UCOG Blog Logo
News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 26, 2013

John F. Kennedy's prophetic words

Filed under Life in Europe

50 years ago today President John F. Kennedy spoke the words most widely recognized today as being German: "Ich bin ein Berliner." Read more…»»

September 24, 2012

I fly on the JU-52

Filed under Life in Europe

It took two years before I was able to do it, but I finally flew on the JU-52. Read more…»»

August 7, 2012

"The games must go on!"

Filed under Life in Europe

This post is not about the Olympics, but about Filipino resourcefulness in the ongoing flooding in the Philippine capital, Manila. Read more…»»

July 12, 2012

A pope for Protestants, too?

Filed under Life in Europe

Could the pope be the pope for Protestants, too, instead of just being the head of the Roman Catholic church? Read more…»»

May 8, 2012

Hail on the window

Filed under Life in Europe

One advantage of an attic flat is that your windows are at an angle so you can catch some hail. Read more…»»

May 1, 2012

German mating season 2012

Filed under Life in Europe

My amateur anthropological observation of young Germans led to additional insights this year on the customs of the native population in my vicinity. :-) Read more…»»

April 17, 2012

You didn't see that 40 years ago

Filed under Life in Europe

In contrast to America – and Switzerland – Germans did not tend to "fly the flag" when I first came to Germany 41 years ago. Read more…»»

April 12, 2012

A minor kitchen makeover

Filed under Life in Europe

When I got back to Germany last month, my refrigerator had given up the ghost. Read more…»»

March 31, 2012

Train nostalgia: TEE "Rheingold"

Filed under Life in Europe

As I waited for my train to Berlin this morning at Cologne's main station, a bit of train nostalgia rolled on the other side of the platform. Read more…»»

January 29, 2012

I could have gotten arrested for this

Filed under Life in Europe

Not today, of course, but 30 years ago. Read more…»»

January 23, 2012

Which track, please?

Filed under Life in Europe

For a few minutes today the Deutsche Bahn (German rail) had people wondering what track was really the correct one. Read more…»»

January 14, 2012

What would my German teacher say about this?

Filed under Life in Europe

My high school German teacher used to wax eloquent on the punctuality of trains in Germany. Read more…»»

January 11, 2012

You think you pay a lot for gas? (3)

Filed under Life in Europe

I filled up my tank for $64.30 this week. Read more…»»

August 29, 2011

Only in Germany

Filed under Life in Europe

How much should you pay for a hotdog? In Germany it apparently depends on whether you are standing or sitting. Read more…»»

August 13, 2011

The "wall of shame"

Filed under Life in Europe

50 years ago today the German Democratic Republic ("East Germany") began construction of the Berlin Wall. Read more…»»

July 19, 2011

40 years ago in Germany

Filed under Life in Europe

40 years ago this summer was my first trip to Germany. 3 other Ambassador College students and I spent about 10 weeks in Bad Oeynhausen. Read more…»»

July 10, 2011

An amazing goal!

Filed under Life in Europe

I have watched a lot of football (soccer) matches, but today’s women’s World Cup quarterfinal match between the USA and Brazil tops them all. Read more…»»

June 22, 2011

40 and 70 years ago

Filed under Life in Europe

What a difference 40 years can make! 40 years ago today I was a student spending the summer in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. Read more…»»

June 4, 2011

Deutsche Bahn still can’t spell

Filed under Life in Europe

Four years after my last report and some 14 years after the German spelling reform was first implemented, the Deutsche Bahn still can’t spell. Read more…»»

May 24, 2011

What a monster!

Filed under Life in Europe

Upon my arrival this morning at the Frankfurt airport, my Delta flight was parked next to a new A380. Read more…»»

April 17, 2011

A day away from the office

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s hike near Ebnath, Germany led us to a restaurant located on the top of a 3000 foot high hill. Read more…»»

March 21, 2011

"The order of train cars is reversed"

Filed under Life in Europe

That announcement usually prompts a quick shuffle on the platform as an ICE train approaches the station! Read more…»»

March 14, 2011

Daylight Savings Time

Filed under Life in Europe

This year America and Europe are out of sync on daylight savings time longer than in the past because of a change in DST for the USA. Read more…»»

March 9, 2011

Do you speak Denglisch?

