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

Germany’s children

Being part of the children born right before the fall of communism in Romania meant that I was part of the last peak in terms of births in our country. After 1989 the corresponding figures have greatly decreased, particularly in the 1990s, and only recently have they slightly recovered.

While growing up, my friends (born in the same year, give or take one year) either were only children or they had one other sibling. Those who had two siblings were very rare, especially if these were born after 1989. I am an only child and, coincidentally or not, most of my friends throughout my life are also only children. To have a brother or a sister or more was to my mind something very special. Continue reading