Germans have no sense of humour and detest playfulness 5/40

February 25, 2007 at 1:12 am | Posted in Culture, German, Internet, Lent | 11 Comments

The last time I wanted to access Xing it was temporarily offline. The notification was posted in English and German – and they did not not even try to translate the joking remark about magic into German. Germans don’t like poking fun at such situations. They want precise information, an apology and a swift eradication of the problem.

Germans are not funny

LentMy daily Lenten note (Day 5): Meanwhile – although I am in the conventional sense always a wee bit hungry now – I begin to notice that I want to eat less. As a late snack, I had a jar of cottage cheese and could barely finish it. Had it been a normal day, I am sure I would have had plenty of hidden sugars yesterday – maybe honey nut flakes as a snack or of course a slab of Nussstrudel. Maybe it’s sugar that makes us even more hungry.


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  1. I’ve been on my no-alcohol, no smoking and no sugar diet (if artificial sweetner in diet Coke, and honey do not count) for quite some time now. When weighing myself this morning, I was pleased to note that I have lost 1.6 kilos of pure fat and just 0.2 kilos of muscle since the beginning of the New Year. There is no moral to this anecdote, and I am sure it is of no use to anyone, but I wanted to announce my weight loss 🙂

  2. Hey, Greg, congratulations and thanks for your announcement! I marvel at the output of your scale – it tells you how much fat and muscles you lost? Sweetener or honey is not allowed in my Lent time either, that would be cheating, as the aim is not primarily weight loss, but the ability to give things up that might instantly gratify you, but aren’t good for you in the long run. But I do admire your will and ability to keep up your diet for such a long time. I’m looking forward to Easter right now…

  3. Congratulations on your blog, of which I am an avid reader 🙂 Back to Lent, I can imagine that it is nigh on impossible not to eat something that does not contain processed sugars. All along I thought that I was eating something that was good for me and tasty too – dark chocolate soya pudding – only to find out that it is full of sugar. When I was at the Chinese takeaway, I was also shocked to see them pouring bags of sugar into the big pan of sauce they were making. So I admire your tenacity and determination to see this thing through until Easter! A tip from me is to drink plenty of water and eat small amounts rich in protein throughout the day. I cannot contribute anything to the contraceptive issue, except to say that they greatly resemble Ork weapons.

  4. It is possible, I think, but it limits your choices greatly (did you really think there were no hidden sugars in soya puddings? they look like chocolate pudding, they taste like chocoloate pudding, how can they not be sweetened? but I am also looking forward to those treats again). My favourite soy sauce is also made of sugar, 34%. I got myself a protein preparation (also from dm) a while ago but need to check for sugars first. At the moment, I am holding on to pasta (and I admit: I did NOT check the pesto for sugar – i’m sure it contained some as well) and potatoes with ‘Germpaste’ (hihi) and Lätta.

    They do resemble Ork weapons! Still haven’t made up my mind. Was able to put my forehead on my shinbone today and wondered whether such instruments were meant to be used by contortionists.

  5. I don’t think you should make fun of us Germans not having a sense of humor. That’s not funny!

  6. :-0 :-= :o)

  7. Or that one?


    Which one do you like best?

  8. @Greg: The Ork weapons line nearly sent my mouthful of coffee all over my mac. Ha! or Waaaaagh!

    @anaj: The head-on-shinbone is impressive. Don’t tell jetsam (he’ll think I’ve switched allegiance and now teach comp exclusively), but I’ve been doing a little yoga from time to time and find that I can now bend forward.

    I once had an English professor who professed zen and was skeptical about my prostrations.

  9. Here is Sloterdijk on sugar: “Wenn aber schon ein banaler Fall von Zuckerkonsum das Subjekt durch eine aufflammende Aroma-Präsenz aushöhlt und es zu einem Schauplatz invasiver Sinnlichkeiten macht, was soll dann aus einer Ueberzeugung werden, es sei auf ganzer Linie zu massiver Selbstbestimmung berufen? Was bleibt vom Traum der humanen Autonomie, wenn das Subjekt sich als durchdringlicher Hohlkoerper erfahren hat?” (Sphaeren I: Blasen pp. 93-94). There does appear to be much more at stake than a few grams of sugar . . ., and he also provides us with a connection between the consumption of sugar and those wicked contraceptive devices 😉

  10. @Greg: Yes, yes, I’m practising my human autonomy. Right now I think I’ll go for Mirena anyway. Appointment 8 o’clock tomorrow morning.

    @harvey: Teach comp? comparative literature?

  11. @anaj: composition, rudiments of grammar and argument.

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