52 years later

Old Aug 17th 2015, 8:10 am
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Default 52 years later

Planning a week in Berlin where I started my teaching career many years ago. Now a different place. I am often struck on my visits there by the increasing gap between Britain and Germany in terms of development.

And yet for many Brits the picture of Germany is still a caricature taken from bad movies and worse TV series.

The numbers of schoolchildren learning German in Yookay is declining dramatically. The increase in Xenophobia, including anti-German feelings is exponential !

Oy veh, as they say in Yiddish.
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

I liked Berlin when I visited a few years ago.

When you say about "the increasing gap between Britain and Germany in terms of development". How do you mean? Social or economic?
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 6:31 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

Both. Germany is streets ahead of Britain. Should I let the Daily Mail know ?
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Old Aug 19th 2015, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

The UK weather forecast alone is enough to put me off. Whenever I look it says cool, wet and windy.
When I was in Germany I was particularly impressed by the traffic free cycle track between the office and the town centre and the beer dispenser in the rest room.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 6:06 am
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Default Re: 52 years later

The transport system is integrated. Bus and train timetables are coordinated. Bikes can go everywhere.

German Railways are owned and run by the State. In Britain if you discuss this possibility you are denounced as a "Crazed Left-winger" !
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 9:39 am
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Default Re: 52 years later

Originally Posted by philat98 View Post
The UK weather forecast alone is enough to put me off. Whenever I look it says cool, wet and windy.
When I was in Germany I was particularly impressed by the traffic free cycle track between the office and the town centre and the beer dispenser in the rest room.
Never go by the UK weather report and don't forget that the UK isn't that small, with different weather in different regions. When it says wet and windy it can be a nice day in the UK. Most of Germany had an above average summer this year with temps way too high, but overall Berlin and London are pretty similar when it comes to amount of sunshine and average temps per year. The cycling is way better in Germany, but unfortunately Germany has also gone downhill in recent years. There are some things I still like about Germany, but it's far too overpopulated and unfortunately becoming more like England. Low wages, expensive housing, poor air quality are just a few of the things I notice. One other thing is that food quality is also pretty bad in Germany, because people now just want cheap & cheaper.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 10:26 am
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Default Re: 52 years later

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
There are some things I still like about Germany, but it's far too overpopulated
I raised this issue recently in a discussion on immigration in the Spanish section, but didn't get an intelligent reply.

What exactly is the definition of "overpopulated"?

Germany's overall population density is very similar to the UK's, but in both countries there is huge variation. Both countries have major conurbations, large individual cities, small towns, and rural areas where some residents are 20 km from the nearest shop.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 11:43 am
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Default Re: 52 years later

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post
I raised this issue recently in a discussion on immigration in the Spanish section, but didn't get an intelligent reply.

What exactly is the definition of "overpopulated"?

Germany's overall population density is very similar to the UK's, but in both countries there is huge variation. Both countries have major conurbations, large individual cities, small towns, and rural areas where some residents are 20 km from the nearest shop.
It's different for everyone and someone coming from Hong Kong will think it's not overpopulated. I would look at job availability, average salaries in area, house prices including land available for citizens. Of course you can still find areas in Germany that are very rural, but even in rural areas many people can only afford apartments without outside space these days and otherwise commutes are getting longer and longer, as you can see with the 20 km from nearest shop.
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Old Aug 21st 2015, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

There are areas in Meck - Pomm that are unpopulated (UN standards) . But with 800.000 refugees yearly this will change everything in Germany. Not only population wise but culturally too. So big changes ahead. You don't need to wait decades for Germany to change massively anymore.
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Old Aug 22nd 2015, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

A few weeks ago I was told by a neighbour in Scotland that I should not shop at Aldi because "the Germans are our enemy".

I am always shocked when I am reminded that not everyone is a Germanophile.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-German_sentiment
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Old Aug 22nd 2015, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
A few weeks ago I was told by a neighbour in Scotland that I should not shop at Aldi because "the Germans are our enemy".

I am always shocked when I am reminded that not everyone is a Germanophile. .....
I like Germany, but learning the language was beyond me when I tried. The Germans know a thing or two about brewing beer and making cars.
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Old Aug 22nd 2015, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I like Germany, but learning the language was beyond me when I tried. The Germans know a thing or two about brewing beer and making cars.
I like Germany, and Germans, too. I lived and worked there for 8 years in the mid 80s to mid 90s and became fluent in the language.

I wish my French were as good.
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Old Aug 22nd 2015, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

I like Germany. And Germans too. Most of our closest friends are German.

Some aspects Germany are a bit too rigid for my liking, I find the "rules" covering every little petty aspect of life to be both a blessing and a curse (mostly curse IMO). Taxes can be silly, especially if you ever find yourself in a dispute with the finanzamt. Housing is generally pretty compact. Weather isnt great (but better than most of england, depending on where you are), and cost of living is not inexpensive. And the phrase "nothing is free" is probably the most true in Germany.

But it's clean, organised, food is (mostly) good, infrastructure is top-grade, roads and public transport are about as good as it gets. And comparatively, low crime in or around most cities.

The 3 B's of Germany: Bahn, Beer, Bread.
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Old Aug 22nd 2015, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

The bread is good too !
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Old Aug 27th 2015, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: 52 years later

In my youth it was common for students to travel about a bit and experience life in Europe. I suspect that not so many do that now. Stag parties in Magaluf or Hen parties in Bratislava maybe, but living, studying and working in foreign climes ?

But then look at the numbers of students in UK doing foreign languages. Fewer every year.
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