Archive for the ‘Pickups’ Category

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Traditional Bavarian Clothing

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

I’d bet the farm that a good number of you out there think that every German man runs around in lederhosen, with a large beer stein in his hand all day long. While the ladies are skipping in their tight-fitting dresses to the bellowing of that big horn from the RICOLA commercial (it’s called an Alpenhorn, if you’re wondering).

It’s not everyday.

A good number of special events (Oktoberfest, weddings, Thursdays — ha, ha) could call for the donning of these outfits, and even you can buy yourself a lederhosen and a dirndl (as the ladies’ dresses are called). You just need to know what it is you’re buying.

Men, lederhosen is one area where you’ve got more to buy than the ladies since there’s a bit more to your outfit. You need your lederhosen, which are leather pants (with a decorative front flap) worn with either a belt or the more traditional suspenders.

Yeah, yeah, most people think the only color it comes in is green, but you’ll find browns and tans too.

Even shirts are embellished, usually with buttons or leather appliques worn under a vest or jacket (each sold separately, BTW); and we mustn’t forget the shoes.

By the time you’re said & done the entire lederhosen getup can set you back €300–400. Beer not included. ;-)

Ladies, the color of the dirndl is limited to the imagination of the designer or the wearer. You’ll find deep purples, rich greens, feminine pinks, and chocolaty browns to name a few, but it’s the tight-fitting bodice, full skirt (with petticoats), and matching (yet, contrasting) apron that makes an average dress a dirndl.

And length is a personal choice. They’re long skirted, short-skirted, and now you’ll find them with a mini-skirt. You’ll also find they’re quite easy to buy online, and a tad less expensive than the guys’ get-up (around €159 for a more economical variety).

You might, however, want to add a charming necklace to the dirndl — as many women do. And men, your outfit’s not complete without your hat.

Well, gotta go. Tomorrow’s Thursday, so time to break out the lederhosen. ;-)

German News And Events

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

We do our best here at MyGermanCity.com and in our G-ZINE to bring you all sorts of information regarding what’s going on in Germany. If you want more German news and cultural events, programs, and even books there are plenty of English sites that’ll give you what you’re looking for.

Deutsche Welle, my personal favorite, is one of the most trusted names in German news. Their website has historical, travel, and other articles for not only the English speaking (reading?) public but in 29 other languages too. Plus, you can watch DW World live on their website.

Thelocal.de is a great site for getting all the info you want for Germany’s major cities (Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, even the Rhineland). They’ll give you up-to-date movie listings (for English speaking movies, no less), restaurant reviews, and other cultural events.

Living or visiting Berlin? Can’t read German? Good thing EXBERLINER knows how to take care of you. They’ve got the best info on life in the capital city with restaurant reviews, listings, classified ads (need an apartment), and nightlife.

The same holds true with The Munich Times. If you want all the non-German language info on current events, sports, politics, and business in the Bavarian city — you don’t have to go any further than right here.

SPIEGEL ONLINE is the online version of Der Spiegel, and they’ve conveniently translated their German, European, and World headline stories from Deutsch to English for you.

Thanks, that’s most kind. ;-)

When trying to keep current of all the cultural events in Germany, you’ve got two choices. The first, Signandsight, might draw some of its “news” from other sites (for which they’ve translated to English for you). It’s said to be all about the “cultural and intellectual life in Germany.” That means books, music, art, etc. Love it!

The second, the Gothe Institute, is also all about German cultural life. You’ll find their website most informative about cultural programs. Plus, they have offices in countless cities around the globe (there’s even one in Kathmandu).

If you hear about any more English-speaking (or reading) websites, be sure to let us in on where to find them by posting a comment below, please? :-)

Is Your Writing Full Of Hot Air?

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Germany has been a leader in innovations for centuries, but now there’s a meter to measure whether you’re full of manure. Oh, isn’t that just a nice way of saying that you very well might be full of…

Nevermind, this is a family-oriented website.

Writers (of German or English) beware, because leave it to us no-nonsense Germans to come up with a website (www.Blablameter.com) that’ll “rate” your words for its level of bull.

