New Role for Former Chancellor Merkel

Our chancellor Merkel is starting a new life today!

Merkel as a ‘Smoking Figure’

And yes, as of today, she is no longer chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. In my home, she now functions as a ‘Räuchermännchen’ (literal: smoking little guy). She arrived in the post this afternoon, so she was right on time for her new role.

It took me a while to figure out where the smoke might come from… the traditional ones have the smoke coming out from the mouth. In her case, it comes out near the bottom of her pants!

These traditional Christmas decorations and incense smokers are handmade in the Ore Mountains (German: Erzgebirge) in the eastern part of Germany.

In case you are interested, visit Seiffener Volkskunst.

German Idiom of the Day: Alter Schwede

When your former coworker, whom you haven’t seen in a year or more, greets you with ‘Alter Schwede’ (Old Swede), you might wonder what he is referring to.

This is an idiom, which was coined by the Prince Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg. During the 30-year war (1618 – 1648), he recruited Swedish soldiers to train his men. These Swedes were so popular with his German soldiers, they addressed them with a congenial ‘Alter Schwede!’

This idiom is still being used when we see an old friend after a long time. We also use it to express appreciation, respect, or amazement.

When speaking German, we use it with people of any nationality.

German Word of the Day: die Pflastersteine

In a conversation about last week’s Hof Flohmarkt (courtyard flea market), when most of Oberursel’s Altstadt (old part of the town) opened its courtyard gates to many visitors, I also mentioned to wear good shoes around the area as high heels make walking difficult.

The conversation turned then to farm house courtyards, and their original purpose. There is also a difference between the original cobble stones and the new ones to fit the Altstadt flair.

This is a sample of the old Pflastersteine (cobble stones), which are a significant part of Oberursel’s Altstadt.

Old cobble stones 13th century

These cobble stones look like they date from a more recent era.

This is another alley near St. Ursula Church, where only cobble stones are found.

Oberursel Hof Flohmarkt 2021

Around the Altstadt, even the stairways are made from cobble stones.

Stairway to St. Ursula Church, Oberursel

der Pflasterstein (Singular), die Pflastersteine (Plural)

But das Pflaster by itself is a band-aid.

What Goes into the Used Clothing Recycling Containers in Oberursel

These pretty red used-clothes containers have been in place since at least 2014, when I last wrote about it here. There are 24 containers to be found throughout the city. Click here for a list of locations.

Altkleider Standort Im Rosengärtchen, Einkaufszentrum

Old clothes, old shoes, and home textiles can be disposed in these containers around 21 spots in the city. These red containers, depicting the famous ‘Wäschfraa-Brunnen(wash woman fountain) are usually located next to the used-glass containers (Altglas Container) and at the city’s recycling center.

Used-clothing container BSO Oberursel

Recently, this question of what happens to the clothing deposited there was directed to me, and my research about this topic answered some of my own questions too.

Yes, you can put in your frayed clothing, such as worn down socks with holes, a stained table cloth, torn curtains, and much more – as long as these items are not soiled.

For many years, I had been putting torn clothing and the likes directly into the waste bin, where they contribute to the global mountains of trash as well as air pollution when the trash goes up in flames.

From the recycling center’s website, I have this information about what happens to the donations after pick up. What happens to the used clothes?

Then click on (in German): Was passiert mit den Altkleidern? and you get the explanation in German.

A brief translation: The old clothes get recycled by the Bremer FWS-Boer-Gruppe. They get sorted in seven certified sorting centers in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Using 250 points of criteria, they are sorted by hand. This is done without chemical analyses or machines. Based on quality and demand, the next stop might be a second-hand shop, or a worldwide market. The final stage is going to the factory where non-wearable goods get further processed.

Here is a list of what goes in there: ✓ and what doesn’t: ✗


Altkleider Container List of Items

They take (✓list) : wearable clothes, underwear, towels, bed sheets and other household items (tea towels, etc.), blankets, bedding, goose-down feather bed covers, hats, caps, woolen hats, hand bags, belts, shoes of all kind (bundled in pairs) and plush animals.

They do not accept ( ✗ list): wet or dirty textiles, badly damaged textiles, fabric and yarn remnants, umbrellas, suitcases, baskets, carpets, mattresses.

All the other collection-bins or used-clothing containers (usually in plain white/grey) are run by various other organizations and charity groups. I have not seen a list attached to any of them, but it might be safe to assume the rules for acceptable items are similar.

To add a splash of color on your next shopping trip, have a look at these cute strawberry bags on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3hbdmc7

Where to Get Vaccine Wine in Oberursel

I can resist anything except temptation.”

Oscar Wilde

That’s what I thought when I saw this label at our EDEKA Supermarket in Oberursel-Nord. The German word for vaccine is Impfstoff, and our supermarket now carries this in form of… wine.

For learners of German, this is a quick translation of the label.

It won’t protect you from the virus. But it will make your situation a bit more relaxing. Quality wine for everyone with a sense of humor.

Schützt sicher vor keinem Virus. Macht die Lage aber etwas entspannter. Qualitätswein für alle mit Hang zum Humor.

Impfstoff Wein

If you want to make someone smile, give them a bottle of Impfstoff.

der Impfstoff: vaccine

A + impfen: to vaccinate s.o.

Often used in the passive form, which is made from: werden + past participle

Ich werde bald geimpft: I will get vaccinated soon.

Ich wurde noch nicht geimpft: I have not been vaccinated yet.

Diese Webseite verwendet Cookies. Wenn Sie auf der Seite weitersurfen, stimmen Sie der Cookie-Nutzung zu. Mehr Informationen

Diese Webseite verwendet so genannte Cookies. Sie dienen dazu, unser Angebot nutzerfreundlicher, effektiver und sicherer zu machen. Cookies sind kleine Textdateien, die auf Ihrem Rechner abgelegt werden und die Ihr Browser speichert. Die meisten der von uns verwendeten Cookies sind so genannte "Session-Cookies". Sie werden nach Ende Ihres Besuchs automatisch gelöscht. Cookies richten auf Ihrem Rechner keinen Schaden an und enthalten keine Viren. Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Seite “Datenschutzerklärung”.

Close