found-in-germany

Everything you (n)ever wanted to know about archery

Originally posted by disneypixar

Don’t watch Lord of the Rings, the Hunger Games, or Avatar. At least, not for the archery. Hollywood is stock full of misinformation and misrepresentation about archery. Sadly, not a lot of writers have the opportunity to really delve into the practice. So here is my all you wanted to know primer from how bows are constructed, to lining up and releasing the shot, to treating your friend’s nasty broadhead wound.

Edit: expanded the debunking section. 

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11 strange things about living in Germany.
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Moving to another country is exciting, but challenging. Cultural differences become more visible and you have to adapt to a different way of life. 

Here are the top things I found strange about life in Germany. 

1. Bureaucracy 

I thought Mexico was very bureaucratic, until I lived in Germany. Do you need to open a bank account in Germany? Are you a foreigner? you’ll need two weeks. First you need to ask for an appointment, then submit all the paperwork and wait until every single document, number and statement comes through the mail. Registering yourself at the local office? three days minimum. Germans know this and always complain about it. On the upside: Germans are very efficient and most things will be done right the first time.

2. Nothing is open on Sundays 

In Germany most restaurants, supermarkets and stores are closed on Sundays as most people use this day to relax or be with their family. Most Cafés are open though and there are lots of parks where you can take a walk.

3. Cash only 

The first two weeks I was in Germany I had lots of problems with my bank: I could pay with my card but I couldn’t withdraw cash from the ATM’s. This wouldn’t be a problem in most countries but German businesses rarely accept cards and when they do it is usually an EC Card issued by a German bank. Credit cards are not a big thing in Germany and most stores, bars and restaurants are “cash only”. 

4. People will tell you what to do 

Germans are very forward when giving advice and they will try to make you understand that the best way to do things is "the German way". When Germans are sick they drink ginger tea, so you must also drink ginger tea. Got a zit? rub some German ointment on it. For Germans their cars, beer, technology and everything Deutsch-made is the best (and it kind of is). I got told to “cover up” twice while walking from the gym to my house wearing shorts in the Winter so be ready to get free advice when in Germany. 


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5. Don’t jaywalk 

Germans are very anal about this. Most people will wait until it is their turn to cross the street. If you cross before the Ampelmann turns green, there is a possibility you will be yelled at. It is vital for Germans to set a good example for children so people disregarding order deserves a good dose of public scolding. Just be civil and wait until it is your turn. 

6. Internet censorship 

In 2011 several foreign exchange students received fines for watching porn online ignoring Germany’s strict copyright laws. Streaming video is not always illegal, but still many youtube videos and websites are blocked and downloading illegally can get you fined with a couple hundred euros. 

7. Remembrance

German cities and towns are full of beautiful buildings and monuments honouring historic moments, great people and also victims of Nazi persecution. Signs with the names of the most famous concentration camps with a big “Remember” on top can also be found outside several train stations. Other common sights are the Stopelsteine which are small golden squares found on sidewalks with information of people killed or sent to concentration camps during WWII. 

8. Planning ahead

Germans love to plan ahead. You should have seen the face of my friend’s mom when I told her I had come from Mexico and had not yet found an apartment to live in Berlin. I ended up finding a place a week later but Germans tend to plan everything with lots of anticipation. Germans are not big on being spontaneous and feel more confortable when everything is carefully planned.

9. Beer is everywhere (and is everything) 

Germans love beer. Legal age for drinking is 16 and people can drink just about anywhere: the subway, streets and university cafeterias. It is common to see people sipping beer at 11 a.m. and on the train heading back from work. Broken bottles are a common sight on weekends and passed out people laying in their vomit inside the train becomes part of the occasional scenery after a couple of months (in Berlin). 


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10. Disinfecting food

My friend Valeria who is also Mexican and has lived in Germany for over two years now told me how she looked everywhere for fruit and vegetable disinfectant when she first arrived, but couldn’t find it. Germans don’t use it. Need to wash vegetables? fill the sink with water, throw the vegetables in and stir a little. In Mexico people usually take fruits and vegetables, place them in water and then add some drops of chlorine, iodine or other chemical to disinfect, so that was a strange thing I had to adapt to. 

11. Germans are the nicest people you’ll ever meet

I needed to end the list by saying that Germans are some of the nicest people I have met. The occasional douchebag is present, but Germans will go out of their way to explain things, show you their culture and cook for you. Germans will stuff you with their food, speak English to you when you have trouble getting your point across and buy you a beer when you need someone to talk to. Something I noticed as well is people buying extra loafs of bread for the homeless and young children helping the elderly cross streets, and most of all… Germans are fun! 

Interesting dog facts that you might not know.

Dogs don’t feel guilt. Your pet pooch may get jealous, but researchers found those puppy dog eyes are not a sign of guilt. In fact they are just the way we interpret a dog’s reaction to being scolded.

