Happy New Year Greeting from Germany

We do not say Happy New Year! before the actual new year has started. Instead, we say:
– Einen guten Beschluss! (Happy ‘Closure’)
– Einen guten Rutsch! (Happy ‘Sliding’)
Right after midnight, we say ‘Prost Neujahr!’ (Cheers to the New Year!)
The following days, we wish ‘Alles Gute im neuen Jahr!’ (Happy New Year!)

In case, you’re wondering about all these chimney sweeps you see on display in German supermarkets. These inexpensive trinkets we buy as a thank-you present for our neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family. This one contains most of the good-luck charms: chimney sweep, four-leave clover, ladybug, and toadstool (this one is missing a piglet).

Urlaubslesebuch – Travelling Book in the Alsace, France

This travelling book is yours to keep. The Urlaubslesebuch contains 29 clever, funny, romantic, and moving short stories by famous authors such as T.C. Boyle, Ilse Gräfin von Bredow, Catherine Clement, Bianca Döring, Umberto Eco, Jostein Gaarder, and many other good story tellers.

29 short stories in German

The book will be released on Rue du Ggénéral De Gaulle, the main street of Riquewihr, later this morning of 6 October 2014.

When you are done reading it, do like I did – send it on its merry way. Feel free to share under the comment section where you left it.

End-of-Year Doodle Notes from Germany

As the year is drawing to a close, I want to wish all my readers a Happy New Year!

If you are familiar with the German language and customs though, you might know, we do not wish a Happy New Year (Ein gutes Neues Jahr!) before the new year has actually started.

Before 1 January, we actually wish each other Einen guten Beschluss! (a good end to the old year) or Einen guten Rutsch! (a good slide into the New Year).

There is no other literal translation except for this, “Have a good End!” (Beschluss is the noun, the verb is schliessen). I think I’ll stick to the Happy New Year greeting. 🙂

Glücksklee WM

Four-leaf clover, piglets, and chimney sweeps (not pictured) are popular gifts around the New Year.

Personally, this has been a very good year. We have been blessed with good health, paid employment, the children are doing well academically, and we have had so many friends and family visiting us. If you have followed my category Beer Balcony in Germany, then you know about this already.

On a different note, my blogging has gotten less. Not only because other projects and visitors have kept me busy, but also because of the latest IT developments. Sometime in the early fall, Google decided to put me on their black list. They downgraded my page rank to zero, told me I was in violation with their rules, and asked me to remove certain outgoing links, etc.

Of course, I reacted thinking, “Me? Why me?”. After sending in a reconsideration request, I got the following response.

Quoted from their mail:

“We received a reconsideration request from a site owner for …..
We’ve reviewed your site and we believe that …. still violates our quality guidelines. In order to preserve the quality of our search engine, pages from …. may not appear or may not rank as highly in Google’s search results, or may otherwise be considered to be less trustworthy than sites which follow the quality guidelines.
For more specific information about the status of your site, visit the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools. From there, you may request reconsideration of your site again when you believe your site no longer violates the quality guidelines.
If you have additional questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum.
…”

end of quote

I was reprimanded for outgoing links, which I had only posted for the readers’ benefit to get more information. There was no money or search result manipulation involved. The money I earn from this website is clearly stated in the Impressum (scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page) in German.

On the other hand, I had not seen myself as an important contributor to the cyberspace world. But now I do.

Google valued me enough to lower my rank, alone that is an award.

And yes, they can read all about it.

 EINEN GUTEN RUTSCH INS NEUE JAHR!!

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

My brother came by two days ago and we spent the evening on the balcony. We had light beer on the dark balcony, but there was also a little light from the living room and we also had some candles lit. My iPad camera wouldn’t recognize this, though.

We were sharing stories on the balcony till 0:30!

Bonzi

with Thomas from Schweinfurt/northern Bavaria

He is a regular visitor, because we are not only sister and brother, but good friends as well.

Fischbrötchen or Fish on a Breadroll German style

Fischbrötchen ( fish on a bread roll) is my all-time favorite snack. Over the years though, it has been harder to find one among the various markets and shops.

Our little fish-shop in Oberursel closed its doors a year back or so as it probably could not keep up with the supermarket competition. This was unfortunate for me, because of the few times a year I would go into Oberursel downtown, I hardly ever passed the shop without getting one.

Fischbrötchen

In my mid-twenties, I would get a Fischbrötchen on late Saturday mornings, which served as antidote to the previous beer-filled night.

It is Sunday afternoon here and we are off to the Bommersheimer Weihnachtsmarkt (Bommersheim is part of Oberursel) and you guessed right; I am on the look-out for a another Fischbrötchen.