Quid pro quo

Hello Maddy,

Thank you for really sending me some questions:-) Seems you liked my idea. Maybe we could elaborate further on that and get a blog-based/post-based exchange going, i.e. sending questions/thoughts back and forth and answering/thinking about them. Would be interesting. What do you think?

However, first things first. Now I’m going to answer your questions one by one. Yes, I chose to answer all three of them because they really made me think. I’ve been away all weekend (that’s why my answer comes a bit late) and besides my luggage I took these questions with me. It’s not that they caused me some sleepless nights, however, they made me think. Why? Because I came to see how hard it actually was to answer these questions quick like a shot. I was born in Germany and am living here all my life and should know a lot about the country and the people. I mean, that’s what we think we do, isn’t it? We think we know so much because we seldom confront ourselves with what we don’t know.
Another thing is that we become so, not ignorant (that sounds too negative) but too accustomed to the things around us that we hardly recognize changes – big or small. We observe so much that we hardly see a thing, if you know what I mean. So, you had me thinking regularly this weekend and I hope my answers will turn out satisfactory.

If you could recommend to a tourist one place, big or small, in all of Germany to visit what would it be?
Well, this one was easy. The answer is Munich. This city is just awesome. I’ve been there three times and it never got boring. Munich has so much to offer, from the Deutsches Museum to the Olympia Park (containing the former stadium of Bayern München). There’s so much to see that you simply have to go back (i.e. if you don’t stay for weeks).
Also, the surrounding landscape (the Alps etc.) must be quite a view. Unfortunately, I haven’t been there yet so I guess I have to go there.
And tradition is quite important in Munich (and the whole of Bavaria I think). You have the Hofbräuhaus with live music played by guys in traditional lederhosen (leather pants). It’s not the kind of music I like, however, we don’t have anything similar to that where I live. Actually, tradition is fading away in my hometown. But that’s another story. So, if you ever get the chance visit Munich. I can definitely recommend that place.

What’s a common household object in Germany that most likely isn’t in America or other countries?
You’ve got me there. As technology advances very quickly and everything has become and still becomes more modern I guess it’s hard to name a household object that you don’t have in America. Even a fridge telling you when your yoghurt ‘s best-before date has expired wouldn’t be something we only have in Germany. I don’t know if they already went on sale but you get my point, don’t you? However, I’m not leaving you without an answer on this one. I know that especially elder people still have their manually operated meat grinders which they also use for baking cookies. E.g. my grandma still uses one for baking her Christmas cookies. These old meat grinders have different stencils producing different kinds of cookies (flat, star-shaped etc.). Old people in America might still have these meat grinders too but that was one thing that came to mind.
Another object would be manually operated coffee grinders. Old people still like to use them to grind their coffee beans. If they don’t do so, they like to use them for decorative purposes by lining them up (yes, they often have more than one) on top of kitchen cabinets.

What’s a common German expression?
This question is really difficult to answer. It’s hard to find a common expression or proverb that is originally German. Nowadays these expressions and proverbs are all translated into different languages so that you can hardly trace their origin. And even if you could the expression wouldn’t be common only in Germany anymore. On the other hand, it’s hard for me to say that an expression is commonly German as I don’t know if it’s known everywhere in Germany. However, I thought of something that I am quite sure is only known in a small part of Germany. It’s an expression we tend to use in the region where I live and that you can only understand if you’re acquainted with this region’s tradition and dialect (Plattdeutsch or Low German – both words exist in English, as far as I know). So, it’s not commonly German but uniquely Rhenish:
‘Wat is dat für ‘ne Tünnes?’ Tünnes is the Rhenish form of Antonius (Anthony). However, if you don’t know what ‘Tünnes’ stands for you cannot understand the meaning of this sentence. In German this sentence means: ‘Was ist das für ein Blödmann?’. Translated into English it means: ‘He’s a dumbass’. So, actually, ‘Tünnes’, in this sentence, simply means ‘Blödmann’ (dumbass) but you cannot understand it if you don’t understand our dialect.

So, that’s it for now. I hope you’re content with my answers and you’ll think about my suggestions about the exchange. I’d be happy about a comment/feedback 🙂
Last but not least, here’s my question that’s hopefully going to make you think:

If hope dies last, what  do you think happens when hope is dead?

I’ve asked myself this question quite a few times without finding a categorial answer. However, I’m curious about your thoughts/answer.


2 responses to “Quid pro quo

  1. Hi! Sorry it took me so long to respond. I can’t believe I missed that many days! This last week or so I have been crazy busy. Your idea about getting some sort of blog-based/post-based exchange going is great. I loved your answers to my weird questions. I’m glad they made you think because usually you’re the one making ME think. I’ve never been to Germany, but if I ever go, I’ll have to visit Munich. I’m making a mental reminder right now 🙂 The household objects were unique! I don’t think I’ve seen one of those meat grinders in America. I’ve never seen a manual coffee grinder! No doubt some people probably still have them, but even my technologically challenged grandma’s coffee grinder isn’t manual. I had no idea what any of those German expressions mean (obviously because I don’t speak the language) but I’ve very excited I now know how to say “dumbass” is German 😀

    Your question for me is going to require a lot of thinking in order to give you a good answer. I’ll probably be posting the day after tomorrow, if not tomorrow. Your question will make up all of them ones I missed. Should I prepare another question for you to put with my answer?


    • Hey! No problem. Better late than never, isn’t it? 😉 I’m glad you like my answers and my idea about the exchange. If you wanna get this going then, yes, send me another question with your answer 🙂 Then you’ll get my answer with a new question for you and so on.


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