Filed under Life in Europe

You won’t find Denglisch in any list of standard languages. Instead, it refers to the use of English words in everyday German despite the existence of German words that say the same thing. Read more…»»

November 7, 2010

The A61 Autobahn bridge over the Mosel

Filed under Life in Europe

In the last 35 years I have driven over this bridge countless times, always impressed by its engineering. Read more…»»

August 9, 2010

The "little mouse" and the Schengen Treaty

Filed under Life in Europe

I learned the positive benefits of the European Union Schengen Treaty when I went to the Düsseldorf airport with the "little mouse" this morning Read more…»»

July 11, 2010

Kung-Fu football – Ouch!

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s World Cup final had some people complaining again about the quality of the officiating during the tournament. Read more…»»

July 3, 2010

"Pride goes before destruction"

Filed under Life in Europe

The quote from the book of Proverbs in the Bible comes to mind after Germany’s 4-0 World Cup victory over Argentina today. Read more…»»

June 27, 2010

The ghost of Wembley

Filed under Life in Europe

One German newspaper described today’s World Cup match between England and Germany as the "ghost of Wembley". Read more…»»

June 19, 2010

"Raisin bomber" crashes in Berlin

Filed under Life in Europe

That headline might have been published over 60 years ago, but it was again today in Berlin. Read more…»»

May 31, 2010

"Snipers" behind the Wall

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s surprise resignation by German federal president Horst Köhler reminded me of an earlier German president who resigned a few weeks prior to the end of his second term, largely as a result of efforts to discredit him by "snipers" behind the Wall. Read more…»»

May 13, 2010

Father’s Day in Germany

Filed under Life in Europe

Today is Ascension Day in Germany, the day ten days before Pentecost when Jesus ascended into heaven. Here in Germany this day has become a traditional "Father’s Day" of sorts, when fathers – and some men who aren’t fathers– take off for a daylong outing to enjoy a few beers. Read more…»»

April 29, 2010

Dachau freed 65 years ago today

Filed under Life in Europe

65 years ago today American troops liberated some 30,000 starving prisoners being held at the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. Read more…»»

April 18, 2010

A "providential" volcano?

Filed under Life in Europe

The volanic eruption in Iceland surely wasn’t "providential," but it help provide an answer to a reader’s question. Read more…»»

April 8, 2010

Bothered by bronchitis

Filed under Life in Europe

A week’s worth of antiobiotics has enabled me to get over a terrible case of bronchitis – by far the worst one I have ever had. Read more…»»

March 25, 2010

"Protect Sunday" conference in Brussels

Filed under Life in Europe

As mentioned in my last blog post, yesterday the "Protect Sunday" conference was held at the European Parliament building in Brussels. Read more…»»

March 7, 2010

EU initiative to protect Sunday

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

A special conference to relaunch the debate on protecting Sunday as a work-free day at the European level will be held on March 24, 2010 at the European Parliament in Brussels. Read more…»»

February 14, 2010

Neo-Nazis in Dresden – bad day for a trip!

Filed under Life in Europe

We try to pick dates to accommodate interested "Gute Nachrichten" readers who want to have a visit, but maybe I should have thought about this weekend a bit more before confirming the appointment! Read more…»»

January 19, 2010

Lidl adds to Deutsche Bahn chaos

Filed under Life in Europe

As if there weren’t enough problems riding the train this winter with ice and snow, discounter Lidl floods the market with cheap train tickets. Read more…»»

November 16, 2009

What a neat present!

Filed under Life in Europe

I was totally surprised at today’s UCG-Germany National Council meeting when the board gave me a special present. Read more…»»

October 24, 2009

Last time was 35 years ago!

Filed under Life in Europe

The last time I did this was 35 years ago: getting off the train (subway) at the wrong stop en route to Munich. Read more…»»

October 18, 2009

Don’t do this!

Filed under Life in Europe

I could have set off an alert at the Frankfurt airport about one hour ago! Read more…»»

September 11, 2009

A bad cold or the flu?

