German Term for the Day: die Katzenwäsche

Cats regularly clean themselves throughout the day. Right now, we are in the middle of a drought (die Dürre), and need to preserve water. Hence, live more like a cat.

Katzenwäsche

Besides the daily shower, I had taken extra ones throughout the day, but the City of Oberursel sent out a notification to ask us to preserve water for the coming days/weeks.

This means, I still get to take my daily shower, but during the other times of the day, I have to contend with a Katzenwäsche.

Definition: kurzes, oberflächliches Waschen (a short and perfunctory washing of the body)

Beispiel: Ich bin spät dran für die Arbeit. Ich habe keine Zeit für eine Dusche. Ich mache eine schnelle Katzenwäsche.

German Autobahn Trivia and More

The Local Germany has gathered eight interesting facts about the Autobahn. In turn, I have a few of my own to add.

  • Back in 1847, they’d already had speed limits. Based on an archived newsletter from the town of Regensburg dated April of that same year, four people were charged a fine because of speeding in a horse-drawn carriage.
  • In 2015, the car maker VW sold 7.2 million sausages to its employees from its factory-owned sausage production. Those same employees sold 5.82 million cars that same year.
  • When you google Autobahn Germany, you get 535.000 results, whereas for Autobahn Deutschland you get 6.300.000 results
  • How much is a kilometer of Autobahn? The average cost per kilometer runs between 6 million and 20 million euro. Some parts of the Autobahn construction costs can reach astronomical heights, when it comes to adding tunnels and viaducts. Take Berlin, e.g. the extension of the A100 in Berlin by 3.2 km is so far the most expensive stretch of Autobahn: 470 million euro for 3.2 km.
  • German mini-lesson: der Geisterfahrer (literal translation: ghost driver) This is someone driving down the wrong side of the road. You might hear this on the radio: “Attention all drivers on the A xx, there’s a car heading in the wrong direction, please stay on the right-hand lane and do not overtake.” or “An alle Autofahrer, auf der A xx  ist ein Geisterfahrer unterwegs. Bitte fahren Sie auf der rechten Spur.”
Autobahn Deutschland

Autobahn Deutschland

 

German Lesson: Kontor

Quite a few summers ago, I picked up this little Kontor sign at a flea market and attached it to the office door.

The meaning of it gets questioned by old and young, by Germans and foreigners alike. Kontor is the old German word for office.

From Wikipedia: A kontor was a foreign trading post of the Hanseatic League. In addition to the major kontore in London, Ipswich, Bruges, Bergen, and Novgorod, some ports had a representative merchant and a warehouse. …
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kontor

* Niederlassung eines Handelsunternehmens im Ausland

* Büro

* Geschäftsraum, Handelshaus

Kontor

The word Kontor is derived from the Latin verb computare (to calculate).

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