The Brexit Encounter – by a EU Citizen in London

Our son, Thomas, attending LSE in London, shares his Brexit experience.

Flooded London

On the night of the referendum, I found myself at a ‘Brexit Results Night’ event in the common room of my postgraduate student accommodation. As we were watching the votes from various counties of the UK trickle in, beers in our hands, there were casual debates over what would happen if the country actually decided to leave the European Union. Despite some apprehensive glances at the numbers, none of us took the possibility of this outcome seriously. I only managed to stay awake until about 1am to follow the live TV coverage, though I know many who were up the whole night. I went to bed thinking that the whole thing was nothing but a political spectacle; overblown and unlikely to succeed anyways.

As I presume many others did, the first thing I did when waking up was to google the result of the referendum. To my shock and dismay, the British public had voted (with a 52% majority) in favour of Brexit. David Cameron had given an emotional speech announcing his resignation. Motions of no confidence had been passed by Labour MPs with the aim of removing Jeremy Corbyn from its leadership. Scotland had agreed to legislate for a second independence referendum. Various European politicians had taken Brexit as a cue for movements towards their own country leaving the EU.

A large part of my day was then filled with browsing Facebook and reading posts from (university-aged) friends, who, unsurprisingly, were aghast and absolutely crestfallen at the decision that had been made. My news feed was rife with accusations of racism, xenophobia, and foolishness, with only few admitting defeat. Above all, there was a seething resentment towards the older population who had voted overwhelmingly in favour of leaving; a palpable sense of betrayal by a generation who appeared ignorant towards a globalising world, and uncaring of the younger generation’s employment prospects. Nothing had whipped up social media into a frenzy quite as much as this had. The collective outrage and disappointment left me reeling.

On the Saturday following the referendum, I was quietly working near an open window on the top floor of my university’s library. Suddenly, I heard a deafening roar booming through the skies. Looking outside, I saw a squad of jets flying in formation and releasing red, blue, and white smoke into the sky. ‘The colours of the Union Jack, They must be celebrating their independence!’, I said to my neighbour. ‘I hate this country’, she replied.

Thanks for your contribution, Thomas.

10 Ways to Recycle Beer

The other day, the topic of our lesson turned to recycling in Germany. I mentioned that Germany was one of the first countries to recycle vehicles.

Then, there was the moment of surprise, when I mentioned some of us Germans even recycle our expired or half-drunk bottles of beer. Well, this does not happen too often around our home… Just enter Maria’s Beer Balcony in the search engine, click on images, and you will know why.

Franconian beer

But when there is half a bottle of beer left over, we can use it for the following:

Beauty:

  • To give your hair more volume, after shampooing, rinse it with beer.
  • Use it like hair spray – put it in dispenser and spray your hair with it. No worries, once it’s dry, you won’t smell like beer.

Household:

  • Polish your wood furniture with a small linen towel soaked in beer.

Gardening:

  • A bowl of beer in your garden, will keep your snails at bay. To keep ants and bugs off your terrace or balcony, also fill a small dish with beer and add some sugar. In this case, you can also use alcohol-free beer.
  • It makes a great fertilizer. Mix beer and water at 1:2 and add it to your plants. Best for green plants only.

Cooking:

  • Add some beer to any kind of gravy or broth.
  • Some brush the BBQ meat with beer before putting it on the grill.
  • Marinade your BBQ meat in beer.

Indoor plants:

  • Big-leafed indoor plants such as the rubber plant collect dust. Wipe it off with a beer-soaked cotton ball.

Home remedy:

* Catching a cold? Drink some warm beer before going to bed. For a better result, add some sugar to it. This will help kill bacteria and induce sleep.

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From a nutritional viewpoint, beer ranks highly in the food and beverage chart. It is also vegetarian.

Oberursel Rosengaertchen and Camp King in the 1970s

The photo shows the early days of the new housing area ‘Im Rosengärtchen’, completed by 1972, and built in the marshes and fields right next to the U.S. Military Camp King Oberursel.

Since then, the newly planted trees have reached heights past our fourth floor. Also, at the first right turn into the Rosengärtchen, a U-Bahn platform was added on in 1997. Before that, we had the choice of getting off at at the station ‘Kupferhammer’ or ‘An der Waldlust’.

On the bottom right, two of the former U.S. housing buildings can be seen. The building closest to the edge was taken down, when the new German housing area was built. The other original building is still standing and has been rented out to locals.

Some of the playgrounds around the Rosengärtchen look rather abandoned these days. When we first arrived in 1995, we usually found a few moms and kids there. Today’s children are in daycare, and more mothers are returning to work earlier.

Im Rosengärtchen in Oberursel, ca. 1972

Im Rosengärtchen and Camp King Oberursel, 1972 Photo by C.Kreuzer

Thanks to Carsten Kreuzer, who found this photo in his father’s files. His father was the Bauleiter (site manager) of the Rosengärtchen development at that time.

Vacancy at Frankfurt International School

Posted 8 June 2016

Applications are invited for the following position:

►        Full time Teacher Assistant for Upper School to work with small groups of students offering additional support effective 1 August 2016 until 31 July 2017

Applications should be in writing and directed to Daniel Cowan with copy to Rita De La Cruz within seven working days of this notice.

Rita De La Cruz
Human Resources Manager

Frankfurt International School
Tel.:         +49 (0) 6171-2024478
Mobile:    +49 (0)172-7602097
www.fis.edu

 

Remembering Willy Brandt and the East-West Conflict

Yesterday afternoon, our work group Arbeitskreis Camp King was visited by a special guest speaker, Günther Vieser, to talk of the time, when he was working side by side with the former chancellor, Willy Brandt, from 1979 – 1982. At that time, Mr. Vieser was Brandt’s advisor, when he was Chairman of the Social Democrats.

One of the topics in question was of how much former chancellor Brandt’s doings contributed to solving the East-West conflict versus Chancellor Kohl, who reigned at the time, when the wall came down. Another question was what it was like to work with him on a professional and personal level. Of course, the spy Guillaume from the East German State was also mentioned and it was questioned why he chose Oberursel as his first place of residence in the West. For several months, Guillaume had rented an apartment downtown Oberursel, at the Homm Kreisel. In 1974, Chancellor Brandt resigned over the espionage scandal.

Mr. Vieser’s informative talk lasted close to two hours and we not only got a refresher course in modern history, but also heard some personal stories and tidbits.

After the talk, one of the visitors approached me. She said she remembers one time Willy Brandt came on an official visit to Oberursel. At that time, she was working for the Deutsche Rote Kreuz (DRK) (German Red Cross), and she confirmed how grown up women acted like teenagers as soon as Brandt showed up, with women screaming and occasionally fainting during his visit.

On his other visits to Oberursel, he would also meet with other young politicians of that time: Jürgen Habermas, Oskar Negt, and Joschka Fischer. They would stay at the former Villa Gans, which the state of Hessen had turned over to the Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB) in commemoration after WWII – as a place for Völkerverständigung und des Aufbaus der Demokratie (international relations and founding democracy).

I like the idea, that the beginning of democracy in modern Germany started with parties on a garden patio.

That same place is now the Dorint Hotel Frankfurt/Oberursel (140 rooms, including 15 suites).

Announcement

Announcement

Günther Viesner presentation about his work with Willy Brandt

Günther Vieser talked about his work life with Willy Brandt

Mayor Brum also had a few welcoming words for the guest speaker.

Mayor Brum of Oberursel

Mayor Brum of Oberursel

Special thanks to Sylvia Struck, who is in charge of our ‘Work Group Camp King’, for putting together this event.