Friday, November 23, 2007

Wann ist 'ne Autobahn keine Autobahn?

When is an Autobahn not an Autobahn? When it's a carpark!

Every day for the last 2 weeks, there has been a traffic jam on the A5 between Friedrichsdorf (where we live) and Frankfurt (you know, that big city that was named after the sausage) - and not only in one direction. Every day this traffic jam is between 8 and 12km long. Every day this traffic jam is because of an accident.

It is as though everyone has suddenly forgot how to drive because it has started to get cold. It hasn't even started to snow yet, so I am kinda concerned how this is going to look in a few weeks time...


Selling blood to survive in China

If you want a really fucked up read, then check out this article on The Age's website. It is about peasants selling blood in order to survive in the poorest parts of China.

China's Deadly Trade


Monday, November 19, 2007


One of my friends reliably informed me that today was International Toilet Day. Toilet humour it one of my favourite topics, so I thought I would copy my response that I send them and paste it here on my blog for you to enjoy.

"International Toilet Day" huh? Well if that ain't enough to give you the shits! :)

But on my favourite topic - I saw a report on TV the other day that was saying that Germans are predominantly folders, whereas Americans are predominantly scrunchers. Because of this, the Germans find the American thin and baking-paper like toilet paper too easy to break through (if you get my drift...), whereas the Americans find that the German multi-layer softer paper isn't rigid enough for the folds to be able to grab anything...

God, I nearly spewed writing that...sorry. :)

PS: Folders are people who fold the paper into many layers, and then use sheer finger pressure to remove the .... Scrunchers scrunch the paper into a ball, using the edges and the folds to, I guess, kinda scrape it off.

Keep all that in mind next time you eat a Picnic bar... :)

PPS: I just chuckled when I had to click "Log out" to log off another website. :)



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Frozen Lions

Went to the ice hockey today to see Frankfurt Lions play the Hamburg Freezers. The game was a pretty good one, with the Lions having a 2-0 lead, before the Freezers came back and scored 2 quick goals to make it 2-2 by the end of the 2nd period. The third period saw the Lions take the lead again 3-2, and then the Freezers snuck the equaliser in with about 2min to go to send it into overtime. Nobody scored in overtime, so it went to penalty shootouts, which Frankfurt lost 2-3. :(

But the game is not the thing that I really wanted to mention too much. For some reason, the Lions played in their 3rd Jersey for the first time this year. This year it is also a different jersey to the green and pink one that I posted about last year (and their other 2 jerseys have changed too...but not so much).

The thing that I found crazy is the number of supporters who bought themselves this new jersey at the game today. The selling of jerseys here is a massive business (I assume), with a massive percentage of the crowd having one. Then the supporters go nutty when a special jersey comes out, like this 3rd one, or some that look like they were made in the past for games around Xmas (with snow-flakes on them etc).

I mean, I am kinda a "supporter stuff whore" who likes to buy stuff to show his support for a team, band, or whatever - but the germans are leaving me for dead in this department.

That was it. Not very interesting...sorry. For more interesting posts, see the ones that were posted a few days ago.


Multi-culti confusion?

Ok, so in Europe you are bound to get a lot of multi-culti going on, but a restaurant in Bad Homburg seems to have either 1) taken it too far, or 2) misunderstood the assignment. I have their flyer infront of me, and it reads:

Pizza Service beim India Haus
Nur deutsche und italienische Küche

Which when translated means:

Pizza Service from India House
Only german and italian food

Anyone else confused? With a name like "India House", I would expect, well, INDIAN FOOD! But no! That would make too much sense! How about we call ourselves India House and then only serve german and italian food - that will confuse the hell out of everyone!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Arsehole Taxi driver, lady that doesn't like to be touched, and Amazon gone wrong.

Oh what a difference a day makes,
24 little hours...

STORY #1 - Arsehole Taxi driver, aka. Silence! I KILL YOU!

This morning I flew to Amsterdam to go and visit a key Customer. I usually get picked up at the airport by my Sales Guy, but he wasn't coming on this visit, so I had to take a taxi about 15min to the Customer.

So, I get in the taxi, and the guy asks me where I want to go. I tell him the street name and number in "Schipol". He tells me that he doesn't know where that is, and I tell him to put it in his TomTom system that he has on the dash of the car. So I tell him the address again so that he can enter it.
Now he tells me that "this is Schipol" and that "it is too close - take a bus". I tell him the address again, and he says again "this is too close - take a bus". I told him that I didn't have time to take a bus, but he just said "this is Schipol - too close - take a bus".
So, after a few more attempts, and voices being raised on both sides, I get out of the cab and slam the door. I ask the attendant to get me a new taxi, but he says "he has to take you". I discuss this with the attendant for a while but he says that it is the driver's punishment, and that he has to take me even if it is close. The driver is now out of the taxi and claiming that I never told him the address, a claim which I refute.
Back in the taxi and he is pissed. I give him the address again and he punches it in the TomTom and speeds off like a freakin' idiot. During the 15min drive to the Customer he keeps claiming that I never told him the address, that is it too close and I should have taken a bus, and that he had to wait at the airport for 2hrs for this fare. I tell him that I am sorry, but that's not my problem.
The ride of joy continues with him yelling at me in a mixture of English and Dutch, and me yelling back in a mixture of English and German (sounds really nasty when you are angry). He is now claiming that I shouldn't have yelled at him because he is a person and not an animal, even though he is doing the same to me.
Anyway, we finally arrive at the Customer and he says "30€". I ask where the meter is because I cannot see it, and I can't believe it could be 30€. He shows me the meter and it has 21€ on it. He then says "but I had to wait at the airport for 3hrs" (up from 2) and that I have to pay for that. I tell him that I don't have to pay for that as that is part of his job - waiting.
Eventually I have had enough and I say "fine" and give him my credit card - "*sigh* you don't have cash?". I did have cash, so I got it out and said "I need a receipt". More sighing and he writes me a receipt for 21€. I tell him "no, I need the receipt for 30€ if you are charging me 30€" (still haven't given him the money yet). More bitching under his breath about "I am just taxi driver" or something, and he tells me that I should lodge a complaint. Anyway, I give him the cash and I get the change for the 21€ that is on the receipt and get out.
Now as I am walking into the Customer he is doing the slow driving, stopping, glaring, mad eyes shit. Oh well, not my problem...freak.

