Another year is reaching its end. To this day, my Friday column “Home from Home” has reached the number of 74 short essays in almost one and a half years of contemplating differences between my native country and my new home country, writing, and sharing it with you. So many of you have reacted in […]
Home from Home
There is a lot of bewilderment for non-native speakers when it comes to talking to Germans in Germany. What should it be? “Du” (pronounce: doo) or “Sie” (pronounce: zee)? And when do you use first names and when last names? And when do you say “Frau” (pronounce: frouw, i.e. Mrs.) and when “Fraeulein” (pronounce: froy-line, […]
These days, stores in the area which have been carrying German Christmas treats are pretty much sold out, I guess. One of the most traditional baked goods – and I have to admit definitely not my favorite one – is Christstollen (pronounce: ‘chreest-shtoll-lan). But that’s because I’m not one for sweet yeast doughs at all. […]
People are talking about how divided this country is, and I see it every day. Not just in a sense of politics – and you know this column was never meant to make any political statements. I find that there is one part of the population who drops off and another who picks up.
Let’s face it: We are all more or less fascinated with castles. In Europe we almost take them for granted. Our ancestors have been exploited during their built. And though the US have managed to break away from aristocracy long before Europeans, there are still quite a few architectural structures that imitate the grandeur of […]
Have you ever enjoyed a river cruise? Or any kind of boating trip on a river? On a riverboat? Tell me I’m wrong, but here in Western Washington the only navigable river as in riverboats and freight ships is the Columbia river. The rest of them are barely useable for even small watercraft. It was […]
I love cleaning windows. At least I used to back in Germany. Over here – not so much. And that is because window cleaning in the US is so much less gratifying. Not because the windows get less dirty and you wouldn’t see the difference. The difference is in the windows themselves.
This Sunday, we remember the end of World War I, Armistice Day. “We” as in those who still remember people who lived through it. Because since then it has been overshadowed by so many wars that seem to have hit closer. And the generation born at the beginning of this century might not even be […]
The other day, in a local supermarket, I was standing in the dairy aisle, looking for my usual brand of sour cream. It was clean sold out, so I was checking out different brands. To my utter surprise one of the tubs said “Natural flavor added”. You know me by now: I was not only […]
“Service Desert Germany” – unfortunately that is one of the self-bestowed nicknames of my mother country. At least it was true in many ways when I lived there. Who knows where it derived first or whence? I guess it all started when Germany recovered from World War II. At first, pretty much everybody was lending […]
In a little over a month, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving again, and then the final rush into Christmas preparations begins. Which means writing dozens of Christmas cards and sending them out in time before the cut-off date. Which means that now is the time to start crafting Christmas decorations and Christmas cards. The latter […]
Let’s face it – maintenance is not my strongest talent. That’s probably because I come from a family that never owned a home (landlords took care of maintenance) and that was rather on the academic side of life. Also, there are quite a few regulations what you are permitted to maintain or repair where and […]