5 Things

Not much to report today. I left early to drive to Frankfurt. I went to a couple of meetings in the heart of Germany’s financial capital. And then I drove home. I am told that Frankfurt is a lovely city if you really know it. I don’t really know it and I don’t think much of it so far. It does have a river (the “Main”, pronounced Mine) running through the middle of it and I did once walk along a part of it – which was nice. But the center is very modern and not very pretty. To be fair to the people of Frankfurt, the town was bombed heavily in 1944 so it had to be rebuilt. For the last 10 years the city has been rebuilding part of the old town and hope that it will attract more people to Frankfurt when finished. We shall see.

In the absence of anything else interesting to write about Frankfurt I have compiled a short list with the snappy title: “5 things you might think were different in Germany to England, but they’re not.”

People, especially ladies of a certain age, put on a silly baby-voice when they talk to dogs. They repeat the same banal question while shaking their heads from side to side over and over again. Usually something like “who’s a handsome dog then?” German is otherwise such a serious language, that the baby-dog-speak sounds even sillier over herer.

If you change your internet or telephone provider, they will tell you that they have a super transfer-service which takes all the hassle out of switching. You will then spend three weeks trying to get through to a call center where the people can’t really help or speak your language when nothing works.

Audi and BMW drivers (except me) don’t like using their indicators and do like driving up close and agressively on the Autobahn. There are quite a few stationary speed cameras on the Autobahns. It is particularly satisfying to move aside just before one arrives and watch the Audi blast past you and get blitzed.

In every suburb there will be a small designated skate/bmx/freestyle-park with a quarter-pipe and some concrete ramps in it for the kids to hang out. It will always have a bit of graffiti on it and be deserted. In every city there will be a square or concrete area where lots of kids with skateboards do gather and practice tricks. These areas are never built for skateboarding.

Time flies in Germany too. You will, at least once a week, have a conversation which involves an exclamation of disbelief followed by the statement “Nooooo… that can’t have been 10 years ago, it seems like yesterday”.

Bis morgen!

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