Sunday, August 16, 2009


First, they stole my bike back in 2005. Now they ruin my freaking car. No kidding, car crash today with some Nazis. I have had enough. We had a nice day today really, went out to lunch at the hotel, sat on the terrace outside with a nice view of the city. Later we continued on to pick up a friend and go view some bunnies outside of town, then we went to the Polenztal, a nice, cool valley full of rocky cliffs and a nice little river, very cool on such a hot day. Then, on the way back to Dresden, it happened. We had planned to stop by and visit some friends on the way back into town, but the Nazis stopped us. We were driving, and came to a construction site with a big steel plate covering a hole or something. We slowed considerably to drive over the plate, not wanting to damage our tires, and the next thing we know there is a Mercedes behind us honking like a wild man and a crash. The jerk hit us. He came out of nowhere, and attempted to pass us in the construction site, but obviously had some trouble judging the size of his car, because he smashed up his front end on the right side and our rear bumper on the left. Or maybe he hadn't attempted to pass, but hit us out of anger that we were driving a foreign car that is nicer than his. I wouldn't put it past such a Nazi. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Mr. Nazi pulled off to the side of the road, we stayed where we were due to evidence. Mr. Nazi approached our car, we locked the doors and kept the windows up and called the police. You see, Mr. Nazi walked sort of like an ape, had a shaved head tatooed with none other than the devil himself, and some kind of old German script on the back window of his crap Mercedes saying something about the Sächsische Schweiz. Not only is the Sächsische Schweiz (where we were) a very beautiful place to go hiking and has been immortalized by numerous artists in many fantastic works, but it is also a cozy little Nazi nest. Mr. Nazi had a license plate from the area, so apparently he is a local, and the old German script on his rear windshield saying something about the Sächsische Schweiz sort of gave him away.
While waiting for the police, Mr. Nazi was telephoning an awful lot. Then the carloads of Nazis started rolling in. Car after car full of shirtless tatooed Nazis came and talked to Mr. Nazi and his girlfriend. Mr. Nazi also went to some people who had been sitting outside their house near the scene and told them what to tell the police. And here we sat, cozy in our air conditioned, banged up car, waiting for the police to come for 45 minutes while the Nazis had a little party surrounding our car. That was a bit uncomfortable. Finally the police arrived, and for the officer, Mr. Nazi was clearly guilty. Hello, Mr. Nazi! Passing in a construction zone! Hello, Mr. Nazi! Driving way too fast in a village! Mr. Nazi was also a bit aggressive, so it turns out to have been a very good decision to just lock the doors and not talk to him without police presence. And the whole time, the other Nazis were milling around, driving around, talking about the accident. Probably also trying to get a good look at us and memorizing our license plate number to enter into their database of people they don't like. You see, we've done some research on Mr. Nazi, since we have his name and address from the police report, and it turns out that yes, he truly is a Nazi. He was convicted of beating up some Vietnamese guys in another village in 2003, and threatening some refugees with a pistol. Super! Mr. Nazi has a gun! And his Nazi friends really do keep a database of names and addresses of liberals and probably anybody they don't like, so we probably are in there now too. Well, he doesn't have my name, but he has another name, and an address, but fortunately not an address we'll be using much longer. We are considering going to another undisclosed location until we can move into our permanent undisclosed location.

If you'd like to have a look at what kinds of nonsense those silly Nazis commit here in the area and read German, have a look here. It's an interesting chronicle of their little games. Maybe you'll even figure out who rear-ended us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

O, Nougat Bits, how I love thee!

Call me American for my extreme use of the superlative here, but I think this may possibly be the best cereal in the whole world! Mmmm, Nougat Bits, also known as Nougat Pockets or Nougat Pillows depending on which discounter you buy them from, are square cereal pockets made of wheat and rice, about one inch by one inch filled with nougat cream, comparable to Nutella, which you can buy in German supermarkets. I truly believe the discounter brands, as pictured above from the now defunct Plus Markt (Plus merged with Netto, so now there's only Netto in the ghetto!) are better than the name brands. The name brand Nougat Bits that I have had got softer quicker in milk or the cereal pockets weren't as good, or there was less creamy, chocolatey nougat inside. All highly disappointing factors. The best Nougat Bits I have had have been from Plus Markt (I can't speak for Netto, since I haven't bought them there yet since my return) and Kaufland (my current box).

Back before I was old and married and with child, there was nothing better than a bowl of Famili Nougat Bits when I felt I needed something sweet in the afternoon, felt a little down, or needed a quick breakfast. After 10 months in America, I had somehow forgotten about my youthful love affair with Nougat Bits, and only a few days ago did the baby in my belly start rumbling something about "Feeeeeed meeee Nooooooouuugaaaat Biiiiiiiits" I hadn't thought about this cereal in at least a year, but I agreed with baby, finding this a very good idea, and so sent out baby's valliant father on a quest for Nougat Bits. The quest was successful, we got our nougat fix, and I don't know when this nougat trip is going to end.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My childish sense of humor

"New from America! Penis enlargement without surgery!"

Call me childish, but this ad campaign cracks me up. Especially the "New from America" part, maybe it's because we now belong to the ranks of tuned-Ami-auto drivers in Germany. The really funny thing about this is that there is an online magazine catering to German Ami-car drivers, and they find this campaign truly disturbing and are upset by it. Loosen up, guys, and have a sense of humor. Sure, the joke is old, but the ad sure did get your attention, didn't it?

"New: Viagra for women."