Dog urine can corrode metal. Apparently allowing your dog to wee on a lamp-post could be more dangerous than you think - because the acids in the urine can corrode the metal.

Dogs can smell disease.  Research at the Schillerhohe Hospital in Germany found dogs have an incredible ability to recognise the smell of a range of organic compounds that show the human body isn’t working as it should.

A wagging tail doesn’t always mean they are happy. Tail wagging has its own language. Apparently dogs wag their tail to the right when they’re happy and to the left when they are frightened. Wagging low means they are insecure and rapid movements accompanied by tense muscles or dilated pupils can signal agression.

Dogs have their own fingerprint. A dog’s paw print may look pretty generic but their nose print is actually as unique as a human fingerprint. Their combination of ridges and creases is so distinct it can actually be used to identify them.

Dogs can fall in love.  It may sound far fetched but Paul Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University in California, found that a dog’s brain releases oxytocin - the love hormone - when it interacts with humans and dogs, just the same as a human brain does when we hug or kiss.

When dogs kick after going to the bathroom.  Why do they do that?  they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.

No night vision goggles needed! Dogs’ eyes contain a special membrane, called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see in the dark.

Yiddish-speakers themselves, including some of the most prominent Yiddish writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, routinely referred to their language as Zhargon – Jargon. It was a bastard tongue, bad German, a linguistic mishmash, hardly a language at all. Jews intent on assimilation found it particularly odious. In Germany for example, Jews tried to reduce Jewishness to a Konfession, a religion divorced from culture, insisting they weren’t Jews at all, but rather “Germans of the Mosaic persuasion” Go make the case in Yiddish, where every word, every linguistic tic, is a reminder of peoplehood. Consider, for example, Max Weinreich’s example of a more or less random Yiddish sentence: Di bobe est tsholent af Shabes – The grandmother eats warmed-over bean stew on the Sabbath. Bobe, “grandmother” is a Slavic word that entered Yiddish in the thirteenth or fourteenth century. Est was adopted a thousand years ago, from Middle High German. Tsholent, bean stew, came from Old French more than a thousand years ago, probably from chaud, “hot”, and lent, “slow” – a fitting name for a dish that Jews keep warm on the Sabbath, when cooking is not allowed. And Shabes, “Sabbath,” is a Hebrew word that dates back several thousand years. Quite literally, Yiddish is a living chronicle of Jews’ historical experience, proof of their peoplehood, and therefore spills the beans on assimilationist aspirations. No wonder Bourgeois Jews hated it; no wonder scholars ignored it. In 1873, for example, the German Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz afforded Yiddish just two paragraphs in his magisterial six-volume History of the Jews. Never mind that Yiddish was then the first or only language of 80% of the world’s Jews; for Graetz, it was “eine halbtierische Sprache,” a half-bestial tongue.

- Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky

Der Ostereierbaum, a German tradition of decorating trees and bushes with Easter eggs. The tradition is centuries old - its exact origins have been lost but the egg is an ancient symbol of life worldwide. In Germany, eggs are hung on branches of outdoor trees and bushes or on cut branches inside. The custom is found mostly in Germany and Austria, even though other European countries and German-influenced places such as the Ukraine, Poland, Czech Rep, Hungary, and the Pennsylvania Dutch region of the United States have picked up the custom. Egg trees are also sometimes decorated on May Day, Whitsun, and the Summer Solstice. Other German Easter traditions include the dressing of public wells and fountains as Osterbrunnen (mostly Southern), Osterhasen and Ostereier (Easter Bunnies and Easter Eggs, everywhere), and Osterfeuer (Easter bonfires, mostly Northern).

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Woven Celtic Pattern from the La Tène Period

These are reconstruction of the original woven border patterns form textile found in Hochdorf grave in Germany. Unlike other Celtic patterns with knotwork or spirals, this particular clan chose diamond and Swastika shapes, making it unique for Celtic clothing.

These are authentic reconstructions from garments made 5,000 years ago. It was only in the early 20th century did the Swastika gain a sinister meaning. Up until then, the Swastika was a popular symbol in many cultures through out the world, and generally were considered a good luck charm. 

With Days of Yore Travel, you can learn from Celtic experts how to weave original celtic border or woven belt and bring home a truely original souvenir.

Nordhausen cathedral. Nordhausen is a small town in northern Thuringia near Harz hills. My father’s hometown. I just watched around a little on our way home. It’s strange to walk around where you’re roots are from but you don’t feel them… Nordhausen belonged to the GDR as long as the border inside Germany existed. I don’t know, what it looked like thise days. My father sometimes talked about Workd War II bombings and hus fears in tge cellars. His father found work in West Germany, so the family moved, as lobg as tge border was not absolutely closed… Nordhausen was renewed after the wall felt. Now it’s a cute little town with an old heart and some socialist architecture buildings around…