Black Cat

Going not gentle into that middle age.

Archive for the 'Expat' Category

You know you’re in a friendly neighborhood when…

Posted: Saturday, February 7th, 2009 @ 12:06 pm in Expat | 4 Comments »

…Wednesday evening, F, the 12-year-old neighbor kid from across the street calls up for help with his English homework. We discussed where the adverbs never, always and often go in the sentence (directly before the main verb), as in “I don’t always know what I’m doing” (my example, not his). …Thursday evening, my next door […]


Posted: Thursday, February 14th, 2008 @ 4:13 pm in Expat, Nutrition and Diet | No Comments »

I recently found this ad in my local newspaper. It’s for a new restaurant called Megaschnitzel. It entices you with this promise: Offer: Whoever can eat the XXL-Hamburger/Cheeseburger in 50 minutes, gets it for free! XXL experience in food- and drink- related matters. Be one of the first! Book a reservation! Sigh. The Germans are […]

Smile, Things Can’t Be That Bad

Posted: Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 @ 3:23 pm in Expat, It's Different When I Do It, Rant | 4 Comments »

Redzilla writes one of my favorite blogs. She has an Attitude. Her Bullshit-O-Meter is finely tuned. She hates Bush. (Are those last two sentences redundant?) She makes sweaters to keep her hairless cats warm in the winter. I enjoy almost everything she writes. But. [ | | | forbidden ]

Verbal Precision — Virtue or Vice?

Posted: Wednesday, February 14th, 2007 @ 7:36 pm in Expat, Language | 1 Comment »

Thomas asks some interesting questions in his comment to my post on This Delightful German Language. “Does the structure of the language influence the structure of the thoughts? When German is such a complicated language can there be any easy thinking for Germans, or are Germans inherently more trained to complex abstract models?” One of […]

This Delightful German Language

Posted: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 @ 5:02 pm in Expat, Language | 5 Comments »

For the amusement of English speakers who haven’t had the pleasure of learning this excellent German language, I present a prime example of how much information a German can pack into the subject of a sentence, before he has reached the first verb. On Sunday I was scrolling through the teletext news for the television […]

Why this Grinch Hates Christmas

Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2006 @ 7:05 pm in Expat, Holidays, Religion | 6 Comments »

On 7 December, 2006, a tornado appeared suddenly in a residential street in northern London, severely damaging more than 100 houses. Fortunately, only 6 people were hurt, one seriously. No one died, but 34 of the houses were uninhabitable, and all of the residents had to be rehoused until inspections could be made regarding the […]

Trick-Or-Treating with Poetry

Posted: Sunday, November 5th, 2006 @ 11:09 am in Expat, Holidays | 1 Comment »

The poem below sounds very like the one that was loudly and confidently recited to me when I opened my door to the first set of Trick-or-Treaters last Tuesday evening. Apologies for the following translation in English, which loses a great deal of the original grace, meter, and rhyme. The kid who wrote it in […]

The Toilet Paper Chronicles

Posted: Sunday, October 15th, 2006 @ 9:47 am in Car-less, Expat, Shopping - Preplanning, Shopping - Transporting the Goods | 1 Comment »

The Name This is part of an on-going series about how a car-addicted American has managed to live happily for 11 years in Germany without owning a car. Today’s story is about the purchase of one of those products that defines civilization. First, I ask you, how could I not keep my cupboard stocked with […]

“Where’s Your Car?”

Posted: Wednesday, October 11th, 2006 @ 5:43 pm in Car-less, Expat | 3 Comments »

The last place that we lived before moving here to Germany was in the suburbs of Silicon Valley, California. In an attempt to get some exercise into my otherwise sedentary life, I tried to develop the habit of jogging through our suburban streets several mornings a week. For the most part, I was pretty good […]

Keeping Up With Little-Cat-Boy

Posted: Sunday, September 24th, 2006 @ 5:36 pm in Car-less, Expat, Pets, Shopping - Transporting the Goods | 2 Comments »

We have an indoor cat who loves to drink water. Lots of water. And what goes in must come out. Which is why kitty litter is important. Lots of it. [ | | on this server. | ]