I don't know about that, and I don't really care about Viagra. But still, call me a motorhead if you want, I would have nothing against driving one of those.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


We got it! This is our new place, yet to be finished. Apparently, a woman and her son lived there forever and ever, and our friend with the flower shop down the street said she always just stared out the window. It's being renovated right now, new flooring put in and all that jazz. And soon it will be ours! We were worried about some stiff competition to get this place, it's in a great location on a quiet street right exactly in the neighborhood we want to be in, and the garden out back, which is actually bigger than depicted, makes it very attractive to families and hippies who like this neighborhood. The front rooms are sunny and bright, the garden shady, quiet and cool, perfect for grilling, pet bunnies and playing children! Plus there are windows all around in every room, which was another very important factor for us. I have this crazy tic about letting in fresh air, and someone else has a crazy tic about having south-facing windows, and here we've got it all.
The really neat thing about this place is not only its proximity to the forest, the park and the new supermarket that people protested and smashed the windows of (and now all the protesters shop there, because it's kind of far and annoying to go to the other stores by foot from this part of the neighborhood-I know, I lived not too far from here for a while), but that it is an addition to a normal old row-house, and we have no neighbors upstairs or downstairs, and have our own separate entrance.
Hooray! I couldn't believe our luck this morning when I found out it's ours! Now I can have 3 bunnies!

Monday, August 03, 2009

I love Socialism!!

It seems like the buzz word on the lips of all the Republicans in the United States nowadays is about what a "socialist" President Obama is and how the evil Democrats want to take everything away from the rich people and give it to people who don't earn their keep and bla bla bla cry cry cry. It's a bunch of annoying bellyaching in my humble opinion. The hot topic at the moment is Obama's goal of instituting a national health care plan and, oh my God!!! What a socialist thing that would be! "A national health care system is something for whimpy Europeans!" they say. "We should be able to choose what kind of care we want and pay for it if we want." It would destroy the great expensive American health care system, and America has the best health care system in the world! We don't want to destroy that! I disagree. Tear down this system that doesn't work and leaves people out in the cold and build a new one from the ground up!

Apparently President Obama's plan would not involve instituting a plan to cover everyone, but a plan to make health care at least accessible to people who don't have it provided by their employers. This is a whole lot of people who work in capacities other than regular old full-time jobs, and a lot of people who are being laid off, fired or otherwise having their work or benefits reduced in these hard times. So there would at least be a reasonable, affordable option for people who don't have health insurance as part of their benefits package from their job, but people would also (maybe) have the option of choosing public or private plans, hopefully resulting in some competition on the otherwise ridiculously competition-free market of American health care. American health care is crazily overpriced. Even if you have "good" insurance as I did, you still pay an arm and a leg for things that are really not that involved or expensive in reality. My "benefits statement" from my health insurance in America quoted a price of over $500 for a prenatal doctor's visit that lasted maybe 20 minutes including an ultrasound. I had to pay about $50 out of pocket for that, which is still too much in my opinion. My direct comparison for this is my experience in Germany, when I was pregnant with Wilhelm in 2006. Exactly the same appointment cost about €50 in total, and the doctor listened to me and treated me like a human, not just scribbling stuff in my chart. And my insurance paid 100%. Another interesting fact: my American insurance supposedly cost my employer about $12,000 a year. My last insurance in Germany cost me not even €2,000 per year, including vision, dental and medical insurance, and 100% coverage, no ifs ands or buts, no fine print, no funny business, no runaround claims or pre-approved ambulances or any of that B.S. No insurance companies are going broke in Germany, nobody is declaring personal bankruptcy because they can't pay their medical bills. How can this be?

I had an amazing experience today. Since I am currently pregnant with number 2 and we just returned, we had to get our insurance situation straightened out before I went to the doctor. Not that I was particularly worried about the doctor's bills, we entered into this move with the knowledge that should we not get coverage, we can pay the bills out of pocket and still come out ahead of where we would have been in the United States. Anyway, we went to the (in the Republican's eyes) "socialist" health care company, got signed up for family insurance, and are all set. No problem. The pregnancy is covered, we are all covered, and will not see a single medical bill. Incredible! Is this socialism? Ha! It's a system that works, call it what you like. You pay into the system via deductions from your paycheck and are just covered. If you want, and you satisfy the income requirements, or are self-employed, you can opt out of the public system and insure yourself privately if that makes you feel better. That's where competition comes in. Private insurance pays the doctors more than the public insurance, and might pay for some additional treatments or a private room in a hospital, but by no means are publicly insured people being shortchanged. I was previously privately insured, and got great treatment, but Wilhelm was always on the public insurance and got the exceptional treatment that he really needed with his hard start in the world, including tons of tests and physical therapy, the whole nine yards. And we never paid a cent out of pocket, it was all covered! No one gets sent away from the hospital, no one can be denied care. I don't know what some people in America think, but here's a pretty good example: in Michigan when I was at my first prenatal appointment with baby 2 I asked about travelling during pregnancy because we have a wedding coming up in the German family in September. The nurse looked at me as if I had lost my mind, and informed me that they recommend that pregnant women not travel outside of their home state after the 25th week of pregnancy. Then she asked, "And who knows if a hospital in Germany would even admit you if you went into labor while you were there!" I looked at her and said, "I'm really not concerned about that. I could go to any hospital I want and pay for the birth out of pocket if I had to. Unlike here." I quoted some prices and told about some treatments I had had (acupuncture during pregnancy!) in Germany, and she was stunned.

In other news, I visited the doctor today to check on number 2. He was stunned that up to this point I had only had one ultrasound so far during this pregnancy. I am stunned as well, considering that I was receiving care in the country with the best health care system in the world, and the ultrasound machine was always just standing there in the corner, unused. Must not have been covered by my "great" insurance. But anyway, we got a look at the kid today, all is well, he or she all one piece and seems fine.

And this is why I love socialism, at least with the meaning that Americans throw the silly word around.