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Three Updates…

Life’s been interesting of late, and I will shortly be leaving for Turkey, but I thought I’d share a few things.

First up, I took a huge step this week toward “German-hood”—by buying a backpack. When I moved here I bought (here in Germany) an Eastpack backpack. It was a mistake for two reasons: first it started falling apart within a year despite only occasional usage—fortunately it hasn’t been rapid, but I wasn’t impressed. Secondly, it was poorly laid out and couldn’t hold all that much.

With my trip to Turkey in sight, I decided it was high time to get a new backpack, one that was more flexible and could actually hold everything with room left over for small purchases.

My new backpack is a Jack Wolfskin.

For the unfamiliar, Jack Wolfskin is the Columbia/North Face of Germany—a ubiquitous outdoor adventure/sport clothing company that many Germans assume is a global brand. However I think it’s pretty safe to assume that anybody sporting Jack Wolfskin branded goods is highly likely to be German speaking – I would put it in the 80 to 90 percent range.

Secondly, if you want to gross out a German, give them root beer. I can’t promise that it will always work—and actually not one of the three who I gave it to here in Weimar were repulsed, but the mere mention of its existence to one of my colleagues at the office results in him gagging and calling it absolutely disgusting and vile.

I seem to recall that apparently authentic root beer is available at some German Subway sandwich shops in Regensburg—however I’ve never seen evidence of this personally. Instead I bought two bottles of root beer post security and carried it back to Germany.

Such memories: I actually drink a lot of it whilst visiting the States.

Finally, in case you missed it, a German postman got married to his cat.

12 comments to Three Updates…

  • Any chance to visit Capadoccia when you’re in Turkey?

  • Jul

    I’ve found that wintergreen also makes for an effective German repellent.

  • Ian – If Capadoccia is where Google Maps suggested it was, it’s a 9 hour drive from Antalya–which is further afield than I’m willing to go. I’m hoping for beach days, and lots of them.

    Jul – Hmmm… the mints?

  • Pseudo Wife

    Wow, I cannot believe you have a Jack Wolfskin backpack! That brand always reminds me of the Jena Climber on the side of NeueMittel.

    PS the cat looks like it is being forced into the marriage. Gender inequality thrives in cat/human marriages as well. Guess I am not surprised.

  • I’m glad to see that inter-species marriage is allowed but that same-gender marriage is forbidden. *shrugs*

    It looks like Germany jumped right over that and into what most conservative Americans fear.

    • Same gender marriage is allowed in Germany, although it might only be called civil unions…

      And as Cliff pointed out (and I neglected to point out), the wedding is a sham. But the groom is still pleased as punch that he’s married his cat.

  • Before CQ gets his panties in a bunch (ow!), shouldn’t we clarify that

    – the officiant is an actress, and
    – the article cites a legal expert who explains that German law limits marriage to humans, and
    – the article cites a psychology expert who ponders whether the groom has a mental illness, and
    – same-gender marriage is NOT forbidden in Germany (am I wrong Snooker and HB8?)

    • I knew it was a sham, but my point is that the people who scream loudest about same-sex marriage, and how it will be the downfall of civilization, are among the first to trivialize marriage with this kind of thing.

      Civil unions are not marriage. Any time a majority population gives a minority something they say is the same and call it something else, it is by definition not the same.

      My personal belief – civil unions for all (hey if they’re so wonderful, they should be good enough for everyone), and leave marriage to the private clubs known as churches.

      • the people who scream loudest about same-sex marriage, and how it will be the downfall of civilization, are among the first to trivialize marriage with this kind of thing.

        I must have missed something. This cat marrier, who has trivialized marriage, screamed about same-sex marriage? Or are you putting meows in the cat’s mouth?

        My personal belief – civil unions for all (hey if they’re so wonderful, they should be good enough for everyone), and leave marriage to the private clubs known as churches.

        Germany and I share your personal belief. If you want to have an officially recognized spouse here (same sex or different, but definitely same species), you have to have a civil ceremony. Whether or not you choose to have an additional religious ceremony before or after the civil ceremony, is up to you. The civil ceremony is the only one that counts for tax/insurance/administrative purposes. I am, however, ignorant of the terminology. I don’t know whether a same-sex civil marriage ceremony has the same name as a different-sex civil marriage ceremony in German. I am almost positive that it does, but my wife and I got married in the U.S. in front of a judge, and Germany accepts our signed statement that we’re still married whenever we renew our residence permits (which won’t have to happen again for quite awhile). On that paperwork, there’s no extra field or checkbox to indicate that we’re straight or gay — just that we’re married.

        • Just chiming in here. I’m really not the expert on this, that is Sweet No… but what I understand is that No and I do not have a full German “marriage”, we have a life partner contract (Lebenspartnerschaft).

          To hear her tell it, the benefits of this type of contract are not the same thing a man and a woman would get in a German marriage. There is no automatic right of survivorship (will without a will) and we get screwed on the tax situation big time.

          All in all it is my understanding that the only true benefit of the Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz is the possibility for immigration which quite simply was the only reason we opted for this at all. Otherwise I would have had much more difficulty moving to Germany.

          As for the silly man “marrying” his cat… what else do you expect from Bild? It is his 15 minutes of fame. I hope his mama is proud.

  • There is no automatic right of survivorship (will without a will) and we get screwed on the tax situation big time.

    Ugh. Well, then I stand corrected. Thanks Snooker. I am sad to hear that your taxation is any different from what it would be if you were a heterosexual couple.

    You’d think Herr Westerwelle would be all over that, with his Partei der Mehrverdiener and all (“Party of High-Earners”).