Filed under Life in Europe

That’s the question I was asking myself today as I woke up with a fever just four days after returning to Germany. Read more…»»

August 4, 2009

Unexpected Upgrade

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s flight from Frankfurt to Atlanta on Delta Airlines was more pleasant than expected. Read more…»»

July 21, 2009

Mass Accident on German Autobahn

Filed under Life in Europe

This kind of thing usually happens in the fall or winter when fog conditions prevail. Read more…»»

July 16, 2009

A surprise visitor to Bonn

Filed under Life in Europe

When I returned home from visiting members yesterday afternoon, there was a surprise visitor waiting for me. Read more…»»

May 30, 2009

"Save our beach party!"

Filed under Life in Europe

The people in the village where I lived 14 years take their annual beach party seriously – even if they don’t have a beach! Read more…»»

May 14, 2009

Our kids traveled better

Filed under Life in Europe

My return flight to Frankfurt last night reminded me of how well our children traveled. Read more…»»

March 29, 2009

You talk about job hazards!

Filed under Life in Europe

This work crew takes a big risk when it goes to work – defusing 500 pound bombs. Read more…»»

February 23, 2009

Germany’s Mardi Gras Monday

Filed under Life in Europe

If you live in Düsseldorf or Cologne, you have to get used to Mardi Gras. Read more…»»

February 13, 2009

"Convenience" comes to Germany

Filed under Life in Europe

Things have changed quite a bit since I came to Germany to work 36 years ago. Read more…»»

January 21, 2009

Will Tom cruise in German theaters?

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

Tomorrow is the opening day for Tom Cruise’s movie "Valkyrie” in German theaters. It will be interesting to see how well the movie fares here. Read more…»»

January 10, 2009

Is a dud better than live bomb?

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

Thousands of bombs were dropped on Germany during World War II. Some of them did not explode. Who pays for removal if you find one in your back yard? You won’t believe this one! Read more…»»

October 30, 2008

Tempelhof’s Last Day

Filed under Life in Europe

Berlin’s historic Tempelhof airport closes tonight at midnight. The last two planes to leave the world’s first commercial airport will be a "raisin bomber" – an American transport plane from the Berlin airlift – and a Junkers JU-52. Both will take off simultaneously shortly before midnight. In a referendum held last April, an initiative to save Tempelhof airport failed to achieve the required level of support needed to pass. Read more »

September 26, 2008

Déjà vu: Siegburg and Babylon

Filed under Life in Europe

When I got to the Siegburg train station this morning for the trip to Berlin, I thought it was last Saturday morning all over again, as Yogi Berra might have said. Read more…»»

September 16, 2008

Beer brewhaha

Filed under Life in Europe

Bavarians must have a higher tolerance for beer. Or maybe they are getting a bad deal when they order a beer. Read more…»»

September 9, 2008

Déjà vu: Beast power arising

Filed under Life in Europe

Once again a news item from Germany has caught the fancy of Church of God groups and their bloggers. What’s the real story on Germany’s new tax i.d. number? Read more…»»

August 18, 2008

Hitler in every house

Filed under Life in Europe

75 years ago today a new technology was utilized with the goal of making Adolf Hitler’s voice audible in every German home. Read more…»»

July 6, 2008

Hitler loses his head

Filed under Life in Europe

Hitler has been back in Berlin, at least at Madame Tussauds wax museum. But not for long. Read more…»»

June 22, 2008

German flag season

Filed under Life in Europe

With Germany advancing to the semifinals of the European soccer championship, German flags are once again visible all over Germany. Read more…»»

June 17, 2008

"Deutschland über alles"

Filed under Life in Europe

Before last night’s European Cup soccer match between Germany and Austria it was "Deutschland über alles" again – but not because of the Germans. Read more…»»

June 13, 2008

After Irish "No" vote: A Nice future for the EU?

Filed under Life in Europe

Irish voters have seemingly sounded the death knell for the Lisbon treaty, which was intended to streamline the European Union decision-making process. Is the Lisbon treaty really dead? Maybe not after all. Two viable options exist for getting it ratified. Even if they fail, though, Europe’s march toward unity will continue. Read more »

June 11, 2008

Would you do this?