If you’re used to using big words (I call them dollar-fifty words), or “bombastic phrases” then you’re sure to score over a “1.” That just a nice way of saying you’re full of hot-air.

Yeah, that’s a nice way to put it.

I did a little homework myself, just so you know, copying a number of articles on German Cities that I scanned through the website. I’m happy to report not a one that I submitted scored the dreaded 1 (or higher). YES!

Blablameter isn’t the only new thing to come out of Germany lately. Lufthansa, Germany’s national airline, is testing a new biofuel on flights from Frankfurt to Hamburg. And the Technical University Munich is working on an affordable electric car (called the Mute).

Innovation that’s eco-friendly. I like it.

The Mute and biofuel aren’t the only ways that innovation and earth-responsible behavior come together. The Deutsche Bahn just signed a renewable energy deal. Even better!

Did I mention that Google’s funding (more than 4 million Euro) a new institute in Berlin, get this, on the Internet’s impact?

OK, maybe this isn’t eco-friendly, but it very well be socially-responsible.

Don’t laugh at all these new gadgets, websites, or studies—Germany’s been at the forefront of inventions for over 500 years.

Did you know that toothpaste, teabags, and coffee filters were all invented by Germans?

I know I’ll be giving thanks to these folks after I’ve brushed my minty fresh teeth and have a cup of grindless filled coffee (which I have time to drink since I don’t have to worry about my words here at MyGermanCity.com being full of hot air). ;-)

A Replica Of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater For Sale On eBay

Monday, August 15th, 2011

It’s official, you can buy anything on the Internet.

I was a bit stunned to see Shakespeare’s Globe Theater for sale on eBay a while back. Not the real Globe Theater in England, but a full-size replica at the famous Babelsberg Studios just outside of Berlin.

The best part? It would’ve only cost you 11.50 Euro to buy it. The down side? It would’ve cost you about 50,000 Euro to have it dismantled and carried away.

You really didn’t think they’d ship it to you in Some Small Town, USA, did you?

Still, would you’ve been interested?

The Babelsberg’s Globe Theater can actually seat 700 people; and is worth an estimated half a million Euro (approx. $716,000 USD). I can just imagine what the neighbors would say if you tried to put this out in your backyard.

It was a gift to the Shakespeare Company Berlin from the German-born director Roland Emmerich (he directed Independence Day with Will Smith) after he made the movie Anonymous.

The studio where this Shakespeare’s Globe sits is pretty historical in its own right; it’s the oldest theater in the world, ready to celebrate its 100th birthday next year.

Did you know that The Blue Angel (the movie that catapulted Marlene Dietrich to stardom) was made here in 1930, and Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis was also made in the studio’s lot in 1927.

More modern movies have been made at Babelsberg Studios (all under the watchful eye of the Globe), including Valkyrie, The Reader (with Academy Award winner Kate Winslet), The Pianist, Inglorious Basterds, and The Ghost Writer.

Not to mention, the approximately 1000 movies made by Joseph Goebbels between 1933 and 1945. OK, they were propaganda films, but in terms of number of movies that’s still a whole lot being made.

If amazing pieces of cinematic art like the Globe Theater (or the closest you’ll get to the real one) were for sale on eBay, I guess it is true; you can buy anything on the internet.

Rest In Peace, Rudolf Brazda, You Deserve It

Monday, August 8th, 2011

It was a sad day on August 3, 2011 when Mr. Rudolf Brazda died at the age 98. His age doesn’t make Herr Brazda’s story remarkable. The fact that he was the last known homosexual survivor of the Nazi death camps makes his story worth writing about.

His death forever silencing the first hand account of what it meant to be gay in the Third Reich (homosexuality was declared illegal in 1935).

He was sent to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in 1942, imprisoned there until the camp was liberated in 1945. He moved to France after the war ended, staying there until his death — where he was buried.

Now, sixty-six years after Brazda’s release from the Nazi’s persecution, there’s talk in Germany about legalizing same-sex marriages.

Yes, the country’s had same-sex partnerships for the last 10 years — but when it comes to things like adoption and taxes, the current law doesn’t measure up (legal marriage between same sex couples is legal in Norway, Sweded, Spain, and Portugal).

