German Word of the Day: der Kassenzettel (receipt)

Recently, when shopping at our nearby supermarket, I noticed a different quality and color in the receipt paper. The first time, I figured it was just the end of the paper roll. Today’s receipt looked the same, so I finally took a closer look, and found the explanation on the back of it.

Up until now, receipts from EDEKA supermarket, used to be white in color, and somewhat shiny due to their chemical lining. Hence, they were not meant for the paper trash, but the plastic trash. All this has changed.

Environmentally friendly receipts

The new receipts are better for the environment. See pointers.

  • ohne chemische Farbentwickler (without chemical color enhancer)
  • über das Altpapier entsorgen und recycelbar (please add to the paper bin, it is recycable)
  • beständig gegen Umwelteinflüsse (resistant against environmental impacts)
  • zugelassen für den direkten Kontakt mit Lebensmittel (paper approved for direct contact with dry goods)

This is a good sign in regards to our environment. When we use fewer chemicals and reduce plastic trash, we’re heading in the right direction. Thank you, EDEKA.

Camp King in Oberursel, Germany

For the past 25 years, we have lived next to the former military base Camp King in Oberusel, Germany. When we moved here, I had no idea how involved I would get someday with Camp King and its history.

When I saw these badges for sale, I bought two of them – one for my personal collection, and one for our Camp King Arbeitskreis (research group).

These badges, among many others, can be ordered from kasernepatches. Some proceeds of each patch goes towards Veteran Help Programs donations.

You can also contact them at: kasernepatches@gmail.com

German Terms for Holiday: Urlaub, Reise, Kurzreise, Wochenendausflug, Tagesausflug

When your average German goes on summer holidays, it is usually for a minimum of one week, and can last up to four weeks.

As one of my friends once stated, ‘Anything less than three weeks is not good for relaxing!’ or ‘Weniger als drei Wochen lohnt sich nicht!’ (less than three weeks isn’t worth it).

An Asian friend told me in German, she would be going on a holiday “Wir fahren in Urlaub”. When I asked her about it in more detail, it turned out to be a one-day trip…

Well, this holiday question depends on your cultural and social background. The Americans I knew while working in the States usually took a one-week holiday. The Asians I know also take a week off in the summer. So, in regards to our different perception of what a holiday is, we need to break it down the German way.

Urlaub (holiday): anywhere from one to four weeks

Kurzurlaub (short holiday): three to five days

Städtereise (city trip): three or four days to a European capital city

Reise am langen Wochenende (long weekend trip): weekend with a public holiday either on Friday or Monday

Wochenendausflug (weekend trip): Saturday and Sunday

Tagesausflug (day trip): one day only

When Germans have so many paid vacation days (30 days per year) and 13 public holidays to add to it, of course the vocabulary gets bigger and more detailed.

When a German tells you he’s going on holiday, he really means it. 🙂

“Have a good trip!” in German: Gute Reise!

Biarritz, France

Taken on our two-week summer holiday in Biarritz in 2012.

Class of 2016 – Graduation at Frankfurt International School

We attended our daughter’s high school graduation – the class of 2016 at Frankfurt International School (FIS) in Oberursel on 4 June 2016.

The graduation ceremony was held as usual at Oberursel City Hall.

FIS - 50th graduation: class of 2016

FIS – 50th graduation: class of 2016

The guest speaker was Reinhold Messner, the most famous mountaineer of all time. His talk was good and interesting, but personally, I found it too long at 45 minutes. We parents are eager to move on, and a change of speakers or performers is quite welcome at this point. He also directed his talk at the students by making certain references to having enthusiasm, visions, etc., and he had a few anecdotes to share as well.

But we parents have already climbed our personal mountain to get to that point – our child’s graduation. I wanted a shorter descent.

Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner

The happy toasting family.

FIS graduation

Over the years, the school had rented the event hall at the Sheraton Hotel at the Frankfurt Airport. This year, it was the first time to host the graduation dinner dance at the Gesellschaftshaus Palmengarten in Frankfurt. What a grand setting. It could not have been done any better. The appetizer was served, the rest was from the buffet. Service was splendid, and the food was good. Not gourmet style, but good. If you aren’t vegetarian, try their veal. That was gourmet.

Well, we got what we paid for, and I dare say, we even got a little more.

Gesellschaftshaus Palmengarten, Frankfurt

Gesellschaftshaus Palmengarten, Frankfurt

Another bonus was the restaurant’s patio and its view. It was a warm and somewhat humid day, so at certain times, it was nice to be on the patio to catch the breeze. This was with a glass of wine in hand, and a feeling of accomplishment in my chest. Take a deep sigh and enjoy the moment.

Gesellschaftshaus Frankfurt patio

German Lesson: der Brunnen

Some expats new to the area asked about the meaning of the word Brunnen and Brunnenfest in general. The German word Brunnen stands for fountain, well, and natural spring. The town of Oberursel has more than 60 fountains.

For the Oberursel Brunnenfest, each year a new Brunnenkönigin (fountain queen) gets chosen. This years’s Brunnenkönigin, Nadine I. represented Brunnenfest 2016, and one part of her official duties is to inaugurate the next fountain for the year.

This year’s fountain was the Urselbachbrunnen, located at the ‘Haus am Urselbach’. (Urselbach stands for Ursel Creek)

Brunnen in Oberursel

One of the 66 fountains in Oberursel

There are 26 fountains belonging to the town of Oberursel, and about another 40 fountains are in private hands.

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