Clever Move

To let German service members ride their country’s trains for free.

Train

None of the Bundeswehr’s transportation systems work so this way they’ll still be able to make it to combat operations on time. Although, on the other hand, Germany’s railway isn’t the most reliable these days either.

German service members in uniform and their children will be allowed to travel for free on trains in Germany, beginning next month. Germany’s minister of defense and the head of Deutsche Bahn came to an agreement Monday in Berlin, allowing military members from each branch to ride all of the national railroad service’s trains at no cost, together with their children up to the age of 14. Spouses will still have to pay their own way, a German Defense Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Jesus Just Left Chicago

Madrid, actually. But once she got to Germany nobody offered her a place to sit.

Greta

Nobody needed to. She also had a first class ticket. But that’s beside the point or something. I just don’t get it. Doesn’t Greta HERSELF have her own special train or, you know, mobile field headquarters or something along those lines?

Climate activist Greta Thunberg and Germany’s national railway company created a tweetstorm Sunday after she posted a photo of herself sitting on the floor of a train surrounded by lots of bags.

The image has drawn plenty of comment online about the performance of German railways.

Wir wünschen #Greta eine gute Heimfahrt. Und arbeiten weiter hart an mehr Zügen, Verbindungen und Sitzplätzen.

Apartheid Introduced In Germany

Or a form of it has begun creeping in, I should say. Which is creepy enough.

Apartheid

Only this type of apartheid is different. It is the kind practiced in the Muslim world.

Germans, famously open to the influx of strange, new cultural practices and the introduction of bizarre and foreign social customs in their country, have decided to take the initiative and beat their ever-growing Muslim population to the draw, so-to-speak, by establishing the system of gender segregation so popular in the Muslim world today (and soon to be introduced in your country, too).

This move is due, in part, to the fear German women now have of the countless Muslim male refugees who have entered their country in a thoroughly chaotic and uncontrolled manner although of course no one here is actually allowed to say that, you see (I’m not from here).

And how has the ice been broken? Private German rail operator MRB has introduced the country’s first women-only compartments on its service between Leipzig and Chemnitz. This may be a small step for segregation, but it is a giant leap for Islamkind.

In doing so, by the way, MRB and others have gone out of their way to stress that this is “not a response to Cologne attacks.” But what else are they going to say? If you tell folks the real reason you might hurt somebody’s feelings. And that would be cruel. And very unusual.

“We can’t put these ladies in a separate box and expect the bigger problem to vanish.”

Do They Strike This Much In Greece?

European travelers have contended for weeks with the possibility that Greece’s dwindling finances might lead to empty ATMs. They should have concerned themselves instead with Germany.

ATM

While cash machines in Athens are still operating without any trouble, striking couriers in Berlin this week stopped filling ATMs, leading to a crunch for those trying to make withdrawals. And the open-ended labor dispute with a local security company means there’s no end in sight.

Berlin’s strike is the latest in a series of walkouts that have riled a nation more accustomed to mocking the labor strife which has so often beset neighboring France. A strike by train drivers that began Tuesday is paralyzing travel and clogging highways throughout Germany. That action follows a March walkout by pilots at Deutsche Lufthansa AG that led to flight cancellations for 220,000 people.

The End Of An Aura

It’s amazing these sleeper trains have lasted as long as they have, if you stop and think about it.

Night Train

Saturday marked the end of the line for this Paris-Berlin sleeper, at any rate. Slow food might be able to make a stand here and there but it looks like slow travel is definitely out.

Deutsche Bahn, the German rail network which operates the sleeper said the service was incurring debts over €20 million a year and losing out to cheap bus connections and easyJet which offers a regular service between the two capitals. Along with the Paris-Berlin sleeper, overnight train services linking Berlin with Copenhagen and Amsterdam are also being axed.

I Just Hope They Never Develop ICE 9

Get it? Don’t matter. Germany finally has a new ICE train, the ICE 3.

ICE 3

No, not as in three years late (although it’s that, too), three as in three hundred freakin’ kilometers per hour. Damn. I wanna ride that puppy, too.

Die Autos auf der parallel verlaufenden Autobahn A3 scheinen zu stehen, wenn der ICE mit Tempo 305 an ihnen vorbeirast.

We Don’t Trust That There NSA One Little Bit

But we’ll, uh, trust them this one time here, maybe.

Trains

Al Qaeda is plotting attacks on Europe’s high-speed rail network, German newspaper Bild reported on Monday, citing a leaked National Security Agency (NSA) report.

The NSA report is based on an intercepted conference call between top Al-Qaeda operatives, in which the terrorist attacks were reportedly a “central topic”.

Berlin has responded to the threat with discreet measures such as deploying plain-clothed police officers at key stations and on main routes, Bild reported.

Der Hinweis stamme vom US-Geheimdienst NSA.

Warning Strikes Led To Big Train Delays In Berlin This Morning

But fortunately, nobody here in Berlin seems to have noticed.

Strike

The trains here are always delayed, get it?

Bei den Warnstreiks der Bahn-Mitarbeiter sind die Berliner relativ glimpflich davon gekommen. Dafür legte ein Zwischenfall den kompletten Schienenverkehr zwischen den Bahnhöfen Zoologischer Garten und Friedrichstraße lahm.

The Trains In Berlin Are Reliable

And don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

Snow

Whenever it snows here, for instance, like it did big time over the weekend, you can rely on a few S-Bahn and Deutsche Bahn stretches to break down in earnest the next day, or in this case Monday.

Germany is a country unfamiliar with snow, you see, or at least I have to assume as much, because much of their technology is not designed to operate in this weird, white and powdery substance.

In their defense, though: I’m not a scientist or anything, but I think all of this more-snow-and-cold-than-usual has something to do with this global warming phenomenon thingy or something. Because its snowing right now, yet again. As we speak, so-to-speak. In the German Spring.

Auf die Bahn ist Verlass: Nach dem Schneefall vom Wochenende brach der S-Bahn- Verkehr am Montag auf mehreren Strecken zeitweise zusammen. Und am Hauptbahnhof wurden am Mittag die Zufahrten vor beiden Haupteingängen gesperrt, weil Schnee und Eisbrocken abrutschten.

Malfunction Is Better Than No Function At All

When Berlin’s entire S-Bahn commuter train system isn’t down and out due to power outages, ice and snow (yet to come this year) or just plain good old fashioned traditional mismanagement, Berliners are asked to show understanding for S-Bahn train drivers who call in sick en masse, about 10 percent of the workforce at the moment.

They don’t do substitute train drivers, I guess, and that 10 percent is enough to cause massive delays on a number of lines here and tens of thousands of commuters to come in late to work, should those folks not have had enough sense to call in sick too, I mean. It’s been about three days now. S-Bahn drivers are sick here, alright. Sick of working. Merry Christmas to you too, pal(s).

“Unsere Personaldecke ist eben nicht hundertprozentig gedeckt, da machen sich krankheitsbedingte Ausfälle sofort bemerkbar.”

PS: Or maybe these guys have just been hitting the Little Red Riding Hood too heavy this week.