German Word of the Day: die Einfahrt

This must be one of the most beloved words for learners of German. The word Fahrt itself stands for drive, ride, trip, etc. Einfahrt means entrance, gateway to Autobahn, etc.

It has nothing to do with fart, even though most learners associate its sound with that. This can provide some giggles.

This photo was taken in Oberursel and it shows the entrance to a Getränkemarkt (beverage shop).

alldrink – Einfahrt: entrance to Alldrink beverage shop

alldrink Einfahrt Oberursel

The Quest for Bunkers in Germany

Ever since the Russian invasion into Ukraine started, some Germans have begun hoarding groceries, buying emergency generators (some home improvement centers have sold out), and inquiring about renting or buying a bunker room.

I watched the German news today, and they had interviewed an entrepreneur who earns a living from renting and selling bunkers in Germany. Before the war with Ukraine, he said, he had four or five inquiries about renting/buying a bunker a week. Now he gets 400 inquiries a week.

Some shoppers around here have been hoarding mostly oil, flour, and toilet paper (among some other items).

My hometown of Schweinfurt (northern Bavaria) hosts a Bunkermuseum, and because of the current development, the number of inquiries for guided tours has been on the rise.

Autobahn in Germany

Feeling safe for now, and greetings from Germany.

New Year’s Eve 2021 in Oberursel, Germany

Our Silvester (German for New Year’s Eve) will be a quiet one, which is just the way I like it. Fireworks and big gatherings are also banned again on New Year’s Eve.

The road ahead should be taken the Welsh way:

“In Wales, people don’t move rocks out of their way. They step over them.” (from memory)

I’m grateful for the old year, and yet child enough to look forward to the next one.

Oberursel forest on 31 Dec 2021

Happy New Year, everyone!

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.

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