German Word of the Day: die Pflastersteine

In a conversation about last week’s Hof Flohmarkt (courtyard flea market), when most of Oberursel’s Altstadt (old part of the town) opened its courtyard gates to many visitors, I also mentioned to wear good shoes around the area as high heels make walking difficult.

The conversation turned then to farm house courtyards, and their original purpose. There is also a difference between the original cobble stones and the new ones to fit the Altstadt flair.

This is a sample of the old Pflastersteine (cobble stones), which are a significant part of Oberursel’s Altstadt.

Old cobble stones 13th century

These cobble stones look like they date from a more recent era.

This is another alley near St. Ursula Church, where only cobble stones are found.

Oberursel Hof Flohmarkt 2021

Around the Altstadt, even the stairways are made from cobble stones.

Stairway to St. Ursula Church, Oberursel

der Pflasterstein (Singular), die Pflastersteine (Plural)

But das Pflaster by itself is a band-aid.

Where to Get Vaccine Wine in Oberursel

I can resist anything except temptation.”

Oscar Wilde

That’s what I thought when I saw this label at our EDEKA Supermarket in Oberursel-Nord. The German word for vaccine is Impfstoff, and our supermarket now carries this in form of… wine.

For learners of German, this is a quick translation of the label.

It won’t protect you from the virus. But it will make your situation a bit more relaxing. Quality wine for everyone with a sense of humor.

Schützt sicher vor keinem Virus. Macht die Lage aber etwas entspannter. Qualitätswein für alle mit Hang zum Humor.

Impfstoff Wein

If you want to make someone smile, give them a bottle of Impfstoff.

der Impfstoff: vaccine

A + impfen: to vaccinate s.o.

Often used in the passive form, which is made from: werden + past participle

Ich werde bald geimpft: I will get vaccinated soon.

Ich wurde noch nicht geimpft: I have not been vaccinated yet.

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.

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