Filed under Life in Europe

I could hardly believe it. The greenhouse next to our office is being torn down. That was no surprise, since there has been talk for months of having a discount food store moving in. The way it was being done was questionable. Read more…»»

June 1, 2008

2:00:31 & an executive decision

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s half marathon in Duisburg, Germany was a real challenge. Read more…»»

May 9, 2008

Swiss "Profiling"

Filed under Life in Europe

My train ride today from Bonn to Switzerland proved again that I must look a bit European. Read more…»»

May 1, 2008

German mating season

Filed under Life in Europe

With my exceptional anthropological observation skills, I have determined that today is the official day of "mating season" for German males – and this year for females as well. Read more…»»

April 28, 2008

Goodbye Tempelhof Airport

Filed under Life in Europe

In Berlin’s first-ever referendum an initiative to save historic Tempelhof airport failed to reach the required level of support needed to pass. The world’s first airport to offer regularly scheduled civilian flights will be closed in October. Read more »

April 10, 2008

40 years ago in Prague

Filed under Life in Europe

On a cool sunny day spring was evident today as I rode public transportation from Prague’s airport to the nearest subway station. The trees are turning green, blossoms are sprouting and people are wearing lighter coats as the temperatures are in the low 50s. 40 years ago the outdoor temperature wasn’t the only one raised by a Prague spring. Read more…»»

April 7, 2008

A 60 year old reformed reformer

Filed under Life in Europe

This week Germany’s former foreign minister Joschka Fischer turns 60. Like other prominent people who had problems completing school (among them Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Adolf Hitler), Fischer never finished school. Not bad for a fellow who has lectured at Princeton. Read more…»»

April 2, 2008

Hot Turkey leaves EU cold

Filed under Life in Europe

Turkey’s constitutional court has decided to accept the request by the country’s attorney general to open proceedings on whether to ban Turkish prime minister Erdogan’s party from politics. A stalemate possibly lasting months will be the result. Read more…»»

March 24, 2008

Unsprung spring

Filed under Life in Europe

The calendar says that spring is here. Maybe we are on a time delay in Troisdorf. Read more…»»

March 21, 2008

Pope Benedict does it again

Filed under Life in Europe

"All good things come in threes" is a German saying. Even though he now lives in Italy, it seems that German Pope Benedict XVI remembers that saying. For the third time in as many years he has offended people. Read more…»»

March 12, 2008

A remarkable turnaround for the euro

Filed under Life in Europe

With the exchange rate being $1.55 to 1 €, the value of the euro reached an all time high today. Considering the weakness of the euro just eight years ago, the turnaround in its value is remarkable. So is the current view of a former euro skeptic. Read more »

March 9, 2008

A cold EU wind from this Irish spring?

Filed under Life in Europe

With the British parliament now having rejected a national referendum on the ratification of the EU’s Lisbon reform treaty, the path seems clear for the treaty’s implementation in January 2009. Or does it? One country is a cause for concern in Brussels. Read more…»»

March 4, 2008

Dutch "movie controversy"

Filed under Life in Europe

Remember the Danish cartoon controversy when a Danish newspaper published several images of the prophet Muhammad in September 2005? Now the Netherlands braces for the reaction from the Islamic world to the Dutch "movie controversy." Read more »

February 27, 2008

A "Whodunnit" 75 years later

Filed under Life in Europe

75 years ago today the Reichstag went up in flames. The blaze gave the Nazi party a chance to declare a state of emergency. Who was responsible for the fire? Read more…»»

February 4, 2008

Rosenmontag 2008

Filed under Life in Europe

Germany has been called "the land of poets and thinkers", but you would have to wonder about that today while watching the traditional "Rosenmontag" parades which are the highlight of the annual Mardi Gras celebrations here. Read more…»»

January 30, 2008

"I can’t eat enough to puke as I would like"

Filed under Life in Europe

German news media spent a lot of time today talking about an event that took place 75 years ago: On this day Adolf Hitler became the last chancellor of Germany’s Weimar Republic. Read more…»»

January 28, 2008

A new clutch for 15 €

Filed under Life in Europe

I have been having problems with my car’s clutch for six months. I was told I would need a new clutch. I got a "new" clutch for only 15 €! Read more…»»

January 20, 2008

Real "high speed" internet

Filed under Life in Europe

Sure, you’ve got DSL or some other high speed internet service. But how about "high speed" internet – on a train traveling 180 mph? Read more…»»

