What Germans like to buy for New Year’s Eve (Silvester)

The German supermarkets have been swamped since yesterday. The madness will continue until tomorrow afternoon, 31 Dec, when the shops close at 2pm. Here are a few items Germans like to buy around this time of year.

Clover, pigs, and chimney sweeps are good luck charms and make a nice thank-you present for co-workers, neighbors, etc.

chimney sweep

Fireworks sell out quickly. Our children got their own share of firecrackers and bottle rockets.

Germans spent 113 million euro on fireworks last year. If I had any say in this, I would stop this waste.

fireworks for sale in German supermarket

Then, some of us tend to give our friends drinks with interesting labels, such as ‘Kalte Muschi’, which is a coke and red wine mix, or plain red wine with an alluring name.

Drink names

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

(Little Gidding)
― T.S. Eliot

German Lesson: die Wickelkommode

My niece is about to have her first child and so my sister informed me that she could use a money present to buy the baby’s furniture. Among the needed items listed is a Wickelkommode (baby dressing table or diaper changing table). This triggered some memories for an item I never had, a Wickelkommode.

I have raised two children and didn’t need one. I guess the reason being was that our first child was born in Japan and we occupied a tiny teachers housing flat, with tatami mat rooms. First of all, these apartments are not equipped to room a baby changing table. Also, the traditional Japanese mom changes her baby’s diaper on the tatami floor, which I did too.

And one thing I never had to worry about was the baby rolling off the dresser.

A few years later, when we came to Germany and we had our second child, I continued changing the baby’s diaper on the floor, just the way I had learned it in Japan and I had gotten very used to it as well.

A Wickelkommode, in my viewpoint, is a very commercial item. It is much more comfortable being on the floor with the baby, there is plenty of room to put items aside, it is more relaxing, and does not cost a cent.

 

German Lesson: die Revierförsterei

There is an old Norwegian idiom, Man sieht den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht (You can’t see the wood for the trees) and it rings true as I have passed this wooden sign many times in my 19 years in Oberursel without paying much attention. Until now.

It’s located at the cross section of Hohemarkstrasse and An der Waldlust.

Today’s vocabulary:

das Revier: terrritory, district, field, region

die Försterei: forestry

The Revierförsterei is the home and place of work of the district forest ranger.

 

German Lesson: die Hundebadestelle

Most German areas are rather dog friendly, so we were not surprised to find designated stretches of beach labeled Hundebadestelle (dog bathing area).

This photo was taken along the Baltic Sea shore.

Hundebadestelle

 

Mountain Lodge Oberursel under Construction

I took another walk around the Camp King area this afternoon. We live so close by (a five-minute walk), but yet so far away. It was a very humid and overcast afternoon .

Camp King’s ‘Mountain Lodge’, seen from south.  Children still have plenty of room to play soccer on a humid summer afternoon. There was also some activity going on in front of the chapel further up. This could have been organized by the Waldorf Schule, which uses the chapel for its drama department activities throughout the school year. It looked like a school parents’ picnic (with beer benches). The Hessians’ last day of school is this coming Friday.

Mountain Lodge Oberursel

South side of the ‘Mountain Lodge’.  Workers have been modifying its foundation, in preparation for the construction of several apartments.

Lodge construction Oberursel

A real estate advertisement attached to the western side of the building.  More information about apartments, including 360° conceptions of interior spaces, may be found on http://www.mountainlodge-oberursel.com/index.html.

Balcony Mountain Lodge

If you’re interested in buying an apartment, you’d better hurry.  There are still two available. “Verkauft” means sold.

Mountain Lodge Ad

East view of the ‘Mountain Lodge’.  A sign nearby indicates foreseeable occupancy at the end of 2014.  We’ll see!

Mountain Lodge construction site

The advertisement sign indicated that the apartments would be ready for moving in by the end of this year. Being German myself, I know to add at least another six months to this kind of promise.

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