Cum percepem Romania?

Tricolorul in BucurestiNu stiu cum e la altii, dar, de regula, daca esti tanar, educat si cu bun simt in Romania, iti vei dori sa pleci din tara. Vei vorbi mai mult despre partea urata a vietii in Romania pentru ca asta vei vedea in principal sau aceasta parte va acapara in totalitate restul lucrurilor frumoase din jurul tau. Te vei simti nedreptatit atat din punct de vedere al valorii tale, dar in special din punct de vedere material. De fiecare data cand vei deschide televizorul vei fi scarbit de ce (se raporteaza ca) se intampla in tara, de oamenii si atitudinile promovate acolo. Insa, desi vei fi scarbit, vei vorbi despre acesti oameni si parca vei simti nevoia sa adopti aceasta atitudine, sperand ca astfel vei mai reusi sa scapi de sentimentul de frustrare si neputinta. Continue reading

Avem de unde cumpara astazi?

open and closedIn fiecare an inainte de Craciun, Paste sau Revelion, la stirea ca se vor inchide magazinele pentru 1-2 zile, romanii sunt cuprinsi de disperare. Se aprovizioneaza cat pentru o saptamana. Poate in ultimii ani, de cand supermarketurile sunt inchise doar pentru o zi, iar nu pentru toata perioada cat este sarbatoare, isteria nu mai atinge asemenea cote. Dar cand eram mica imi aduc aminte cum la magazinul de cartier vecinii mei veneau din timp si cumparau cate 20-30 paini, asa incat daca vroiam sa mai prind macar 1-2 bucati, trebuia sa vin din timp.

In Germania acest lucru se intampla in fiecare saptamana: Continue reading

Obiceiuri deprinse in Berlin

Prenzlauer BergIn prima luna dupa ce te muti intr-o tara noua sau chiar intr-un oras nou este asaltat de tot felul de informatii, obiceiuri, activitati, comportamente sau mentalitati menite sa te surprinda sau chiar indigna. Daca nu le semnalezi in aceasta scurta perioada, le vei prelua si vor deveni o parte din tine si din realitatea de zi cu zi. Cand te vei intoarce in tara, vei fi iarasi surprins de faptul ca oamenii de aici nu se comporta in acelasi fel.

Cam asa am patit eu in timpul sederii in Berlin Continue reading

The Horrors of the German language Part III

 “The creator of the German language appears to have given his best to make it as complicated as possible.”

As I have promised last time I discussed the troubles caused by the German language, today I will tackle those infamous long nouns and the solutions Mark Twain proposed to make the language more coherent and easier to learn.

“In German, all nouns are written with a capital letter. This, ultimately, is a good idea and a creditable one, because this language is not rich in terms of good ideas.” Continue reading

November 9, 23 years ago in Berlin

The Berlin Wall at Topographie des Terrors

Today is November 9, a day of great significance in German history that marked both glorious events as well as dark moments. I will talk about the most recent event that marked the history of Germany and led to the reunification of this state: the fall of the Berlin Wall.

23 years ago on this very day something that many people living in the GDR or in other communist countries thought would never happen: the wall that for 28 years brutally separated families, friends, neighbours, colleagues in Berlin was opened, a move that resulted in its almost complete destruction within a few short months. Continue reading

The Horrors of the German language Part II

“The study of German is tiresome and can lead to insanity”

Continuing the discussion I started yesterday on Mark Twain’s reproaches of the German language, I will begin this post by discussing those troublesome verbs.

Even if you don’t speak German, you probably already know the curious habit of placing the verb at the sentence in many situations (most secondary phrases, after most conjunctions, most tenses etc). This effectively means that when you are speaking, you must know precisely what you are going to say and not make it up as you go along, which is what I do most of the time. Continue reading

The Horrors of the German language Part I

When Mark Twain wasn’t writing the most adventure-packed stories of our childhood, he was travelling and writing about these in his characteristics way: humorous and insightful. In one of his travels abroad, chronicled in the book A Tramp Abroad (available completely here) he ended up in Germany, where he stayed for several months. Here he studied some German in order to ease his journey and find out more about the people. While he praised many aspects of German society of the late nineteenth century, the German language was not one of them. Continue reading

The social kissing dilemma

Painting on the Berlin Wall

I never quite understood what is the deal with social kissing. So, first of all, you don’t really kiss, you just rub each other’s cheeks, purse your lips and, if you’re into it, you also make a kissing noise, or a “smack”, as I have read it’s called. Continue reading

All the space you need

One of the things I noticed and liked form the very beginning in Berlin was the fact that almost everywhere you go you feel like you have enough space for yourself. I have seldom felt like it was too crowded and, in a big city, this is usually the case. Maybe I am mistaken, but after living in Bucharest and London, Berlin felt like a breath of fresh mountain air. Continue reading

S-a mai dus un mit

De-a lungul anilor, in urma experientelor traite (desi poate nu sunt chiar atat de numeroase pentru a trage o concluzie clara) am ajuns sa imi fauresc propriile reguli sau mituri despre mersul anumitor lucruri din jur. Bine, probabil nu imi sunt creatii in totalitate, ci de multe ori preluari sau adaptari. Continue reading