I frequently point out that I think Germans are a little bit bonkers, here are a couple of little examples that have come to my attention so far this week;
- Sunday 8:30pm was Germany's first game in the 1st round of the football world cup and it was a good game, the Aussie upstarts received a thorough thrashing and the Germans were very pleased with themselves, there were scenes on the TV of the huge 'public' screenings with crowds and crowds of supporters decked out in their black, red and gold.
Monday morning and I went for a run, my route took me down through the woods behind Jas's school past the sports grounds and onto the river path. Despite having my earphones in and listening to whatever podcast it was that day, I was aware of noise as I came down the path to the sportplatz, it was only as I got closer and could see through the trees that I saw the cause; there was a group of 10 or so people still party-ing and celebrating the previous night's victory - and that was just the first game, can you imagine how hard the party-ing will be when Germany coast through the first round?
Or if...they win the whole thing?
- I had to make an appointment for Jas to see the surgeon at the hospital prior to getting the metal rod taken out of her arm. So I rang the doc's secretary, got an appointment and then she tells me that I'll need to bring along a referral letter from Jas's GP.
This is a doctor who doesn't even know that Jas has a broken arm, why on earth do I need a letter from him asking for the hospital to take out the metal rod that they put in, it's not as if anyone else can do it for goodness sake, it's a specific piece of surgery, requiring training (I hope) you can't just do it with a roll of stickt back plastic and a pair of scissors (I hope).
I had this 'discussion' with the secretary, telling her how it was quite crazy, which she agreed with (probably in order to get me off the phone) - I have to go along to the GP and get a note referring Jas to the hospital for the surgery.
Madness, what a waste of my time, their time and paperwork.
The bureaucracy here can be mind boggling.
- it appears to be common practice for parents to compile books for their children of their achievements for each year as they grow up, lots of photos of what they've been up to in that 12 month period, lots of comments and maybe little anecdotes. My (English) friend, Rebecca, asked me whether it was something I was doing, maybe just checking to make sure that it wasn't something that is a worldwide phenomenon and that she was depriving her children of their history.
I think she was quite relieved to have me laugh at the idea (seeing as she has 3 children aged 7,6 & 3 which equates to 16 books...that's a lot of work) I think my words were something like
"can you imagine Ben (13) being happy with the prospect of that embarassment?"
It's quite a sweet thing to do, I guess, but not a German tradition I'll be taking on.
*Bekloppt = barmy/cuckoo/loco/loopy