Monthly Archives: September 2012

Video: How to Use American Electrical Appliances in Germany

Check it out! Our very first video post from Hannover, Germany!

Apparently, European outlets kick out a vicious 220 volts of electricity. Sissy American appliances, like my electric razor, are only designed to handle 110 volts. I was told by several people (I’m looking in your direction, greasy electronics nerdling from Fred Meyer) my appliances would be ruined if I tried them in Europe. Before I moved, I bought a dozen grounded European to American outlet adapters from Amazon.com for $1 each. These adapters very specifically say, “This will not convert the voltage from 220V to 110V,” so I was expecting a real fireworks show.

When I arrived in Germany, I tried one out and did my very best to destroy my electric razor. Here is the video.

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Denglish 72: My German Wife Disapproves of My Baby Name Suggestions

My wife and I have in no way made up our minds about having kids. Some days it seems like a pleasant enough idea, and other days it seems like a singularly cruel torture reserved for fools and condom haters. And yet, inexplicably, we enjoy coming up with baby names just for fun.

I am partial to weird names, especially first names that sound like last names. Harrison. Buckley. Jagger. The weirder the better, because I believe a unique moniker is more likely to give rise to a unique individual. My wife, however, disagrees with me just as hard as her tiny German body will allow. She likes safe first names, but she doesn’t like themΒ because they are safe; she likes them because she likes boring things. This was why, back in January of 2012, our discussion concerning baby names ended like this…

ME: “What do you think about the name ‘Donner’ as a boy’s name?”

THE WIFE: “Donner? Hmm, it sounds like ‘Donna,’ the girl’s name. I can’t hear the difference between ‘Donner’ and ‘Donna.’

ME: “That’s because your ears have an accent.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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Culture Shock 1: An American Fails at Asking for Permission to Take a Picture of an Electric Car

26-hannover-germany-renault-twizy-electric-car-charging-at-rathaus

Look at that thing. Just charging itself all the live long day.

On September 9th, 2012, The Wife and I took a tourist walk through Hannover known as “The Red Thread.” We didn’t finish the entire tour, but we did end up at the town hall building, where we saw a Renault Twizy electric car being charged in the parking lot. I was so impressed I had to take a picture, but the owners, an older husband and wife, walked up right at that moment. Wanting to be polite, I asked permission.

“Entschuldigung Sie bitte. Darf Ich ein bild aus deine Auto nehmen?” I asked with an American accent so thick you could hear the baseball and smell the apple pie. Luckily, the man’s gesture in response let me know I was welcome to proceed. As we were walking away, I asked my wife if I had spoken correctly.

“He understood you,” she replied. “But in Germany, we say ‘make’ a picture. Also, ‘aus’ means ‘out of,’ and ‘Auto’ is a neutral noun, rather than feminine.”

Dammit,” I said, clenching my fist. “So, basically, I just asked that man if I could steal a picture out of his she-car?”

Click here to learn more about the term “Culture Shock.”

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