New Year’s Day 2020 in Germany: What a Waste!

Millions of Euros are wasted every New Year’s Eve (the previous year, 2018, Germans spent €133 million on fireworks).

Ever so efficient, all public spaces have the waste removed before the following work day, 2 January.

These photos were taken at the EDEKA supermarket parking lot on the former military post Camp King in Oberursel.

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”

― Jacques-Ives Cousteau

New Year’s Eve in Germany

Last year, the firework industry took in euro 133 million in sales in Germany alone. Personally, I could do without this air – and noise pollution. On the other hand, I understand that some people (mostly men, I’d suppose) see this as a bit of Wild West fun.

Revenues from firework sales reached their peak in both 2016 and 2017 with € 137 million in sales. In 2018, the New Year’s celebrations brought in € 133 million, as did 2019. Let’s hope for a continuous drop in sales.

Fireworks on New Year’s Eve

“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.” , said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

I’ll be laughing a lot on New Year’s Eve, when I watch Dinner For One. I’m the only one in our family from a 100% German gene pool, and have been told only a German could find this show funny. True. Nobody else in my family laughs with me. One of them might laugh about me, while I’m doubling over in laughter. 🙂

Back to the fireworks – in spite of them being produced mostly in China, I still want to wish your people 祝 你 们!

fireworks – das Feuerwerk (German)

New Year’s Eve – Silvester (German)

German Word of the Day: der Handwerker

If you are new to Germany, you might wonder why repairs take that long. I’m German, but sometimes I wonder about it, too.

Let’s draw the shades on this repair job soon.

On 19 September, our window shutter belt (Rollogurt) tore apart after 18 years of use. I called a couple of companies, and one of them offered an appointment (just to assess the damage) three weeks down the road. The next one offered to come the following Monday. Hurray, I thought.

When the repairman came, he told me this outer roller shutter (Außenrollo) is much harder to repair. Since the Rollo could not be pulled up more than 4 inches/10 cm, there would be no way to reach the outer box without breaking the roller shutter (Rolladenpanzer) . In addition, being on the fourth floor of the building, this would also require a second repair man for security reason.

In my mind, I saw the charges adding up. Finally, these roller shutters need to be ordered from another company, as they do not keep them in stock.

I got my estimate on 24 September of € 687,82 with a note that additional charges (unforeseen at this point) might incur. I placed the job order.

On 17 October, I made a friendly inquiry to the Rollo company to see how far down the line we were on the waiting list. My friendly inquiry got a defensive reply, ‘I told you we would call you as soon as the part(s) have come in.’

It has been five weeks today. We are still without a Rollo, and I suppose the part hasn’t even arrived yet. It takes a lot of patience to be at the mercy of getting jobs done by repairmen (Handwerker) in Germany.

I’m sure some neighbors might find it odd, and speculate what’s going on behind these blinds. Not much, I can tell you. We are also in the dark about it. 🙂 Anyway, at this rate, I hope to get this done by Christmas.

Oktoberfest Breakfast in Oberursel

As we were giving our friend from Texas a little tour through Oberursel this past weekend, I noticed this sign outside the ‘Brauhaus Oberursel’.

Where else but in Germany can you get a Marktfrühstück (market breakfast), which includes a couple of Weißwürste (Bavarian veal sausages), a Pretzel, and a 1/2 L of beer (a pint).

No, this wasn’t for us. We opted for a Bratwurst-to-go from the market square vendor instead.

Their special Oktoberfest menu runs through 13 October 2019.

Baroque Castle in Werneck, Bavaria

For our most recent visit to my hometown, we decided to book a room at a brewery inn in Werneck (district of Lower Franconia in northern Bavaria). It was a good and convenient choice, as we only had to walk about a minute to reach the castle grounds.

I left home 40 years ago, and nowadays I’m trying catch up on local sights I missed to see when I was young.

Baroque Castle Werneck

Castle Park Werneck

We had picked a glorious day to take a stroll through the park.

Baroque Castle Werneck in spring time

Balthasar Neumann, Würzburg’s most famous architect of his time, had built this castle for the Prince Bishop, Friedrich Carl von Schönborn, between 1733 – 1745.

This historical postcard is part of my private collection.

Werneck Castle

The castle houses both a psychiatric and an orthopedic clinic.

The café, chapel, and park can be accessed by the public.

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