Information on German Citizenship for Oberursel Residents

Graham, from AllThingsGerman, has these important news to share:

The Ausländerbeirat in Oberursel is organising an information evening about the subject of applying for German Citizenship, which will be held in the town hall (Rathaus) on Tuesday, 15th November, 2016 at 6pm.

Read more here:

First Graders and Paper Cones in Germany

If you see an elementary student, holding proudly a big paper cone filled with presents, then you know it is the very first day of school here in Hesse.

Most Germans see this is a serious affair – this is when ‘Der Ernst des Lebens beginnt’ (The serious side of life begins). Some moms even cry, because they worry about their children and the ‘serious effects’ school could have on them.

On the other hand, when our international kids started school, we were so happy and pleased to have come so far. We told them to enjoy school and the healthy and fun environment provided by good educators.

If you want to know more about the origin of the Schultüte, visit:

This shows me on my first day of school. Back in 1967, cones were usually filled with essentials mostly, such as school supplies, but also a few sweets. My home state of Bavaria starts the new school year very late by mid-September, hence the warmer clothing.

My first day of school in September 1967

My first day of school in September 1967

German Lesson: der Stromverteilerkasten

We have two local artists, Markus Janista and Ina Pfalzgraf*, going around our town of Oberursel beautifying our usually gray and smudgy junction boxes (German: der Stromverteilerkasten) by spray painting.

This is the first one I found in town on the Feldbergstraße.

Stromverteilerkasten CANISTER Graffiti Art

Stromverteilerkasten CANISTER Graffiti Art

* Kreativbetrieb Canister on Facebook.

The Brexit Encounter – by an 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:


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


  • 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.


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