He says he is leaving Germany and shutting down his blog for a while - but check out what this blogger has written. It makes for interesting reading. His post on what he will not miss about Germany is particularly amusing.
His observation on the mountain of German taxpayer money going to support corrupt public television (that specializes in broadcasting anti-American programming and news...see our posts on ARD and ZDF) is a particularly apt one...
"Channel One/Two. Yes, without any doubt....the two state-run TV channels are the most corrupt and incompetent channels that you can imagine. They pay tons of tax money for sports events, which have limited interest across the spectrum. They run anti-US news episodes on a daily basis. (...)
Anti-American behavior. It's rare that I ever ran into it. Over the past year, I've had a dozen people describe situations in Kaisersluatern, Landstuhl and Ramstein village where they ran into this attitude. Some were embarrassing for my associates. I've had two cases in fifteen years. There's nothing much you can say or do.....they want to let you know their feelings....even though you've never met the guy before in your life. You stand there....listen to their lecture for about 60 seconds, and then start smiling. They hate that for some reason.....I won't even speculate why. The more you smile....the less pleasure they get out of the experience.
The four classes of German society. It took me five years to realize there are four classes of people in Germany. First, there are the Hartz IV crowd.....at the bottom of the economic pile. Some are simply unlucky and deserve a better chance than what they've got. Then you have the middle-class guy whose worked hard....owns a house....goes to Italy once a year for a vacation....drinks beer (not wine).....and doesn't complain or whine about much. Then you have the intellectual crowd who own or operate the state-run TV networks or the political parties or the educational sector. The intellectuals pretend that they really are that smart, but you tend to realize the middle-class guy is typically loaded with common sense and a bit smarter. Finally, you've got the status crowd. The status folks can be fairly down on the economic pole or fairly up....doesn't matter. They have things to show off and make their status known. If you buy a new fancy car....and you've got a status guy next door.....expect him to buy a new car within a month or two....just to get one-up-on-you. The status crowd always ask how much you paid for a new item.
The rules. Frankly, there are about forty thousand rules to living your life in Germany. Don't wash your car on Sundays. Don't mow grass between 1400 and 1600. Walk your dog only in these locations. I could go on and on. I'm surprised the base doesn't have a 4-hour lecture on German rules to keep guys out of trouble as they arrive for the first time. I came to hate the massive list of rules. Some did make sense....the other fifty percent....didn't. I won't miss this kind of atmosphere"
By the way - Happy New Year to everyone who has read and supported our blog since 2003. David and I are increasingly busy with "real life" and simply cannot blog as much as we used to. Frankly - we have also said much of what we wanted to say over the years on this subject. That said - we will never forget our readers and the friends who supported us and our work. We miss our daily conversation and we wish you the best in this new decade.