Even the conservative Catholic Church might be softening. The Archbishop of Munich says that all gays and lesbians are welcome — despite the teachings against the “S”-word between same sex couples.

While some gay and lesbian couples might not be ready to tie the knot, they (and hetero-folks) are more than welcome to party at Christopher Street Day or Berlin Gay Pride; a huge event every June.

Right before the festival kicks off, there’s a smaller one (the Lesbisch-Schwules Stadtfest) at the Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg the week before.

Munich and Cologne also get in on the gay-filled action (oh, that doesn’t sound right, does it?) Sorry — I should say that Munich holds a Christopher Street Day of its own every August. As does the ColognePride in Cologne.

If you attend the event in Cologne or Berlin, stop by the memorials to those who were forced to wear the dreaded pink triangle in concentration camps — just like Mr. Brazda.

Rest in Peace, Sir — you deserve it.

German’s Generous Spirits Rank High In World Giving Index

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Germany is full of kind, generous people. Don’t think I’m biased just because I’m German — here’s yet another proof!

The 2010 World Giving Index has been released by the Charities Aid Foundation. The organization used hard numbers from the Gallup Corporation to determine which world nations were the most charitable overall.

Donating money to charitable causes, performing volunteer work, and being willing to help a stranger or someone you didn’t know were the main points going into the World Giving Index. However, the Charities Aid Foundation also looked at the breakdown between men and women, old and young, and happiness of the country as a whole when they were figuring their numbers.

Germany did very well in the poll. We are ranked 18th worldwide for our generous spirits. Out of 153 countries, that’s doing pretty good!

Some of the other interesting points that the report had to make about Germany were that 49% of us are giving money each month to a charitable cause. Men volunteer just slightly more hours per month than women, but almost 30% of the population of Germany volunteers time every month. An amazing 56% of us will help a stranger, one of the highest scores of any of the European nations.

According to the report, one of the main drivers of giving in all countries was happiness instead of wealth. The more a nation was giving, the happier and more satisfied with life were its citizens. I think this also reflects very well on Germany, don’t you?

Really, the report is just a nice bit of proof to back up what most people will experience when they come to Germany. All of the fairs, festivals, and special events that we are famous for depend on the charitable giving and volunteer hours put in by the hosting towns.

From the massive regional volunteer effort that it takes to put on something like Oktoberfest — starting this Saturday! — to the focused local effort it takes to put on something like the Oberammergau Passion Play, Germany runs on the goodwill and kind hearts of its people.

I know it, and you know it, too, if you’ve been here.

Thanks to this survey, now the whole world can know! ;-)

—Marcus

Germany Is The Most Beloved Country Worldwide

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Despite all the turmoil this year about traveling in Europe, this is still being a great year for Germany in terms of world recognition.

At the beginning of the year, Germany was named as one of the top four countries in which to live. Now, an annual poll by the BBC shows that not only is Germany a great place to live, it is also a well-loved country.

In fact, Germany is now the world’s most lovable country, according to 29,997 people surveyed worldwide!

The BBC World Service poll ran from November of 2009 to February of 2010. It has been conducted annually since 2005, and surveys opinions about a country’s positive or negative attributes in the world.

Germany was actually also the most favorably viewed country in 2009 as well, but this year Germany’s positivity ratings are up by 18%! It is one of the largest gains in the history of the poll, and I would like to think that MyGermanCity.com has a little something to do with those numbers ;-)

Of course, the negativity percentages are also important to watch. This is especially true for we Germans, as we are a little sensitive about the issue of other countries having a negative opinion of us. Fortunately, only 14% of the world views Germany negatively, one of the lowest numbers of any country in the world.

Tellingly, some of our biggest boosters were not just other Europeans. The positive views of Germany went up the most significantly in Egypt and Chile, with Russia showing the third largest positive increase. This helps speak to Germany’s popularity across markets and even with countries who are not our primary neighbors or trading partners.

Though naturally I am most excited about Germany’s results, I don’t have room to share them all here in this blog post.

You can download the full BBC Poll report (PDF format, opens in a new browser window), or simply come to Germany in person to see for yourself just what a lovely country and folks we truly are! ;-)

—Marcus

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