leak of leaked US despatches, US diplomats in Germany have been caught making the very same derisive remarks about leading German politicians that Germany’s critical media makes.

Among other shocking revelations, it was revealed that US officials see Angela Merkel as being someone who “avoids risk,” Guido Westerwelle as being “arrogant” and Wolfgang Schäuble as being “an angry old man.”

“This is all just too embarassing to even describe,” said one anonymous high-level American diplomat wearing a brown paper bag over his head. “The leaking the leak part was bad enough, but to be caught red-handed like this expressing the very same views about German leaders that Germans themselves hold of them is just like, I dunno, I’m just so ashamed. And not worthy. But that’s not an official statement or anything. And turn that camera and mike off already, will ya?”

This pig didn’t have any pig

One of my favorite German idioms is “having pig” (Schwein gehabt) = got lucky. But this little piggy had none.

Normally quite Tierlieb (kind to animals), Germans verstehen kein spaß (can’t take a joke) when people, or in this case pigs, start rooting around in their butcher’s shops, in broad daylight, frightening customers and taking employees hostage and stuff like that.

So this Wildschwein (wild boar) got the Wild West treatment and was, well, butchered at the butcher’s shop–bang, bang, bang!

Personally, I find this “under all sow” (unter aller Sau) = beneath contempt. I mean, all he was doing was “letting the sow out” (die Sau rauslassen) = painting the town.

“Das stattliche Tier war geradewegs in eine Metzgerei hineinspaziert und hatte das Personal und eine Kundin in Angst und Schrecken versetzt.”

And the loser is…

Don’t park here.

There’s only one thing Germans like to do more with their cars than wash them. You guesed it, it’s parking them.

And that’s why finding the proper parking garage is so important here. And that’s why German parking garages are checked out on a regular basis by the ADAC mafia. And that’s why that one up there is the miesestes (lousiest) parking garage in all of Germany: Hamburg’s City-Hof Parkhaus. And here I was sure it would be that piece of crap one I’ve had to use twice now here in Berlin.

But in the category “Drivability” (Navigability?) it got a big fat 0, which is, I must admit, relativley low.

Funny though, I never thought you had much choice in the matter of where you get to park your stupid car when you have to park it in a certain stupid part of town, but whatever.

“Die Auf- und Abfahrten zu den Parkebenen sind zu steil, haben eine Neigung von 19 Prozent. Aufsetzen und Schäden am Auto können die Folge sein. Bei Gegenverkehr muss man oft den Rückwärtsgang einlegen.”

Street View Egging Update

No good “anti-privacy vandals,” egging Street View opt-out homes like that.

It’s folks like this (the vandals, not them there folks up there) that give Street View a bad name in this country. Other than Google itself, I mean.

And the latest bizarre German Street View shot? How about this one: Capturing the birth of a baby on a street in a Berlin suburb, “although there are question-marks over the veracity of the incident.”

“We respect people’s right to remove their house from Street View and by no means consider this to be acceptable behaviour,” a Google spokesperson said.

Who’s clueless now?

“About two weeks ago, Germany’s finance minister described U.S. economic policy as “clueless.” We don’t want to sound childish…

But after yet another bailout for an insolvent European country – about $137 billion for Ireland – we are inclined to ask: If the United States is clueless, what does that make Germany? The de facto leader of the crisis-ridden, 16-nation eurozone, Berlin has not performed its role brilliantly over the past year.”


Fehlalarm des Tages (false alarm of the day):  A suitcase at the Düsseldorf Main Station.

“Rebound” time?

For years, Germany did little to stem the flow of its nationals to jihad training camps, believing its decision not to participate in the war in Iraq meant it was off the jihadist radar-screen.

Western intelligence officers who met with their German counterparts after 9/11 say they received lectures about the country’s determination not to sacrifice civil liberties in the fight against terror.

The key members of the jihad cell now thought to be plotting attacks on Germany were recruited from a Hamburg mosque were 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta used to pray. The mosque was closed down after the 9/11 attacks, but then allowed to reopen (until they closed it down for good waaay later-blogger’s note).

That decision was an error.”


But now for something completly different–the latest episode in the ongoing German Street View Saga: German Google fans are now throwing eggs at the pixelated homes (the real ones) of Germans who had decided to opt out of Street View. Never a dull moment around here I tell ya.

Street View way cool after all

Now that Google’s Street View is up and running in Germany, many of the very Germans so entsetzt (horrified) at the Datenkrake (data octopus) invading their privacy in the first place finally get to see how way cool this service really is and are now horrified that their homes have been pixelated without their permission–although this naked guy down here in his trunk in Mannheim was obviously thrilled with the Street View concept right from the start and wasn’t pixelated one tiny little bit, though he maybe shoulda outta been.

Many of these horrified Germans have now asked to have their pixelated homes unpixelated again ASAP but unfortunately this is now no longer possible, says Google, as one of the conditions for introducing Street View to Germany in the first place, as demanded by Germany’s horrified data security officials, was the immediate destruction of all photographic raw material once the data has been entered into the Street View database.

Lots of German real estate and tourism companies are upset about this unfortunate pixelization process too, by the way.

But hey,  you can’t displease all of the people all of the time, I guess.

“In keinem der 26 anderen Street-View-Länder gab es am ersten Tag einen solchen Zulauf wie in Deutschland., gab Google bekannt.”