As it’s now too late to return your bottles to the shops, you’ll decide to leave the remaining recycling duties until the next day. It is a particularly good idea to save disposing of glass until the daytime as the noise created when doing so during the night-time hours would, without doubt, anger your neighbours. This, I believe, should be part of the ‘code of conduct’ for recycling. Instead, the ‘code of conduct’, which should be adhered to by all residing in Germany, includes rules such as:
- You must not place items of rubbish inside others (eg. yoghurt pots inside tins)
- You must separate all materials (eg. staples from paper or cello-tape from boxes)
- You must wash all containers before throwing them away (eg. jars, tins & cans)
- You must flatten all boxes and cartons
- "You can always reason with a German. You can always reason with a barnyard animal, too, for all the good it does."
- "Germans respond well to lies. At least, they always have historically."
- "I don’t understand German myself. I learned it at school, but forgot every word of it two years after I had left, and have felt much better ever since."
- "German is the most extravagantly ugly language – it sounds like someone using a sick bag on a 747."
- "A German singer! I should as soon expect to get pleasure from the neighing of my horse."
- "If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew."
- "Eating in Germany is easy, because there is basically only one kind of food, called the ‘wurst’."
- "I don’t believe there is anything in the whole earth that you can’t learn in Berlin except the German language."
- "Some German words are so long that they have a perspective. Observe these examples:
These things are not words, they are alphabetical processions.
- "Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth."
- "Never knew before what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German."
- "The Germans are exceedingly fond of Rhine wines; they are put up in tall, slender bottles, and are considered a pleasant beverage. One tells them from vinegar by the label."
- "Oh, you’re German! I’m sorry, I thought there was something wrong with you."
- "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’"
- "’The centre for aluminium competence’. I’m not making that up. That is what it’s called. They’re Germans."
- "There’s no known cure for being a bit German."
It occurred to me the other day that I had managed to go some time without mentioning one of my favourite German traditions – Kaffee und Kuchen.
The first thing you should know is that the Germans really like cake. They like it so much that it is quite common for the Germans to make cakes on their very own birthdays and give it to their friends and family rather than to receive a cake from their loved ones complete with candles etc. as we might be used to. This ritual is not only limited to one day per year. The German love of cakes extends to all 365 days in the form of ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’.
‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ (‘coffee and cake’) takes place at around 3-4pm and is perhaps similar to our ‘afternoon tea & biscuits’. In German families, it is essential that a self-made cake is always at the ready for the possibility of visitors. In big families, a collection of cakes are brought together for all of the family to nibble at. Among busy friends, it is far more likely to take a trip to the local bakery which will always have an interesting variety of traditional cakes. The options will in all likelihood include:
- Käsekuchen (cheesecake)
- A selection of sponge cakes with fruits
- Austrian Sachertorte (chocolate cake)
- Frankfurter Kranz (Frankfurt Crown Cake – see below)
- Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (the famous Black Forest Gateau – see below)
To me, there is only one thing wrong with the tradition of ‘coffee and cake’. The coffee part. Not being a coffee drinker, I am tempted to combine ‘afternoon tea & biscuits’ with ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ creating the wonderful new idea of ‘Tee und Kuchen’. However, as the Germans are really not what I would call gifted when it comes to making tea, I almost always end up with simply ‘Kuchen’.
So, a tip for any coffee drinkers visiting Germany is definitely to try Kaffee und Kuchen on your first afternoon here. I can almost guarantee you’ll be back to sample more of the fabulous German cakes the very next day. I, on the other hand, will remain content with my personal adapted German tradition of ‘Kuchen’. Yum!
On our trip we:
- Visited the bridge on the river Kwai
- Went to millions of temples
- Went bungee jumping
- Rode elephants and saw an elephant show
- Saw the enormous temple complex at Angkor Wat
- Visited many museums about everything from the nations and their histories to land mines and wars
- Saw the dead body of Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi
- Went up the famous Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur
- Stayed in the famous Raffles hotel in Singapore
- Had a ‘Singapore Sling’ cocktail in the city of its origin
- Travelled to the beautiful Sentosa Island just south of Singapore city
- Went parasailing
- Relaxed on a Phuket beach at the end of our Asia tour
- Went to 5 countries
- Stayed in 9 guest houses, 5 trains, 1 hostel and 1 airport
- Travelled using 17 different modes of transport
- Used 6 different currencies
- Met people from at least 22 different nationalities (probably more)
- Went up at least 7 towers/tall buildings
- Saw innumerable temples with countless Buddhas
- The ‘Intercity Railway’ (run of course by Deutsche Bahn)
- The ‘Tram’ system
- The ‘Metro-Tram’ system (there doesn’t seem to be any apparent difference between these last two)
- The ‘Buses’
- The ‘Metro-Buses’ (can’t see any difference here either)
- The ‘S-Bahn’ (suburban fast trains)
- The ‘U-Bahn’ (underground)
You might remember my previous entry, ‘Berlin Sightseeing‘, in which I explained that over a couple of weeks in April I had some guests staying who naturally wished to do some sightseeing while they were here. Well, in August I had another guest come to stay who had similar intentions which I am glad to say, got me out of the flat to see some more of the city in which I am living.
Yet again, we trekked all over Berlin seeing some of the sights I have previously shown in the ‘Berlin Sightseeing’ Part 1 and Part 2 photo albums but we also saw a completely different side of Berlin which included a bar with holes in the walls instead of doors, sinks instead of urinals (see Chapter Ten of The Berlin Guide) and rather unusually, a labyrinth! For another virtual tour of Berlin, please feel free to take a look at the ‘Berlin Sightseeing – Part 3‘ album in the Photos section of this site. Viel Spaß!