German Of The Day: Andere Länder Andere Sitten

That means other countries other customs.

Vatertag

Finally, a holiday for the rest of us.

German Oddity 391. Only in Germany is Vatertag or Father’s Day commemorated by hordes of oddly dressed men pulling little wooden wagons overloaded with beer and snaps through wooded areas (or right through the middle of your town) roaring and swearing and pissing all over the place until they vomit on themselves and pass out but not before having called their wives to pick them up and drag them back home again.

Can I Have My False Pleasantries Back?

German facial expression of the day: Staring.

Stare

Oddity 34. You know you are in Germany when you regularly find yourself being stared at for no clearly discernible reason. I don’t know if Germans necessarily like to stare but they sure do it a lot.  A nice term a friend of mine prefers using is “unfiltered curiosity” but it’s staring all the same.

But it’s a wonderful trait: Firstly, you know the person is listening intently (they really are); secondly, since it’s very difficult to look someone in the eyes and speak coherently and come up with pleasant little white lies, the false pleasantries vanish and the conversation becomes honest and true – leading toward a final deep dive into the other’s soul.

Women These Days

After insulting Western men for years by always insisting upon wearing those God-awful pantsuits, Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen has forthwith joined the chore of uppity women who now go out of their way to insult Saudi men by not wearing a hijab.

hijab

“The right to choose your own clothing is a right shared by men and women alike,” the snooty German visitor announced in Riyadh. “It annoys me, when women are to be pushed into the Abaya.”

One so-called man then took a hijab at her by tweeting: “The German Defense Minister is wearing that pantsuit in Saudi Arabia deliberately. And everywhere else she goes, too. This is an outrage and an insult to us all.”

“The German Defense Minister: not wearing the hijab in Saudi was deliberate. This is an insult to Saudi Arabia.”

Anti-Chancellor To Anti-Celebrate Her Anti-60th Birthday Tomorrow

And she’s been running the show here in Germany for about 40 of those sixty years too, I think. But don’t call her Anti, I mean Aunti. Her real name is Mutti.

Merkel

I’d wish you a happy birthday now, Frau Bundeskanzlerin, but Germans like you are very superstitious about doing that before the actual birthday takes place, so I won’t. But I’ll think it now anyway.

Das Talent der Angela Merkel, heraufziehende Chancen und Risiken zu erkennen und – ganz unabhängig von ihrer Überzeugung – opportun darauf zu reagieren, ist gut dokumentiert: beim nach Fukushima plötzlich betriebenen Atomausstieg, beim Ringen um Jean-Claude Juncker, als sie gleich mehrmals die Position wechselte, oder in der NSA-Affäre, in der sie zu Gunsten guter US-Beziehungen lange schwieg und auch angesichts der jüngsten Spionage-Skandale nur symbolisch handelt, um die Deutschen zu beruhigen.

Gerade die größten Erfolge der Kanzlerin bleiben bei einer derartigen Management-Methode unbesungen. Es sind jene Katastrophen, die nicht eingetreten sind, weil vorsichtiges, iteratives Agieren sie verhindert hat. Merkels größter Verdienst ist letztlich jene lang anhaltende Phase der Langeweile, an der Intellektuelle gerade wieder so lautstark leiden.

Justin Bieber To Spank His Monkey

For not having any papers on him after landing in Munich in March. Or he sure would like to spank him now, I bet.

Bieber

The popular god-awful and astoundingly annoying suckling superstar clearly had no idea that German customs authorities don’t cut slack for anybody, not even for monkeys – or a guy who’s last name means “beaver” in German.

His dumbass animal of a monkey “Mally” is still under animal shelter arrest and won’t be going anywhere until Bieber or an actual grownup get in touch with the German customs authorities directly (that is the custom here) and he’s running out of time fast.

This gives Leave It to Beaver a whole new meaning, if you ask me. Whether he spanks his monkey or not.

“Ward, I’m worried about the Beaver.”