January 14, 2008

I should have waited a day

Filed under Life in Europe

I should waited until today to write my last post on the price of gasoline here in Germany. Today at my local gas station the price dropped 0.04 € to 1.35 €. So now it is the same price as 18 months ago. :-)

January 9, 2008

You think you pay a lot for gas? (2)

Filed under Life in Europe

With the price of oil on the world market recently having topped $100 a barrel, it is time to revisit this subject. Read more…»»

January 1, 2008

New Year’s Eve in Germany

Filed under Life in Europe

Germany survived another New Year’s eve, which is pretty good considering the fact that the Germans blow up an estimated 100 million € of fireworks to celebrate the new year. Read more…»»

December 27, 2007

A moving experience (2)

Filed under Life in Europe

Moving into your new apartment in Germany is half the battle. Cleaning up the old apartment is the other half. Read more…»»

December 19, 2007

A moving experience (1)

Filed under Life in Europe

For Americans who have built in closets in bedrooms – even walk-in closets – and kitchen cabinets it is somewhat of an adjustment to live in Europe where not much of anything is built in. I haven’t had much time to write this month because I have been occupied with my move to a smaller apartment. Read more…»»

November 29, 2007

Down by the sea – Noah’s ark

Filed under Life in Europe

That is an apt description for the Netherlands. With its seafaring tradition and Protestant background, it is no surprise to me that a modern Noah’s ark was built here. Read more…»»

November 23, 2007

"Karl who?"

Filed under Life in Europe

That is how many reacted when the heavyweight title fight was announced in 1966. "Karl" turned out to be the only boxer to knock down Muhammed Ali in a title bout during Ali’s first reign as world champ. Read more…»»

November 16, 2007

1000 miles later

Filed under Life in Europe

This time last year I started running again. One year later I have logged 1000 miles. Read more…»»

November 2, 2007

Book of the year

Filed under Life in Europe

That sounds like a pretty ambitious claim. But it is true – if the author is Mary Ann Miller (Bates). Read more…»»

October 7, 2007

Cologne Half Marathon: 1:46:33

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

After running my first full marathon last April, I decided to try half the distance this time. Read more…»»

September 4, 2007

"Cruising" in Berlin

Filed under Life in Europe

The last couple of weeks provided some interesting experiences in Berlin, both for "normal" spectators and celebrity hawks. Read more…»»

September 1, 2007

50 years ago today

Filed under Life in Europe

Most people would be quite surprised to learn what law took effect in Germany 50 years ago today. Read more…»»

July 25, 2007

Berlin – then and now

Filed under Life in Europe

A photo contrast of 50 years from Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm shows how one era’s progress becomes obsolete. The contrast also provides a trivia quiz question. Read more…»»

July 19, 2007

"Hut 66"

Filed under Life in Europe

"Hut" is the German word for hat, and it is pronounced like "route" as in "Route 66". I am prohibited from wearing "Hut 66" in Germany. Read more…»»

June 15, 2007

German spelling chaos

Filed under Life in Europe

Once upon a time, German spelling was easier. Not that it was ever totally easy, mind you. But it was easier for those who learned how to spell the "old" way. Read more…»»

June 3, 2007

Our first apartment

Filed under Life in Europe

33 years ago this month Monica and I moved into our first apartment in Düsseldorf, Germany. Read more…»»

May 1, 2007

Creative sign department

Filed under Life in Europe

It seems like a nearby kindergarten was having some problems with men emptying their bladders at the fence. Sounds like a job for some creative sign design. Read more…»»

April 22, 2007

4:23:18

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

My first trip along the Rhine River was in the summer of 1972. I took a train from Bonn to Munich, and the sunny day was perfect for the stretch of the river just south of Bonn. 35 years later it was another sunny day for seeing the Rhine just south of Bonn. This time, though, my mode of "transportation" was a little different. I ran a full marathon with Mary Ann Miller and Matthew Bates. Read more…»»

April 19, 2007

40 years ago today

Filed under Life in Europe

40 years ago today the Federal Republic of Germany’s first chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, died at the age of 91 in the small town of Rhöndorf south of Bonn. Read more…»»

April 14, 2007

Another train station

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s Sabbath trip took me to Darmstadt, some 120 miles or so from my apartment. Read more…»»

April 8, 2007

A morning jog into "East Germany"

Filed under Life in Europe

This morning I did something that I would have been arrested for if I had done it 20 years ago: I jogged into "East Germany". Read more…»»

April 6, 2007

90 years ago today

Filed under Life in Europe

A historical footnote broadcast on the radio this morning as I was on the way to visit a widow near Bonn reminded me of my dad. Read more…»»

February 15, 2007

"They didn’t cut your tie in half?"

