Archive for the 'Expat Life' category

Frankfurt's firefighters

Apr 27 2011 Published by under Cultural Observation, Expat Life, German Life

One of NYC's finest: a fireman.
Image: Katherine Kostreva.

One thing that I am painfully aware of is that Frankfurt's firefighters are definitely not made of the same stuff as the Adonises that populate NYC's fire departments (see above). And of course, I was rudely reminded of this sad fact again when yet another false alarm screamed through my apartment building at midday.

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Ich möchte nicht auf Deutsch sprechen

Mar 06 2011 Published by under Cultural Observation, Expat Life, German Life

I've lived in Germany for more than one year but I am ashamed to admit that, for the first time in my life, I've not learned to speak the language in a satisfactory way. Worse than labeling me an "Ugly American" is the fact that I am actually quite talented at picking up languages and accents -- I never really had to work at learning languages.

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the Diversity Edition

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This girl is hilarious. She sweetly imitates numerous people in her life as they perform the nursery school song, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." She has a future in comedy, for sure.
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How to Swear in English

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One of my favorite things to do when I am traveling is to ask my hosts how to swear in their native tongue. Most people are too shy to share such vital information unless I first ply them with lots of alcohol, but after I get three or four beers into them and pass my little black book across the table, they are only too happy to write down the crowning jewels of their language for a neophyte like me to appreciate. So in that spirit, I found this video to be both hilarious and cringe-worthy all at the same time.

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Learning the Alphabet in German with SpeedyConKiwi

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This video is all about how to pronounce the German alphabet -- something I cannot do correctly at this time. Not that knowing how to say this is going to help me when talking to the bankers about depositing my paycheck into my account or anything.

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Learning Basic Greetings in German with SpeedyConKiwi

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Lesson two in how to not offend Germans while buying beer.

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Learning How to Count in German with SpeedyConKiwi

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German for Boneheads: lesson one. How to ask for six fish at the pet store without inadvertently ending up with 60 fish.

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Du bist Terrorist

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Du bist Terrorist (or "You are a terrorist" -- yes, this video has English subtitles) is a satirical response to two official German social-marketing-campaigns. One of them, Du bist Deutschland (You are Germany), was promoting nationalism and a child-friendly Germany, Du bist Terrorist is a look at today's politics in Germany, where all citizens are viewed with general suspicion and Germany has become a preventive surveillance society (a "nanny state"?).

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Deutsch für Doofe

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Okay, let's face the facts: my German sucks. Every time someone says something to me in German, my first reaction is to either respond in Spanish or Indonesian or (surprisingly) Japanese. As a result, I am left stammering my way through a ragtag collection of phrases in several languages, and no one, not even I, can understand what I am trying to say. So I am too intimidated to attempt to practice speaking my piss-poor German because the Germans are not very forgiving of idiots (forgetting of course, that they also were beginning German speakers once, too. Nevermind that they were wearing diapers when they were beginners).

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Sonnenuntergang, 2

Apr 04 2010 Published by under Expat Life, Image of the Day, Nature

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Sonnenuntergang.
Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Image: Bob O'Hara, 4 April 2010 [larger view]

Sunset over Frankfurt, as photographed from the bedroom window.

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