Strictly for Non-Swabians

Over the weekend, I visited the magical kingdom of Swabia. Its ancient tongue is an unmistakable sing-songy drawl, and its inhabitants are the Germans' Germans, in the sense that some writers are 'writers' writers.' The Swabians are Germans' Germans for two reasons. First, they embody (many aspects of) Deutschtum at its purest and pristinest. Second, like novels written by 'writer's writers,' Swabians are, shall we say, a niche product. Other Germans complain loudly about the Swabians' obsession with order, as exemplified by officious neighbors who crawl inside of garbage cans. Why do they do this? To make sure that whichever tenant was last obliged to clean them during the Kehrwoche (weekly rotating cleaning duties) had done a proper job.

But let's put that to one side for a moment -- especially since I have a looming deadline. For now, you'll just have to content yourself with some pictures of things I found amusing. Translations, if needed, provided in the hover text.

Beware of dog sign, with numbers of 'postmen, auto tires, burglars, and cats' the doggie has claimed. Har Har Har!


'No brat with some stupid name on board'. Extra points for being (apparently) handmade!


Unterriexingen UnterROCKSingen! Note to d'Frishinators -- band name rethink session overdue (feminine hygiene product? toilet bowl cleanser?) 

Deutschlands Patheticste Poster


 'Stop it!' you're screaming. 'I can't take it anymore! Wasn't there anything -- anything -- redeeming about Swabia?'

Why yes, this bird, resting on the letters of a beer advertisement in a passage under the Stuttgart central station:

The 'a' would be more comfortable, if it weren't for the bloody umlauts


Naked Germans for Your Delectation

Germany is the country of Freikoerperkultur and nude dejeuners sur l'herbe in the middle of the English Garden in Munich, so we should not be surprised that lots of Germans were willing to get their kit off for this online project. The photos are pretty nice, but just as charming are the Denglish job descriptions ("tender management", "qualified dental employee").


Factories, Cemeteries, Dike Associations

Germany's a biker's paradise, because there are trails everywhere, and odd little things to see even in the country's dullest backwater. As proof, here are a few photos I took last weekend, when the sky was uncharacteristically illuminated for a few hours by a gigantic, glowing orb last seen about 3 months ago. First, a piece of graffiti under the Fleher Bruecke -- featuring Street Denglish!

Graffito I dont looke alike under Fleher Bruecke

You know, I'd say that with that caramel-colored angora bodysuit, free-floating teeth, and multiple pupils, he actually does look "alike" a "psyco murda."

And now for something more dignified: a roadside altar from 1706.

Streetside Altar near Wahlscheid Overall View

I think the inscriptions's in Dutch. Anyone want to help translate?

Inscription on Roadside Altar near Wahlscheid

An interesting abandoned factories seen from the front (note the odd stepped platforms)...

Continue reading "Factories, Cemeteries, Dike Associations" »


The Ungarian Key to Geschmack

Spotted recently in Rome, a package of Crik Crok potato chips, which are manufactured in Germany but sold in Italy:

Crik Crok Ungarische Taste

Behold the mysteries of cross-border snack-food marketing:Ungarisch is the German word for 'Hungarian'. Taste is the English word for 'taste', but the German word for 'key'. At the bottom, barely visible in this crappy cellphone picture, is "Gourmet Potato Chips." I think we cannot assume that the Germans intended an obscure reference to keys, since if the German word 'key' is feminine, so the preceding adjective would have to read 'ungarische'.

Continue reading "The Ungarian Key to Geschmack" »