Filed under Life in Europe

That was the question an amazed co-worker asked me when I arrived at the office in Bonn some 30 years ago today after having used public transportation to get to work. Read more…»»

January 26, 2007

"What are you doing here?"

Filed under Life in Europe

When our new booklet "Does God Exist?" was delivered yesterday it wasn’t the first time I was asked where I am from. Read more…»»

January 21, 2007

Sabbath trip to Hamburg: Hamm, Hamm!

Filed under Life in Europe

Yesterday’s trip to Hamburg was an interesting experience, thanks to Kyrill. Read more…»»

January 19, 2007

Hurricane "Kyrill" hits Germany hard

Filed under Life in Europe

I didn’t pay much attention to the weather forecast this week until Wednesday, when Germany’s National Weather Service urged everyone to stay home on Thursday if at all possible. Read more…»»

January 3, 2007

A look at hell and purgatory

Filed under Life in Europe

Mt. Vesuvius isn’t the only area of volcanic interest near Naples, Italy. Read more…»»

January 1, 2007

You think you’re in a rut?

Filed under Life in Europe

I don’t mean the way you live your life, but rut as in pothole! They had some remarkable ruts in Pompei. Read more…»»

December 31, 2006

"This isn’t Italy!"

Filed under Life in Europe

That’s what our new landlord told us when we rented a three bedroom apartment near Hannover, Germany in July 1982. Read more…»»

November 9, 2006

Soccer star Uwe Seeler turns 70

Filed under Life in Europe

3 time German soccer player-of-the-year Uwe Seeler turned 70 last Sunday, providing an opportunity to reflect on a star whose personal example shines brightly long after his sport has become big business. Read more…»»

November 4, 2006

"Squeezing the Charmin" on a German ICE

Filed under Life in Europe

Remember those "Don’t squeeze the Charmin!" commercials on TV promoting the Charmin brand of toilet paper? Wasn’t it Mr. Whipple who always got caught "squeezing the Charmin"? It seems the "Deutsche Bahn AG" might be watching old U.S. TV commercials. Read more…»»

October 28, 2006

Work on a "mirror" website?

Filed under Life in Europe

This week I saw an ad for employment for a "mirror" website. Doesn’t sound very interesting, you might think. But this isn’t just any "mirror" website – it is Germany’s news magazine Der SPIEGEL. Read more…»»

October 5, 2006

A "mini" computer sale at Lidl

Filed under Life in Europe

German discounter Lidl offered two computers as part of its regular Thursday mini-sale. As far as one of the computers is concerned, it definitely was a mini-sale! Read more…»»

September 30, 2006

Want to learn some "German"?

Filed under Life in Europe

Are you intimidated by the thought of learning another language? Think again! You might know more "German" than you think! :-) Read more…»»

September 15, 2006

My "hippy" friend?

Filed under Life in Europe

I have known Darris McNeely, managing editor of World News & Prophecy, for some 36 years. Even after all these years I learned some more about him during his recent visit to Germany. Read more…»»

September 10, 2006

"I don’t get no respect!"

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

The late Rodney Dangerfield’s well-known line from his comedy routines came to mind during my recent visit to Berlin with World News & Prophecy managing editor Darris McNeely. Maybe that is what some 2500 Soviet soldiers would say if they had a chance – soldiers buried just inside what used to be West-Berlin. Read more…»»

September 8, 2006

"I had a Berliner"

Filed under Life in Europe

An American can hardly visit Berlin without being reminded of John F. Kennedy’s famous speech given in June 1963. World News & Prophecy managing editor Darris McNeely was no exception. Read more…»»

September 7, 2006

Potsdam 1945: Unfinished Business

Filed under Life in Europe

"How does it feel to be in enemy territory?" Somewhat of a strange question to be asked at a church social, as I was in the summer of 1982. Read more…»»

