Saturday, April 29, 2006
In honor of Germany's upcoming role as host of the FIFA World Cup (yes, soccer), the news magazine Der Spiegel's English website has been putting together a "Germany Survival Bible". Since Germany holds a special place in my heart, I decided to check it out. I've got to say, it was pretty amusing.
There's everything from an explanation of the unique structure of a typical German toilet (really, it's not nearly as bad as they make it sound) to a stereotyper's guide to German humor to an explanation of the enmity between northern and southern Germany. The latter seems to have a very distinctive northern German slant, but I'll leave that alone for now. The best, and probably the most useful for tourists, is the article talking about German beers. Friends have often asked me before trips to Germany what beers are good and where to find them. Well, guys, now there's an answer, and there are even notes about which ones have the greatest risk of a hangover. So pick out a beer, a region, a flavor, and a degree of hangover likelihood, and go to town!
OTHER AMUSING THINGS: In your next perturbed email to a friend or colleague (choose such colleagues wisely), take advantage of some guidance from one of our greatest bards. Includes phrases both recently assembled and long-ago published.