Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Men Who 'Drive You' ---Crazy

Calling in for a Belgian Beer at the Haus of 100 Biers ,one of Berlin's best eateries , can result in rather pleasant encounters . Last night proved the case .
These two guys are both drivers and to put it mildly , were entertaining.
On the left is a trainee Berlin taxi driver fresh out of his first day at taxi school. I never knew this involved so much .There had to be a toast to his success. If enthusiasm is a marker he's a winner . On the right is a Danish driver . He spoke perfect English and drives Danish school groups on European educational visits. One week Berlin , next Rome ,then Paris etc , etc . His schedule is very full at this time of the year . For years he has done this work and obviously enjoys it . Today he is en route back to Denmark. Seems he'll take his wife to the cinema on Friday and then whoosh off once more with yet another party .I'll say it again .. people such as these are the interesting ones . Good luck to them both .

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Advance April Fools !

This has to be the joke of the year .The full article was found at AP news Such excellent reading I've provided the link at the end of this post.

'BEIJING – China is calling for a new global currency to replace the dominant dollar, showing a growing assertiveness on revamping the world economy ahead of next week's London summit on the financial crisis.'

No doubt each note would carry the words MADE IN CHINA . I can tell you now any money from there would be fit for only one purpose and since a bunch of leaves does just as well , give me such .
Unlike China and similar dictator type countries we don't have a peasant class.
Their wealth is built on slave labour and suppression of the masses with no freedom of speech or workers rights .
It is noteworthy that countries who have moved their manufacturing for this cheap workforce and trade mainly with China have been hit the hardest . Here in Germany , where shoddy Chinese goods are shunned , European countries providing quality ,it's life very much as usual .;_ylt=ArDdJz6LcusZLgruHQJiAunZn414

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sour Grapes Mr Rushdie ?

It isn't too long ago since Salman Rushdie attacked the Oscar winning film 'Slumdog Millionaire' as being ridiculous. One reason for his disdain being that for a young man from the slums to actually succeed on the Indian version of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (quote ) " beggars belief"
Last night we saw this film here in Berlin . It's amazing so I can't help but think Mr Rushdie is somewhat sour at the way in which truth is well portrayed in this work of fiction. It captures the spirit of India.
The late Jade Goody didn't win 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire ', indeed much of her fame stemmed from lack of general knowledge ,but , she became a media star and Britain is now preparing for her huge televised ,public funeral. From the PM down , so many tributes are written . The numerous radio phone in programmes include those who rather like Rushdie find this all 'beggars belief'. Yet we have Stephan Fry likening her to :-
" a princess Di from the wrong side of the track "
It may beggar belief but believe it or not there is much coverage of Jade Goody here in Berlin.
Slumdog Millionaire has won eight Oscars. Do try and see it . Let me know your views .
As for Mr Rushdie and his books . Well for most of the public he is best known as the author who ,twenty years ago ,had an Islamic death sentence imposed on him . This by the Iranian government following publication of his Satanic Verses .
Sour grapes do not enhance your smile Mr Rushdie ! Nor does being born to wealth in Mumbai give you right to scorn the hopes,dreams and possible destiny of the underclass.

Monday, March 23, 2009

South African Hypocrisy.

Today I spotted this headline :-
South Africa bars Dalai Lama from peace conference
On reading the article I was sickened . Basically a country which was able to free itself of the evils of apartheid , through massive world support , is now unable to act so honourably towards others .Read this quote from AP :-
"Thabo Masebe, spokesman for President Kgalema Motlanthe, said now was not the time for such a high-profile visit from the Tibetan spiritual leader and added that South Africa hoped to avoid being "the source of negative publicity about China."
In spite of protest by Archbishop Tutu and many others the government will not budge . A few of those invited have already declined to attend but unless all drop out leaving the South African government and the Chinese to play brown noses together, nobody will ever take this Tibetan ordeal seriously .
The Chinese are to the Tibetans what the white South Africans were to the blacks.
Mandela was demonized by them as the Dalai Llama is by Beijing .
I suggest South Africa and China get together , maybe even invite Robert Mugabe 'none champion' of human rights, plus those responsible for horror in the Sudan etc . When it comes to genocide and atrocities they are all so well suited .
Only last week in conversation with a friend I remarked that as one who has been in most countries of the world , Africa was not included . I added then I had no wish to go .Now I am more than ever positive .
Another lot of goods to boycott . Quite sensible as well during the recession . Support Europe .. boycott Chinese and South African products .
You will at least have a healthier bank balance not to mention conscience .
Here's an apt quote from Ralf Waldo Emerson to close with :-

'Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person hypocrisy begins '
do look up the biography of President Kgalema Motlanthe .He was in the underground movement , organized military training for sabotage and much more .Lucky he wasn't oppressed by China . Who is he therefore to reject the presence of a real man of peace .
The Dalai Llama lives via peace ,not sabotage and violence , he promotes freedom through dialogue and yet is demonized.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mathias Tretter. Proof That Germans Do Have Humour.

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It is a falsehood universally believed that Germans have little or no sense of humour ! My response to which is .. "Total hogwash".
Germany does have an amazing comedy cabaret scene plus many small theatres . On Tuesday we went to Die WühlMause am Theo to see Mathias Tretter. He did a one man show which brought the house down and then ,there were two encores !
This extremely tall, mid thirties young man from southern Germany , now lives in Leipzig but tours none stop .Just look up his schedule .. then should you be any where near to a venue ,get a ticket . His impersonation of Angela Merkel is side indeed are most of his takes on politicians . With observational skills such as his nobody is immune from ribbing . What is noticeable about comedy here ,is that it's very funny but minus foul language.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The 'Vacant Can' From The Vatican !