September 5, 2006

Hot time at Burger King in Berlin

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

Flame-broiled burgers aren’t the only things that get hot at the Burger King restaurant in Berlin’s new main train station, as World News & Prophecy managing editor Darris McNeely and I found out today. Read more…»»

August 23, 2006

The real Budweiser beer

Filed under Life in Europe

My visit to the only UCG member in the Czech Republic was the inspiration for this post. Read more…»»

August 20, 2006

A funny thing happened on the way home

Filed under Life in Europe

I knew something was wrong yesterday when I got to the main station in Hamburg for my train ride back to Bonn, normally a 4.5 hour trip. Read more…»»

July 8, 2006

July 4th in German soccer history

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s 3-1 victory over Portugal in the World Cup match for 3rd place was the last of 7 games played by the German national team in a remarkable four week period. Read more…»»

June 30, 2006

World Cup: Germany’s winning ways

Filed under Life in Europe

Host nation Germany has been winning during the ongoing World Cup tournament. I don’t mean today’s 5th consecutive victory, the game against Argentina decided by a shoot-out after a 1-1 overtime tie. Read more…»»

June 15, 2006

World Cup 2006: No Luck for Poland (again!)

Filed under Life in Europe

In 85 years of international soccer matches between Germany and Poland, the Poles have never defeated the Germans. Last night was not the night for them to end their streak. Read more…»»

June 11, 2006

England "invades" Germany for World Cup

Filed under Life in Europe

The Brits are an interesting lot. They can’t have just one football team for the entire United Kingdom. Instead, England, Scotland and Wales all have their own "national" teams. Sometimes they seem to have forgotten that World War II is over – especially when it comes to Germany. Read more…»»

June 9, 2006

World Cup: German festival of flags

Filed under Life in Europe

Some years ago a German friend remarked that Americans must be very patriotic, based on the number of American flags he had seen on display during a visit to the United States. Read more…»»

May 16, 2006

2006 World Cup: Tips for Germans

Filed under Life in Europe

Not to be outdone by its main rival "Focus" magazine, the German news weekly "Der Spiegel" has now published tips for Germans during the 2006 World Cup. Read more…»»

May 11, 2006

Culture Tips for World Cup in Germany

Filed under Life in Europe

Thousands of football fans (known to Americans as soccer) are about to descend on Germany for a month long football orgy that takes place every four years. Germany is the 2006 World Cup tournament host, as it was in 1974 when the German team won the world title. A number of travel guides are now available to help visitors cope with German culture. Read more…»»

May 3, 2006

You think you pay a lot for gas?

Filed under Life in Europe

An interesting news item here in Germany caught my attention. President Bush is concerned about the price of gas in the USA, which has reached the lofty price of 0.63 € per liter. Read more…»»

February 8, 2006

Sleep cheap in Berlin!

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

Berlin was never a cheap place to visit, but since it became the seat of government in 2000 it has become even more expensive to visit. Looking for a reasonable place to stay in Berlin? Read more…»»

January 4, 2006

An unusual professional hazard

[with comments]     Filed under Life in Europe

You’ve heard of professional hazards, right? How about eating? Read more…»»

December 29, 2005

Winter comes to Bonn

Filed under Life in Europe

Being right on the Rhine river, the city of Bonn and vicinity does not get much snow during the winter. Some years there isn’t any snow at all along this part of the Rhine. This winter looks like it may be an exception. Read more…»»

November 21, 2005

"Is that thing also an alarm clock?"

Filed under Life in Europe

Germans get a head start celebrating Mardi Gras ("Karneval"). The "crazy days" start on November 11th, officially at 11:11 a.m. When I went to the Frankfurt airport a few days later for my Thanksgiving trip to Mobile, some must have thought that I was a Mardi Gras enthusiast! Read more…»»

November 17, 2005

Thanks giving

Filed under Life in Europe

If you had a foreign guest in your home and wanted to thank him for something, how would you do it? How about baking him a traditional pastry from his home country? Read more…»»

November 14, 2005

A ten-fold increase

Filed under Life in Europe

35 years after having lived in St. Louis, Missouri, I can look back and see that I have increased "ten-fold". Not in terms of size, weight, finances or anything like that, though. Read more…»»

November 3, 2005

Rhine Riviera

Filed under Life in Europe

October was an unusual month for most of Germany. Records were set for the number of sunshine hours in some places, and with temperatures in the 60s and 70s for most of the month you almost had to wonder where you were! Read more…»»

October 15, 2005

Rhine River maiden – the "Loreley"

Filed under Life in Europe

An old legend – die Loreley – about the Rhine River is that of a mystical maiden who lures boatsmen onto the rocks at the narrowest point of the river between Mainz and the Netherlands. Read more…»»

October 9, 2005

"Because of your wars!"

