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.

Oberursel Christmas Market 2021 is cancelled

Due to the increasing number of new COVID infections, this year’s Christmas Market in Oberursel got cancelled. This was announced yesterday.

At least, I hope the weather forecast is right. We are supposed to get our first snow this Thursday (which would have been the first of the four days of the Christmas Market).

Our last Christmas Market was in 2019, and this where the photo dates from.

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.

A New View onto the Mountain Lodge Camp King, Oberursel

Last year, quite a few trees in our neighborhood had to be taken down because of the drought from previous years.

The removal of these trees opened up a new view onto the Mountain Lodge after almost 25 years.

When you look closely, you can see the steeple in the center of the photo.

The droughts of 2018 – 2020 are definitely changing some the landscape in Germany.

Parking at the Marketplace in Oberursel

Based on the cars featured in this historical postcard, it might be safe to say this image is from the 1960s. Parking is no longer allowed there though.

Oberursel Marketplace 1960s

Other than the absence of parked cars, not much has changed since this photo has been taken.

The marketplace is still a sloping ground, and the farmers market takes place there on Saturday mornings.

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