To counteract the just slightly negative feelings I´ve been having about Germany this week, I spent the afternoon coming up with things I actually LIKE about this country. The top five are:
1. Fairy Tales. I mean it is the land of the Grimm Brothers. In fact moving back to Berlin we drove past Hammeln, the original town of the Pied Piper and his child-stealing ways. But the ABSOLUTE BEST bit of German fairy tales is that they don´t end with the Disneyish And they lived happily ever after. Nope, they all finish with And if they haven´t died yet, then they´re still alive today, which has two great aspects to it. Firstly it nicely covers the German need for deep philosophical thoughts, here along the lines of Schrödinger´s Cat - are they alive or aren´t they? Secondly, it takes that final chance to remind young children that EVERYONE STILL DIES. And that, I think, is a lovely way to send the kiddies off to bed.
2. Being able to live in flats that are OLDER THAN MY COUNTRY and actually STAY WARM in Winter.
4. German names for diseases. They´re just so upfront y´know? No hiding behind impressive sounding latin names. Diarrhea? Oh no, it´s Fall-through. No slightly medical sounding mucous in German, these guys have slime. Forget Athlete´s Foot, here it´s a much more direct Foot Fungus. That big-scary sounding word Meningitis? Why that´s simply a Brain-skin Inflammation!
5. David Hasselhof. For those who missed it the other day, or didn´t and would just like to see it again. Ooga chukka.