Filed under Life in Europe

I can’t recall ever being accused of personal responsibility for America’s wars, and certainly not by a total stranger. However, as the saying goes, there is always a first time. So after my train ride to Berlin yesterday I have a story to tell. Read more…»»

August 7, 2005

Ups and downs

Filed under Life in Europe

Being a camp counselor can be a challenge. Especially if you take 20 children to an amusement park with challenging rides! Read more…»»

August 2, 2005

"Gruezi mitenand!"

Filed under Life in Europe

"Gruezi mitenand!" is a Swiss German equivalent for "Guten Tag" when greeting a group, and it was an appropriate greeting for some old friends whom I met last weekend on a visit to Switzerland. Read more…»»

July 31, 2005

All hail – the power!

Filed under Life in Europe

On my weekend visit to Switzerland I experienced a demonstration of nature’s power during a brief thunderstorm in Biel, located between Basel and Bern. Read more…»»

July 4, 2005

Will the real Hermann Göring please stand up?

Filed under Life in Europe

In German class we learned that German is an easy language for pronunciation, which English often isn’t. Once you know how a combination of letters in German is pronounced, you have no problem, since that particular combination is always pronounced the same way. So you might think that you could also spell correctly by applying the rule inversely: Write what you hear and it will be correct. Read more…»»

June 23, 2005

Old friends never die, they just get older

Filed under Life in Europe

On my first trip to Germany in the summer of 1971 I spent 10 weeks in Bad Oeynhausen, about a 45 minute drive from Hannover. In German class we were always told that the best German is spoken near Hannover, so three Ambassador College students and I embarked on an adventure to improve our German. Read more…»»

June 13, 2005

"Ich bin ein Berliner"

Filed under Life in Europe

The sentence recognized most widely worldwide as being German wasn’t even spoken by a German – "Ich bin ein Berliner" – from John F. Kennedy’s famous speech given in Berlin on June 26, 1963.

I have a friend in Berlin who is one person who can rightfully say "Ich bin ein Berliner". Read more…»»

May 2, 2005

A young visitor at our office

Filed under Life in Europe

Today we had a young and younger visitor at our office in Mondorf near Bonn. Grace (Hopkins) Rothenbacher and her eight month old son Joseph stopped by. Read more…»»

April 25, 2005

A ride on the ICE

Filed under Life in Europe

When I was in high school, my German teacher was able to be distracted by asking him about the trains in Germany. He usually spent the summer vacation in Germany and was quite a train fan. On days when we were supposed to have a quiz or some in-class assignment, getting him to talk about the trains in Germany usually meant that the test was postponed. Read more…»»

April 21, 2005

My Dentist and President Bush

Filed under Life in Europe

My visit to the dentist yesterday was another opportunity to improve German-American relations. Since I was on the chair for 75 minutes, my dentist had lots of time to give me her opinion on the U.S. President and current U.S. foreign policy. Read more…»»

April 19, 2005

A German Pope

Filed under Life in Europe

Very few countries have ever had a pope. So the chronology of events today was quite interesting for me, especially since I was in Cologne to take care of a favor for a friend. Cologne is the Catholic church headquarters here in Germany.

Here is a chronology in local time (Central European Daylight Savings Time) of today’s election:
Read more…»»

April 16, 2005

"Sin in the stairwell"

Filed under Life in Europe

We all make mistakes. Some are more obvious than others. The problem is this: we aren’t the only ones to notice the obvious ones. Others notice them, too. That happened to me this week when my neighbor confronted me about my "stairwell sin".
Read more…»»

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.

contact:

internal links:

categories:

search blog:

archives: