• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

609 Awesome

About onemark

  • Birthday 02/09/1953

Profile Information

  • Location Darmstadt
  • Nationality New Zealander, British, Irish
  • Hometown South Auckland, New Zealand
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1953

Recent Profile Visitors

3,583 profile views
  1. The need to be right

    As I said in my first post, Germans have an exaggerated sense of personal status, both privately and at the workplace.   It therefore follows that wives will refer to themselves as Frau Doktor (name of husband), not just to tell the world that "my husband's got a doctorate" but also in order to indicate that "I'm somebody too". This is the reason many people do a doctorate in Germany: to enhance personal - and by extension, social - status.   The Austrians are far worse. In Austria you can even apply to the authorities to be addressed as "Magister" (or Magistra if one is a woman) if you hold a master's degree, the way people do in Germany if they hold a doctorate. I'd be interested to know whether Austrians do personal deprecation (the way the Germans don't). Anybody know?
  2. The need to be right

    After arriving in Germany years ago I read that Germans are very sensitive about personal and professional status. So in German society, people like to be "somebody". Whether they are or not is another matter. Probably explains their arrogance and why they don't do self-deprecation. So if Germans make a mistake, they not only look incompetent, they feel particularly humiliated. So one way to not be humiliated is not to admit a mistake.   There is also a greater felt need for competence (demonstrated by paper qualifications), so acquiring a reputation for incompetence in this country is not only a form of humiliation, it is also a form of social and professional death. Solution: never admit a mistake.   A corollary of this is not admitting mistakes in order to avoid liability suits, which can famously get quite expensive in this country. Liability is never admitted because the insurance company says, "Shut up or we won't fork out!"   My $NZ0.02.  
  3. @ john g. & RelativeDimension: Sorry, guys but Northern Ireland will probably never be able to team up with the Scots (never mind Gibraltar). It might not be a such bad idea in theory as both countries have much in common historically but the problem is that, if that were to happen, the IRA would be back in business again overnight. And that would kill the Good Friday Agreement. At the moment, there is a workable - if fragile - peace in the province. Some kind of union with Scotland would make it seem to the IRA that Irish reunification was being "taken away" from them. Ironically, however, while Martin McGuiness has called for a referendum on reunification, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said publicly that the Republic has more important things to worry about, effectively squashing any ideas about reunification for the present, i.e. the next 50 years or so, thereby giving the finger to McGuiness. So, as I have said elsewhere on TT, Northern Ireland will continue to cling kicking and screaming to Britain for the foreseeable. Also ironic is that (a) Northern Ireland needs the European Union the same way Scotland does and (b) there is a considerable body of opinion in the Irish Republic that doesn't want the North back under any circumstances.
  4. Aufenthaltstitels required for EU national?

    @ MikeMelga: PandaMunich is correct. Now that you are an EU citizen, you no longer need any kind of residence/work permit, including the eAT. You'll have to put up with your passport from now on. Sorry ;-)))
  5. Initially, Northern Ireland will - frantically - try to stay with the UK. However - but not surprisingly - Sinn Feín has raised the issue of a vote on reunification with the Irish Republic. The fly in the ointment is that Dublin can't afford reunification, as it's still climbing out of its financial /economic hole (albeit doing very well in the process). Also, the DUP has - not surprisingly - pooh-poohed the idea of reunification.
  6. Looks like I'm going to have to renew my Irish passport...
  7. BobD is right. According to the reports I've read, the injuries of the people/hostages in the cinema were all due to teargas, not gunshot wounds. Also, the police do not believe that this was any kind of terrorist attack.
  8. TVCatchup - UK television live via internet

    I still affectionately recall (in no particular order): -       Dad's Army (perhaps not quite that funny but a fairly accurate account of what the Home Guard was really like) -       Yes, Minister & Yes, Prime Minister (absolutely brilliant script-writing and, speaking as a former public servant, completely & utterly true-to-life) -       Anything by Monty Python -       At Last the 1948 Show -       The Frost Report -       Fawlty Towers -       I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again (OK, radio, but still good) -       The Goon Show (radio, but no apologies) -       The Goodies -       The Young Ones -       Open All Hours -       Callan -       All in the Family (the very successful copy of the British "Till Death Us Do Part) -       Perry Mason -       Dr Finlay's Casebook -       Get Smart -       The Man from U.N.C.L.E -       The Avengers -       Steptoe & Son -       Rising Damp -       A Family at War -       Upstairs, Downstairs -       M.A.S.H.
  9. Merkel can't prohibit the German public prosecutor from investigating the case now she's authorised it. That would probably constitute interference in the (independent) judicial process – wouldn't it? She realises she's made a mistake so the best she can hope for is that the PP finds there's no case to answer. Presumably unofficial noises to this effect have already been made.   However, as I have said elsewhere on this subject in Toytown, as much as I despise Erdogan as a subcutaneous dictator, the humour in Böhmermann's poem really is puerile and worthy only of a first-year university student. In my darker moments, I'm also tempted to hope that, if he's tried, he should be found guilty.  
  10. @ More tea, vicar:   What a coincidence.
  11. If Obama's in the UK to try and help persuade the Brits to stay in the EU, he's there because David Cameron asked him to come. It's not as if he's not sticking his nose into British affairs unasked.   And as the latest Economist (23-29 April) has said, it is in the interests of both the USA and the UK for the UK to remain in the EU. The corollary being that if the UK leaves, it will no longer be as important to the USA as it is currently.   Just saying.
  12. Subtleties of Beleidigung

    I hold no brief for Erdogan whatsoever and in my view, Merkel and the German government are acting badly over this issue. I also think that this German law about insulting foreign heads of state should be abolished as having had its day - if it ever did.   However, having read through the poem by Jan Böhmermann, I can't help thinking that the more extreme sentiments contained therein, such as sex with goats etc., are utterly immature, not to say infantile. This is 1st-year university student stuff.
  13. Immediate disclaimer: I have never been in any armed forces myself, but my two younger brothers served in the Territorial Army back home (NZ) and my father served in the Army in WWII.   That said, this plan of Von der Leyen's is a loony tune. At the risk of being labelled a male chauvinist (I don't think I am one but still), this is the result of having a female German Minister of Defence. Or is Uschi von der Lyen trying to start the abolition of the German Armed Forces?   Rightly or wrongly, soldiers and their families have to adapt their lives to suit the needs of the Army, not the other way round. As others on this thread have correctly said, you can't run any armed forces on an 8-hour day, 5-day week, 40-hour week basis. It just doesn't work. If the so-called balloon goes up (pardon the old expression but it fits; the German language calls it a "Verteidigungsfall"), troops have to be available and read at a moment's notice. Or as near as dammit.   And overtime after 5.00 pm or whenever is a bad joke. Members of the Armed Forces back home get paid a certain rate per day, 24/7/365. Full stop. I'm sure they do elsewhere.   Germany is being made to look a laughing stock. This must stop.
  14. Government misleading us regarding refugees

    Northern Ireland: absolutely fucking mediaeval! Goddammned Presbyterians!
  15. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    @ RachSW: Do the German authorities know about your Australian citizenship? If they do, you will not be able to obtain German citizenship without giving up your Australian citizenship. As a Kiwi, I'm in the same boat.