Monthly Archives: December 2010

The strangest German news stories of 2010

Bizarrely enough, there are some people who accuse Germany – indeed the entire German speaking region –  of being boring.

In fact, Germany, Austria and Switzerland are incredibly quirky, fascinating and downright weird.  You just have to know where to look.

I have pulled together a collection of some of the stranger news stories about the region from 2010, just to illustrate how mind-bendingly bizarre the Germanic world can be.

The pub in Austria which is shaped like a rectum

OK, so Austria is sometimes described as the arse-end of nowhere… this must surely refer to the Bar Rectum in Vienna. A pub which is shaped like a giant anus.  Don’t ask me why. Apparently it’s art.

Buy a Thuringian pothole

Are you still searching for that perfect Christmas gift for the person who has everything? Well, here’s something they probably don’t have – a Thuringian pothole. You can add your own personal message to it, if you like. The only thing you can’t do is gift wrap it and take it home.

Artificial glaciers grown in the Black Forest

Worried about global warming? Fret no more… German scientists have found out how to grow artificial glaciers to boost tourism and provide alternative water supplies. I’m thinking of creating my own Alpine ski resort in my back garden actually.

F*cking Hell Beer

The residents of the most famous village in Austria are up in arms because a German brewer has started producing a light beer which uses their name. The F*cking mayor is not amused. In fact the whole F*cking community is up in arms.

Three year old visits the afterlife – lives to tell the tale

There can’t be many three year olds who have visited their dead relatives, but this nipper from Brandenburg popped up to see his great-grandmother.

German woman abandons drunk husband in Austria

As you do.  The bit I liked about this story was the reaction of the police – suggesting she make her husband and the dog swap seats in the car next time…

German pensioner attacks bus driver with knobbly stick

Regulars on this blog will know that I am a fan of the correctly wielded knobbly stick – though I should stress that attacking the bus driver with one on the German Autobahn is inadvisable for a number of reasons.

Scientists create emotionally sensitive men

Drunk husbands and knobbly-stick wielders beware… your days could be numbered….

Man from Saxony marries his dying cat

Hmmm…. I smell a life-insurance scam here….

German police arrest a perfectly law abiding crocodile

The croc was framed!

Man dangles his neighbour from balcony for smoking cigarette

Now that’s what I call enforcing the smoking ban…

Bundesliga stars made to train in pink leotards

Apparently it’s motivational…

Radioactive boar increasing in Germany

Self micro-waving pork anyone?

Dead dachshund dodges paying its TV licence

Dachshunds are untrustworthy at the best of times. Cats, on the other hand, always pay their dues.

A Berlin restaurant for cannibals asked diners to donate body parts for the menu

Apparently a three course meal there could cost you an arm and a leg….

Elephant exonerated for attack on Jena woman

Jumbo entirely justified in throwing her across field.

Berlin museum opened a dramatic exhibition of pickled animals

I prefer pickled gherkins…

Tanker of Dutch pig manure explodes in Köln

Creates urgent need for eau de Cologne…

Dropping pants in public is OK in Germany – but only if you’re Australian

It’s perfectly normal in Australia, apparently.

Oh Cannabis tree

Police were surprised to raid a house and find the decorated Christmas tree was not as it seemed…

Penis boxing game developed

Fights aids. Apparently.

Bad Santa lives in Germany

Caught on CCTV.

 

What other weird stories did I miss?

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The top ten weirdest German Christmas gifts

We’re a week into December and if you’re like me the only preparation you’ve managed so far for Christmas is downing a couple of Glühweins at the local Christmas market.

But all is not lost! In the days of online shopping, you can still find the ultimate in typical (and not-so-typical) German Christmas gifts and get them sent direct to your loved ones. A quick trawl of the great-wide-shopping-mall-in-the-ether came up with these unmissable Christmas goodies.

1. Bavarian Backwards Clock

In Bavaria clocks work differently. Apparently. Right. That’ll be useful then.

2. Cuddly wild boar piglet

Warning – it comes with the name Wutzi. Even a two year old will probably find that too embarrassing.

3. The Maultasche

A Maultasche is a type of ravioli from Baden-Württemburg. Literally Maul (= Mouth)- Tasche (= Bag). This is German humour at its… well it’s German humour anyway.

4. The Nutcracker

Germans are normally pretty good at design and engineering. Here is one example of where they’re not. The wooden huzar-shaped nutcracker may have many uses, but cracking nuts is definitely not one of them. Unless we’re talking male-sterilisation here… in which case it might work.

5. A piece of Berlin Wall (executive size)

Which of your friends would not be delighted to receive an executive sized (sic) piece of concrete mounted on a wooden plaque?

6. Grandfather Cuckoo Clock

Of course you could just buy your relatives a regular annoying cuckoo clock to bug them on the hour, every hour. But why not go the whole hog and get them a grandfather cuckoo clock with inbuilt musical box with three teeth-grating melodies.

7. Hamburg Elbkiesel

A typical North German speciality. Sweets that are made to look like gravel. Yes you read that right.

8. Schnapps Pipe

Who would want to drink Schnapps from a normal glass when you could drink it from a porcelein pipe and look like a total prannock?

9. Lederhosen apron and tankard oven glove

The ultimate in Bavarian barbecue chic….  just imagine yourself grilling your Bratwurst in this!


10.  Scale model DDR watchtower

In high quality printed cement-grey cardboard, a build-it yourself model watchtower to cut out, glue together and throw away.  An absolute must-have for all older generations.  Once you’ve checked what they did in the war, obviously.


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St. Nikolaus – the ultimate betrayal

Yesterday was St. Nikolaus in Germany –  the day when Saint Nick pops in and fills children’s boots with chocolate and treats. Assuming, of course, that the data (supposedly compiled by angels) in his Golden Book suggests the children have been well behaved enough.

Naughty children in Germany suffer a gruesome fate, which varies depending on which part of the country they live in.

Up here in North Rhine Westphalia miscreants will be given a birch instead of sweets, with which their parents are supposed to whip them. Maybe St. Nikolaus hasn’t actually consulted the Jugendamt – or perhaps whipping is not considered to be child abuse when it’s on special occasions.

Further South, badly behaved children will be carried away by the Krampus – a devilish creature who carries a bag on his back and abducts children, never to be seen again.

Of course the unexposed scam is that German parents actually pay for St. Nikolaus (and possibly the Krampus) to visit on the evening of December 6th. In some areas the local Arbeitsamt actually runs courses for the unemployed to learn to play the roles and your local St. Nick-team can charge €50-100 for a brief but terrifying visit, which is guaranteed to produce exemplary behaviour from your offspring for the next 12 months. (Hmmmm… actually that sounds like a bargain!)

, via Wikimedia Commons”]Those more recently arrived from ‘Elf & Safety obsessed Britain will of course want to know whether these long-term unemployed, recently trained Saints and Devils have had the equivalent of a CRB (criminal records bureau) background check. The answer is no. Of course not.  Mwahahahaha! The very job of the St. Nikolaus and the Krampus is to abuse and traumatise your child.

 

The minute they show up, your son or daughter will be wracked with guilt for all their misdeeds over the past 12 months and paralysed with fear that now is going to be payback time. What they do not know though, is that the information which is held in the Saint’s Golden Book, does not, in fact, come from the Angels. It’s been leaked by their own parents. Saint Nikolaus is merely the Julian Assange figure, compiling and publishing the data which their parents wrote down and passed on.

The experience for your children, as any American diplomat will confirm, is at best highly uncomfortable. The Saint will read out – in front of everyone – a list of your deeds and misdeeds from the past 12 months, and all the while the birch is sticking out of the top of his bag, or the Krampus is leering at you, about to abduct you from your home forever to lengthy torment and an early death.

On top of this… having put you through all this torture, the Saint will then expect you to recite a poem. Or sing a song. Or perform on the piano or the recorder.  Have you ever tried remembering the words to “Advent Advent” when you’re actually crapping your pants?

Even though the Saint (nearly) always comes up with the sweeties in the end, the burden of guilt and doubt are the overriding memories. The Lebkuchen and Pfeffernüsse will turn to ashes in your mouth.

Compared to St. Nikolaus, the British/American Santa Claus seems…well, like Father Christmas!

, via Wikimedia Commons”]

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Filed under About Germany, children in germany, German festivals, Life in Germany