I don't know about you but I was disgusted with the comments made by the Pope in Africa ..... 'Condoms wont solve the HIV Aids epidemic ...'
REALLY ! He advocates total abstinence [ Ok Benedict try telling that to those priests within your numbers who have been found guilty of child abuse.] If my memory serves me right that got a mere apology .
Condoms are not a cure but my word they are a great preventative and when it comes to stopping the spread of all STD's, necessary .
There is another factor here . Many men are opposed to the use of condoms as they say it lessens their pleasure .Your ridiculous words will give such types a reason to continue with their 'macho view'. This on a continent where women are not treated equally is careless , thoughtless , uneducated talk.
Finally for you to actually state that the use of condoms actually increases the HIV Aids rate is little short of criminal and a blatant lie .
Having left the Roman Catholic church .. you being one of the reasons . I know for sure that my decision was the right one .
You're like a vacant can .. lots of noise but that's all .

Friday, March 13, 2009

Snow Queen Vix From Ebay.

Having resisted for years , I finally gave in this week and signed up to EBay .
Those who know me will not be suprised that my first search was for snowdomes , known here in Germany as Schneekügeln .
This amazing item has a fascinating history . It belonged to a Germany guy who was given it years ago by a French exchange student . Not a fan of schneekügeln he left it in the box . As we approach Easter it rose , so to speak , to a new life in Berlin .No wonder I'm smiling . Look closely and you'll see that the skull is doing likewise .

ps ) still no suggestions for a collective noun re such .Come on all of you with any colourful, grammatical ideas .
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Monday, March 09, 2009

Remember Tibet - Boycott Chinese Goods -

It's the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising in Tibet against brutal Chinese oppression , resulting as it did in the exile of the Dalai Llama and many of the people .
Little has been done to help the Tibetans regain their country , capital and spiritual life. Why ?
Because the 'major' powers in the world have allowed China to bully , dictate , cheat ,lie whilst, abusing all human rights .In return,certain huge firms have cheap shoddy goods manufactured in awful conditions. These are then shipped for a western public to buy at inflated prices .The average life span of such ware is short and often , as has been discovered in paints used , dangerous .
You do not have to use street demonstration to make a point .Simply refuse to buy anything where the label says 'made in China '.
NOTE :- This latest ghastly dictate should motivate you

"In developing relations with China, other countries should not allow the Dalai Lama to visit their countries and should not allow their territories to be used for the Dalai Lama to engage in separatist activities for Tibet's independence," Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said.

Take further note that Tibetan women living in occupied Tibet have been arrested and taken away . The reason ..They were demanding the right to religious freedom in what is ,their own country .
Imagine for one minute if UK tried to ban all immigrants their right to religious beliefs .
Yet oddly enough the 'fall over backwards pc ' politicians of Britain remain silent as the grave re China .

Friday, March 06, 2009

Baku Azerbaijan ..Berlin Bundesrepublik

How many people here in Berlin have a snowdome containing a very tiny Maiden Tower in Baku Azerbaijan?
Well you can be sure one does , and yes, it's me !

Last night whilst at die Kleine Weltlaterne [see 23rd Jan posting ] Acki Hoffman , who was performing there , presented it to me in the interval . He and his group have recently returned from a five day invitation tour. That Acki took time out to find this for me , is something very special .One of his regular pieces is 'you are my sunshine', and this tiny item brought all the way back to Berlin is a magical kind of sunshine .
Guess who knows she's a very lucky lady .
If you too have a snowdome from Azerbaijan get in touch ,we could start a club.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Forget Recession and Depression ,Watch Clara.

It was by chance that I spotted a Yahoo News Item .... Then went to YouTube , and the rest, as they say ,is history .
A wonderful lady ,aged 93 years ( young ) has made a series of fantastic videos re cooking on a budget . She learned during the Great Depression , survived and in my opinion, is a marvel . Tonight we tried her recipe for peppers and eggs . Delicious , healthy , economical , it was all this and more .
Go to YouTube and in the search box type :- Great Depression Cooking or to her site ;-
It's worth it to see this fantastic lady . People such as her are the' bright lights', so necessary in dark times . She is what I call real star .

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Girl From Ipanema in Berlin

Upon landing in this city twenty two years ago,a colleague and I were out like a shot to investigate . With very little German and even less sense of direction, we jumped on the first bus that came along and 'hoped' for the best , little knowing we were to get such . In Neue Kant Strasse the vehicle stopped in front of the most marvellous cake shop / cafe.Never have I left a bus so quickly . Never have I eaten so much delicious gateau, torte and cream .The cafe was to become a regular spot . In time we found other delightful places and my clothes almost screamed " stop, this can't go on ". Yesterday, a friend and I, went back to the now renamed Piano Cafe. With an apt internal decor to reflect their new image ie ) live music , almost each day ,and regular jazz artists they are even more fabulous . From the menu we each chose one of the superb German breakfasts. . [After such one can go all day minus food .] The cultural menu consisted of this remarkably talented duo . Their repertoire and playing was impressive. They have consented to this video being shown here . Playing on the first Sunday each month their next date is in April. Make a note if you are planning a trip to Berlin and do say hello if you see ' yours truly'.