Before you ask, no, he isn't a native Hollander.

Man, I was so mad after all that that I was physically shaking...

Anyway, the taxi back to the airport runs under contract from my Customer, and they gave me a card so that I can call them next time I turn up, and I don't have to ride with Dr Jihad again...

(For the reference to "Silence! I KILL YOU!" have a look at this clip on YouTube).

STORY #2 - Lady that doesn't like to be touched, aka. WHY FLY THEN?!?!?!?

So, after the Customer visit I rock up to the airport in Schipol (with a different taxi). The 4 lines for the security check already stretched back to the doors (about 30m long each), and it was only 13:15. I would hate to see this at 17:00!

Anyway, I finally get to the front of the queue and go through the security check without a beep (wearing my best "don't beep" shoes, shirt, and pants - but I still beeped in Frankfurt this morning).

While I am packing my stuff, there is a lady who is having to be searched because she beeped. She is busily telling the lady who wants to search her "I don't want you to touch me. My body is mine, and I don't want anyone to touch it." (While doing this, she is mainly pointing at her boobs). This discussion goes on for a while, and I pack my things slowly, as this is quite entertaining. She is even trying to convince the search lady that "it is my necklaces" and "I don't want to be touched" - yeah, BECAUSE TERRORISTS NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT ONE, YOU STUPID...
I turned away for a minute and I think she ended up getting touched, and I heard her telling her husband about it, who wanted to raise a complaint or something...

Lady (I hope you are reading this) - if you don't want to be touched, take the f'n necklaces off and all other metal that you have on your person. Then, to be really sure, take of your shoes as they usually contain metal. Finally, if you really don't want to be touched, DON'T FUCKING FLY!

Some people...

STORY #3 - Amazon gone wrong, aka. I say Hardcover, you say Paperback, let's call the whole thing off!

About 1 week ago we ordered Harry Potter 1-4 off, all of them in Hardcover format. I was very certain to make sure of this, as we had all of the others in Hardcover, and wanted to complete the set so.
Anyway, after a few days the books arrived, and books 1, 2, and 4 were Hardcover, and book 3 was Paperback. I had a look at the order sheet that they sent with it, and it quite clearly said HARDCOVER for all of the books. Closer inspection showed that the ISBN on the order for the HARDCOVER actually matched the ISBN on the Paperback, which was kind of worrying.

Anyway, I sent the book back with a letter explaining this and asked for a replacement with the HARDCOVER version. Anyone see where this is going yet?

So today I go to pick the book up. What do I get? PAPERBACK!!!!!! What's on the order sheet that is with the book? HARDCOVER!!!!!!

I log on to the site and look up the old order, which is now showing PAPERBACK against the book 3 where it showed HARDCOVER before. I check Bel's email and find the old order which quite clearly states HARDCOVER. Looks like they realised their mistake and fixed the website, but still screwed up the order anyway...

So now I may have to send the book back again (and pay for return shipping) and hope that I get the hardcover this time. Although, I may not have to send the book back, as we did get a mail from them after the last f'up to say that I didn't have to send the other one back because it would be quite expensive, but it was too late...

Right, so that is it from me for now. My hands are freezing cold and it has been really hard to type this - I think it is around 1C here at the moment.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More random photos from my Palm...

This was at breakfast in Switzerland were the french and german speaking parts border with each other - therefore the sign was in English, French, and German. My first look at the card made laugh because I thought they meant to say "Plain Toast" and came out with "Pain Toast" instead. Then I was informed that this is french for "toast bread". Still, the idea of "Pain Toast" makes me laugh..."Mummy, my toast tastes like owies!".

Can't remember if I have shown this one before. It is in an airport somewhere in the north of Germany, and is an ad for Sixt car rentals. The sign below it says "Warning! Only stuck with cheap [glue]." I think it goes on to say that they couldn't afford anything better because there is no room left in their prices for better glue.

I just loved the English on this sign in the toilets in Düsseldorf. "The toilet is only intended for the absorbtion of human excrements". Couldn't really be more clinical if it tried.

I don't remember if I have banged on about the Bild newspaper before or not. But I saw another classic front-page headline the other day. Forget all the other important shit that is going on in the world, like flooding in Hamburg (under 3m of water), or that stuff with Pakistan. What is more important is that the "First Bundesliga Goal scored with Penis" happened!
[snip - photo removed because it turned into a porno ad]
And don't ever accuse the Germans of not being able to make a joke. They even used phrases like "dieses Tor war geni(t)al!" (genial means ingenious/genious, and genital means...well...genital).
If you can, you should really try and read the high quality article on the Bild website (try translating it through google or something) here.

Ok, that's it from me from a very cold Germany.


Thursday, November 01, 2007


So it has been a long time since I have posted - mainly because every free moment of mine over the last few months has been spent reading, researching and writing, but as of last weekend I am finished my masters!!!!!!! (Well assuming its processed properly)

I am so glad I am finally finished, as is Brett who has spent the whole time I have been studying doing all the housework and cooking, and trying to amuse himself - poor Brett