Bugging Out

I am not adapting well these days.

 

Ugh. Some cultural differences are easy to just get over. Some are not. Where I come from, if there’s a bug or a rodent in the house, you get rid of it. Or you call a guy and he gets rid of it. Or he comes and sprays something that probably will someday kill him, too, but then all the little unwanted things are dead and you forget to worry about the exterminator’s health.

But. Here. Here in this godforsaken hell-hole of a bunch of nature-loving freaks….

Oh mah gawd. GAAAHHHHH!!!!!!! We have spiders in the garage the size of my palm– OK, not that big more like O’s palm- larger than anything I am comfortable with. My husband argues “they aren’t poisonous”. Well, no, technically, they are venomous, not poisonous. And maybe, as he says, they rarely bite people. (I don’t believe that he’s never been bit by one because he doesn’t pay that much attention to what’s going on around him or even on his body and he probably wouldn’t have noticed it was a spider bite just a red itchy spot that went away after some time.) But this guy proves they can bite and it will hurt, even if you won’t die from it. Ick. But Germans still seem to embrace these disgusting things.

 

Now, moving on to to other lawfully protected species. Wasps. Did you know that in Germany you aren’t supposed to kill a wasp’s nest?

Wait, whut?

 

Are you serious? Are you freaking kidding me? They are F—ing WASPS for crying out loud. And they have nested in the rolling shudders on O’s window. Our landlord told us to just roll the shudders up and down a lot and hope they go away on their own. You know what that does? Pisses them off. Like, a lot.

I do not understand Germans. Wasps serve no purpose in life other than to screw things up. They kill bees. Don’t you freaking hippies know that there’s a bee shortage in the world right now???? Kill the wasps. Oh, but no. If you google it in German, you’ll find on every forum where someone needs to get rid of a nest that “wasps are important predators in our ecosystem and it would be a shame to kill them”. Well, guess what. They never ate the damn aphids that killed my cilantro, so they really serve no important purpose in my ecosystem.

 

This is what my life has come to. I am seriously losing my shit over insects. And my husband could care less. Being so intellectually evolved and all, he has no caveman instincts to protect his cave. Grrrr…..

If they weren’t in the bleeping wall of O’s room, I’d go all redneck and fashion a makeshift blowtorch and burn their nest to nothingness. As it is, I’m going to put on something low-cut and flirt with the fire department. Internet rumors say they “might” help you if you can prove that the wasps are a danger or if the nest is too close to where children are. Let’s just hope they don’t tell me to just keep his window shut…

 

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Long overdure Mardi Gras post- since it’s aready post-Easter

So I just realized I never posted anything about Mardi Gras here in the Schwabish part of Germany. And that is kind of a shame. Because it’s definitely not “Mardi Gras” like we think of it. It’s not even really Carnival. Yeah, ok, so it’s celebrated in the weeks before Ash Wednesday. But while most countries combined the pagan drinking and fertility traditions with the transition into the penitential season of Lent, Schwabians combined it with their old pagan traditions of scaring away winter…

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Wearing creepy masks to scare away Winter.

It doesn’t really lead to the glamor and bright colors of most carnival traditions elsewhere else, but it’s highly entertaining nonetheless. It’s not even called Karnival like in Koln. Here, it’s called “Fasching”. They don’t throw beads, but they do give out little candies and throw confetti on people. I guess one way they are the same is that a lot of people get drunk at some point.

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Drunken witches lay down in the street for a break during their march in the parade.

Globalisierung (globalization)

I promise to have a nice long post about Germany’s version of Mardi Gras. Soon. But I lost my stupid camera somewhere in this mess of a house and honestly, you need the pictures to really understand what I’m talking about.

But, my friend Brooke made a suggestion when I was visiting home back in December and I think I’ll take her up on it: I should post when I have those moments of “WTF, Germany?” So here goes my first crack at it…

I’ve noticed that the younger generation in Germany and many other countries have embraced the globalization of the world and even more so, embraced English. So you see a lot of ads in English. Even for companies that are totally German. You also see cheeky little signs or cards in gift shops with English phrases. And even the kids wear clothes with English on them. It’s interesting and sometimes a welcome break for my brain.

The only slight problem is that, like in most other languages too, a word can mean one thing on its own but when coupled with another word, takes on a whole new meaning. Let’s go over some examples I have seen recently:

1) The first time I noticed it, I saw a cute little house outside the pet store. It said in big bright painted on letters: CATHOUSE.¬†Umm, yeah. Guys? We call those “Cat Condos”. There’s a different kind of kitty in a Cat House…..

2) Then there was the ads for the gym in Reutlingen. Featuring the new “Lady Area”. I’ve heard of a “Ladies Only Area” or the “Women’s Fitness Section”. But the only time I ever heard of a lady area was in nursing school a 15 year old had an itch in her “lady area”.

3) Continuing on with this theme, here’s the last WTF? for this post. Written on the jackets of a girls marching troop in the parade “Magic Muffins”. I’ll just let you think about that one on your own for a while.

Oddly enough, I recall asking A once if there are various words for female parts (for science). He said he only knew of the more medical term Vagina (yep, it’s the same, just gets a capital). He was too busy in high school playing dungeons and dragons to be asking the girls what they called their Lady Area.