Quote by Mark Twain in German

“Je mehr Vergnügen Du an Deiner Arbeit hast, umso besser wird sie bezahlt.”

(The more you enjoy your work, the more you get paid.)

– Mark Twain

Oberursel, Fountain Queen, and Market Square

Sitting there at the ‘Marktweib’ Restaurant, I caught a glimpse of this year’s Fountain Queen (Brunnenkönigin), Ann-Kathrin I, along with the Brunnenmeister, Rainer. For a better image of her, click here: http://www.vereinsring-oberursel.de/html/brunnenkoenigin.html

2017 Oberursel Fountain Queen and King

Market Square in Oberursel

View onto St. Ursula Church and a couple of restaurants with outdoor seating. A few minutes after having taken this photo, I was sitting there myself with a beer in hand.

In the Altstadt, you can still find a mounting block for horses in front of someone’s door. Those were the days of real horse power.

Oberursel has its charms, and we still discover interesting nooks and corners after having lived here for 22 years.

Germany’s Oldest Christmas Market is in Dresden

Which town has the oldest Christmas Market in Germany? Among the many questions I get from expats around the area, this one is related to Christmas.

The town  is Dresden. Its Christmas Market, also locally referred to as Striezelmarkt, was the first one of its kind to be mentioned in 1434.

Meaning of Striezel (m): 1) In eastern and central Germany, a Striezel is a yeast dough bread, similar to Stollen (e.g. Weihnachtsstollen). 2) The term can also stand for ‘naughty boy’.

snowman

The Cost of Living in London

Our son has been making noises of returning to London after the completion of his second Masters at Fudan University in Shanghai in 2017. Sure, sounds great, but as mindful parents, we worry about the cost of living there.

Right now, he is still at the London School of Economics (LSE) and enjoying his student life (more or less, depending on his course work) with the costs of tuition, accommodations, and spending money being taken care of.

Holborn, London

Holborn, London

For working in London, and making ends meet, I shared with him the basic rule of salary division: 1/3 for cold rent, 1/3 for utilities, groceries, etc. and 1/3 for fun, holidays, and savings.

When I saw this article Rents In London? If You Have to Ask… in the International Herald Tribune, I forwarded it to him to bring him down to earth, so to speak.

Based on my calculation of a monthly GBP 800 contribution in sharing rent, this would require a first-year salary of GBR 28.000 in net pay. Young people often have to make do with less, and he could do it on maybe half his pay going for rent. But like many parents, we had hoped for the financial support to stop at some point in our life.

We finally decided to consult a friend, whose daughter had found a job and a flat to share in London. We inquired how she was getting on in regards to the financial side of things. This was his reply:

She is getting along fine with the cost of living in London. Her parents, who are financing it, not so well. She shares an apartment with a friend in East London which costs us around 800 pounds a month.

Well, we shall see.

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