German Ice Cream Dish: das Spaghettieis

With sunny weather approaching, you might want to treat yourself and your child/children to one of Germany’s most popular desserts: Spagetthieis  [ʃpaˈɡɛtiˌaɪs]

Do it yourself: Pile some whipped cream onto a plate. Squeeze vanilla ice cream through a Spaetzle Press, completely covering the whipped cream. Then top with your favorite strawberry dessert sauce.
Add coconut flakes, blanched slivered almonds, or white chocolate shavings to simulate Parmesan cheese.
Almost every ice-cream parlor (Eiscafé) serves this. Guten Appetit!

Planned U-Bahn Strike Tomorrow, Friday 13 April 2018

A planned strike will impact the U-Bahn service tomorrow, Friday 13 April. It will include all U-Bahn and tram service in the Frankfurt area, and this means that the U3 train will not service the Oberursel area.

Note: The strike will not impact regular public bus service or the S-Bahn.

Here is a translated version of the RMV’s official closure notice.

More information about the service disruption can be found (in German) at rmv.de.

 

List of German Wedding Anniversaries and Their Symbols

A couple of years ago, we celebrated our 25-year anniversary, a.k.a. silver wedding anniversary. In the Holy Roman Empire, a husband would crown his wife with a silver wreath on their twenty-fifth anniversary, hence the silver.

In Germany, we have the following symbols assigned to each anniversary.

The Wedding Anniversary Guide
  • 1st Anniversary: Paper
  • 2nd Anniversary: Cotton
  • 3rd Anniversary: Leather
  • 4th Anniversary: Silk
  • 5th Anniversary: Wood
  • 6th Anniversary: Sugar
  • 7th Anniversary: Copper
  • 8th Anniversary: Tin
  • 9th Anniversary: Ceramics
  • 10th Anniversary: Rose

 

  • 11th Anniversary: Steel
  • 12th Anniversary: Nickel
  • 12 1/2 Anniversary: Parsley
  • 13th Anniversary: Violet
  • 14th Anniversary: Ivory
  • 15th Anniversary: Crystal
  • 16th Anniversary: Sapphire
  • 17th Anniversary: Orchid
  • 18th Anniversary: Turquoise
  • 19th Anniversary: Abalone
  • 20th Anniversary: Porcelain

 

  • 21st Anniversary: Opal
  • 22nd Anniversary: Bronze
  • 23rd Anniversary: Titan
  • 24th Anniversary: Satin
  • 25th Anniversary: Silver
  • 26th Anniversary: Jade
  • 27th Anniversary: Mahogany
  • 28th Anniversary: Carnation
  • 29th Anniversary: Velvet
  • 30th Anniversary: Pearl

 

  • 31st Anniversary: Basswood
  • 32nd Anniversary: Soap
  • 33rd Anniversary: Pewter
  • 34th Anniversary: Amber
  • 35th Anniversary: Canvas
  • 36th Anniversary: Emerald
  • 37th Anniversary: Machalit
  • 37 1/2 Anniversary: Aluminum
  • 38th Anniversary: Fire
  • 39th Anniversary: Sun
  • 40th Anniversary: Ruby

This coming September, we will celebrate our Carnation Wedding Anniversary. The carnation flower in itself has a slightly morbid association in Germany – they often serve  as funeral flowers.

White carnations symbolize not eternal fidelity, but they also represent the nails used at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Fortunately, its German counterpart ‘Nelke’ not only means carnation, but also clove (as in Gewürznelke).

 

German Terms of the Day: die Steuern und Abgaben

Newcomers often mention Germany’s high prices when it comes to labor costs and products. One one hand, some employees enjoy good benefits, and let’s not forget the many kinds of taxes employers in Germany have to pay.

Let’s take a pub owner and the list of applicable taxes and shares he has to pay:

  • Schankerlaubnis (public entertainment license), Getränkesteuer (alcoholic beverage tax), Vergnügungssteuer (entertainment tax), Mehrwertsteuer (value-added tax or VAT), Einkommenssteuer (income tax), Vermögenssteuer (property tax/personal tax), Grundvermögenssteuer (immovable property tax), Gewerbekapitalsteuer (trade capital tax), Gewerbeertragssteuer (tax on profits), Lohnsteuer (payroll tax), Lohnnebenkosten (nonwage labor costs), Hundesteuer (dog license fee), Kapitalertragssteuer (capital returns tax);

 

  • Add the employer’s obligatory share of his employees’ Krankenversicherung (health insurance), Pflegeversicherung (long term care insurance), Berufsgenossenschaft (employers’ liability insurance coverage), Familienausgleichskasse (family compensation fund), Invalidenversicherung (disability insurance), Angestelltenversicherung (employees’ insurance), Arbeitslosenversicherung (unemployment insurance), Lebensversicherung (life insurance);

 

  • Feuerversicherung (fire insurance), Einbruchsversicherung (burglary insurance), Unfallversicherung (accident insurance), Haftpflichtversicherung (liability insurance), Solidaritätszuschlag (solidarity tax), Rechtsschutzversicherung (legal protection insurance), Industrie-und Handelskammer (chamber of industry and commerce);

 

  • The owner also has to pay his monthly expenses for Gas (gas heating),  Wasser (water), Elektrizität (electricity), Heizung (heating), Müllabfuhr (garbage collection), Schornsteinfeger (chimney sweep), Telefon (phone charges), Zeitungen (newspaper subscriptions), Zeitschriften (magazines), Radio- und Fernsehengebühren (quarterly payment for radio and television licensing fees), Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte or GEMA (performing rights society), etc.

I had read somewhere that a village pub about 30kms north of here had to close its doors. Paying a monthly fee of euro 700, so his guests could watch sport shows, was no longer feasible.

If you have a dog, you also have to pay the Hundesteuer (dog license fee).

I believe we all should pay our tax with a smile. 

I tried, but they wanted cash.

School Life in South Korea and Finland

South Korea and Finland – what a stark contrast in school life.

Student life in South Korea: cram school till midnight, four hours of sleep are the norm, school attendance in high school till 10pm, high cost of cram school education, study for exams only, pressure to get into a top-notch university, etc.

Finnish students have a 20-work school week. This allows them to spend this extra time outside of school to do practical things:  meeting friends, spending time with family, having time to earn some money on the side, reading for pleasure, etc.

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