The Significance of Keeping Order – German Style

Germans are known to be orderly. Whether we truly are or not can only be based on personal experience. My husband will tell you we are. And he claims to suffer from it… 🙂

The forest workers have been very busy for the past few years. Storms, parasites, and extreme heat have taken its toll on the forest. But this stack of trees near our home was a good reminder of how we supposedly are. Orderly.

For some interesting observations from an expat to Germany, visit: BBC – What Makes Germans so Orderly

When I saw this neatly stacked pile of wood, it just warmed my heart, gave me a sense of pride, and put a smile on my face.

Oberursel Forest

I would even take it a step further, and claim Germans have national pride for this sense of order. More so than for the German flag, as we only use it when it comes to soccer championships and the likes. On national holidays, we do not display the flag. Instead, we clean up.

We are proud when our garden is tieded, the grass has been mowed, our car has been washed, the flower boxes are neatly arranged, the windows have been washed, and the sidewalks swept.

Keeping things orderly might be our own ‘national flag’.

The Town of Chettehou in Normandy

We left our vacation rental in Barfleur on a Saturday morning, which also happened to be market day. This merry-go-round was the first thing we saw when we left the house.

Market day in Barfleur

We spent most of the day in and around Chettehou until we could check into our next accommodation at 4pm.

The guy on the ladder is street art.

Street art in Chettehou

The sign ‘1041km -> Erlabrunn’ signals the distance to its German sister city of Erlabrunn, which happens to be in my hometown area of Franconia (northern Bavaria).

Chettehou – Erlabrunn

The best way to spend a lazy afternoon is at the beach collecting sea glass.

This was our rental home, a former cider farm house. This living room used to be the place where horses (real horse power) turned the stone wheel to mash the apples.

Cider farm house in Chettehou

As usual, I enjoy the mornings sitting outside the most. Our little back yard had a creek, a waterfall (old water mill) in the back, and the biggest hazelnut tree I had ever seen.

This vacation rental was a bit off the beaten path, and you needed a car to get around (the other one in Barfleur was in the center of town). It was worth it.

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 GrÀfin 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. 🙂

GlĂŒcksklee 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!!

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