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About alexunterwegs

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  • Location Hamburg
  • Nationality British
  1. BREXIT positives and negatives

      Quite so.  What they don't seem to get is that every western industralised country, that I know of, relies on foreign labour to do unskilled and indeed many skilled jobs.  Just think of the catastrophic impact it would have on the German economy, if they were daft enough to stop freedom of movement.  Building workers, Nursing and careworkers, fruit pickers, car production line workers, all the cleaning work. Those are just a few sectors off top of my head, which would be facing collapse if Germany stopped freedom of movement. 
  2. Bundestagswahl 26th of September 2021

      Love the way the British press keep describing Scholz as 'boring'. Its as if they'd much prefer some colourful character insulting foreigners or threatening Boris.    At the same time, there's a helluvalot of political journalists self indulging in never ending chat shows about all the concevable combinations of SPD, CDU, FDP, Greens. I bet they never stop in their private lives either. Wonder what its like being married to one of them. I thought it was funny when they were barred from the current talks, as it meant they had nothing to report on. 
  3. The current weather in Hamburg & Surrounds

    Not quite sure how Hamburg manages to get its own weather thread, but as a resident, I have to say I'm starting to appreciate it. Though I should mention I have to be careful about excessive exposure to the sun.  So when I view those high temperatures in Baden Wurtemburg and Bayern, I'm not envious!   And with global warming on the way,  it will be pretty much optimal here long term, though will have to watch out for the Elbe water level rising.        
  4. Has anyone with a UK passport encountered problems with border officials post Brexit, due to passports being stamped?  My understanding is that they should not be stamping if UK nationals have obtained an EU residence permit or can demonstrate they are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. You can see how problems might arise if a passport gets stamped which indicates the passport holder is allowed a maximum of 90 days in the Schengen zone.    The trouble is not all border officials may be up to speed with the terms in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and may end up just stamping all UK passports.  I'm sure its not always easy for travellers to prevent this happening.  For those travelling by car to the UK from Germany, it will probably be the French border control you encounter, so you have an extra problem if they can't read German.  Seems obvious that UK passport holders should offer their Aufenthaltskarte/residence document along with the passport to the official.  If there are problems, hopefully these will just be teething whilst border officals get up to speed.    
  5. How to avoid a serious tipping mistake

    So what? You can expand on that principle to tip the entire kitchen staff. There are loads of jobs where people 'behind the scenes' contribute to a business, but it comes back to the owners underpaying in the first place, and then expecting that tippers will pick up the slack. 
  6. How to avoid a serious tipping mistake

    Back on the subject of tipping in bars and restaurants, I operate on the principle that if a waiter/ess has brought it to my table, they deserve a tip if done relatively speedily. However, I never tip when I order myself at a bar, even though amazingly many Germans seem to find it quite normal. I fail to see how staff standing behind a bar are offering anything other than routine service.    At the same time, I think customers being served at tables is part of the deal to encourage them to give tips. Bit of a racket really on the part of owners. Just encourages them to underpay their staff.     
  7. Most/least friendly areas of Germany

    Interesting article.  And I learned about NY "sass" as well.    I expect I'd be on the receiving end should  I choose not to give any Trinkgeld! 
  8. Most/least friendly areas of Germany

      What is the Berliner Schnauze? Is it being loud and opinionated?  I haven't lived in Berlin, but have visited frequently and my impression is that they have a good sense of humour (by German standards!).  They remind me a bit of cockneys.  Obviously I understand that like lots of capital cities, it has attracted all sorts of people of many origins, so I'm referring to authentic Berliners born and bred. 
  9. Most/least friendly areas of Germany

    One thing I've discovered is that the Hamburgers reputation for keeping a distance with strangers is pretty much true. You never see spontaneous conversations at bus stops. In fact some seem to react with shock if someone starts talking.  (Actually pretty much ideal for Corona social distancing!)  The only way of getting to know people,outside of work, is through clubs or organisations or frequenting the same cafe over a period. When confronted with this, Hamburgers stock reply is that once you know one, then you have a friend for life!. They then go onto explain that Rhinelanders jolly cheerfulness and wanting to be mates is all superficial!  To some extent this keeping a distance, also called 'sturheid',  is also a North German thing.      I will say I have encountered scarcely any racism in Hamburg. This may be because being a large port, they are used to foreigners of all types.  Even though many of the seamans hostels have been replaced by third world refugees, they are very accomodating towards refugees.  The distant behaviour is not specifically directed to foreigners, they are the same with other Germans.    I would also say the Rheinlanders reputation as being out-going is largely true. It may have something to do with Carneval. Obviously if you land in a small village cafe for the first time, you will be viewed with a certain amount of suspicion, as you would elsewhere around the world, but in the towns and cities its easy to make contact with locals. Cologne, inside or outside of Carneval, especially.    
  10. Euro 2020 and 2021   This is the BBC's summary of what happened in and around Wembley on Sunday. Doesn't paint a good picture. Looks like the security was very poor. Could even have turned into a tragedy.  
  11. Euro 2020 and 2021   How several papers across Europe saw the fans' behaviour and how that effects the perception of our country. 
  12. Euro 2020 and 2021

      Yes, but we're focussing on the England fans because its EURO 20 and its happening now. That's the thread we're on.   If the Dutch fans were to go on a rampage in London, we've got a new discussion.  But as Luke points out, the Dutch national teams' fans have never caused problems in the UK. For English fans, its very obviously not the first time.    Sure the populist politicians and the tabloid media are a large part of antisocial behaviour displayed by fans, but fans have to take some responsibility. I've seen at least one article in the German press picking up on some of the idiot behaviour, and whilst that's sensationalist or lazy journalism, because it generalises over a whole swathe of people, its not good for the country's reputation. That can have a whole range of knock on effects going way beyond football. That's more political than if there's a bunch of idiots at a Championship or Bundesliga 2 match, because yesterday had an audience of tens of millions right across Europe.     
  13. Euro 2020 and 2021

      Really low grade idiots. They look adult enough to have acquired a few IQ brain cells, but it seems not.  They need to be identified and charged.  
  14. Euro 2020 and 2021

      I too found the constant booing by England fans irritating. I don't mind if there is a reason, such as a dirty tackle or attempt at cheating, but it seemed to happen for no reason.  I know similar can happen at club level, and having watched West Brom play Villa or Wolves on many occasions, there is certainly no love lost for opposition fans or players . However, at such a high profile match at international level as yesterday, I think there is more at stake. Everything has a more political character. The country's reputation is in effect under scrutiny, given that the game was screened out to millions, even if it is just a sporting event. That will register with alot of football and non-football fans alike.  Interestingly, I noticed during the tournament several German commantators referring to English 'fair play'. ie the english term 'fair play' is used in the German language. For how long I wonder.   
  15. Euro 2020 and 2021

    Southgate has come in for alot of criticism over the choice of penalty takers.  However, Rashford and Sancho have maybe the cleanest kicking techniques in the squad. I thought bringing them on was a smart move. Talking with hindsight is easy.    Overall, Italy just about deserved it. At least it will stop Boris trying to take credit as his victory.