Tag Archives: Denglish

My German Wife Buys A New Shower Caddy for Our Bathroom

German-Shower-Caddy-Dusche-Bath-Products-Expat

Those bottles look like tiny prison inmates leaning over Cell Block D. “When we gonna shank the naked guy, Boss?”

So, moving into a new apartment is always a monumental pain in the ass, especially when you’re moving from America to Germany literally weeks after getting married. It also doesn’t help when you know nothing about furniture, kitchen appliances or any of the bathing accessories women can’t seem to live without. (Loofahs? Poufs? Bath Sponges? These all sound like playful forms of birth control which might come to life and start singing around some lovesick princess in a Disney movie: “Why say ‘maybe’ to that baby gravy? Wash your womb and add perfume; no one wants a baby!”)

Fortunately, my wife knows all about bath products and how to store them in an orderly fashion. So back in August of 2012, just before we moved, she informed me we would need to hang some kind of apparatus in our shower stall to hold all of our toiletries:

THE WIFE: “We don’t want to drill holes in the tile, so we will get a basket with vacuum sponges.”*

*I believe she meant a “shower caddy” with “suction cups.”

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My German Wife Attempts to Reheat A Soft Boiled Egg in the Microwave

reheating a hard boiled egg in the microwave

Right from the start, I think we all know where this post is headed.

My German wife and I like to eat a few soft boiled eggs for brunch on the weekends, but sometimes we make too many, and one egg goes uneaten. Being the stingy nerds we are, we always save the remaining egg and put it in the refrigerator for later. We do this knowing we will never actually eat it, because eating cold, soft boiled eggs is like slurping the mucus out of a giant eyeball. My wife has a special method for reheating these eggs, however, so I want you to imagine last weekend, when this small German woman explained to me with an adorably subtle accent and just a hint of condescension exactly how it works:

“This is how you heat up a soft boiled egg in the microwave; you just put it in for 5 seconds on low, but you have to be very careful.”

I nodded without a trace of interest and left the kitchen in order to set the table in the living room. As I was arranging the knives and forks, I heard the microwave run for exactly 5 seconds. Then, curiously, I heard it run for an additional 5 seconds. This is the sound it made:

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, ding!
*microwave door is opened and then closed again*
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, BOOM, ding!

When I returned to the kitchen, I saw my wife holding the microwave door open, mouth agape, with a mixture of silent shock and confusion on her face. She was staring at the remains of an egg so utterly devastated it actually spilled out of the microwave and into the sink below. It was like the Devil himself stepped out from the maw of hell, extended one clawed finger and said, “Fuck THAT egg…” and detonated it with a hex of black magic, then descended once more into his fiery lair, smiling to himself because human suffering just got a little bit worse.

“I thought the egg could handle another 5 seconds,” said my wife, pawing at the orange and white mess with a sponge. “I think I was overconfident.”

an egg after it exploded in the microwave

I was laughing so hard I had to take this picture like 5 times to get one which wasn’t blurry.

My German Wife Corrects My Limited and Highly Inappropriate Use of the German Language

scary mouth hand covering face

“Maybe I should just stop now and never speak again.” — Photo by Sarah G (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dm-set/)

Learning German is hard. We all know that. But back when I was in my first German class in 2012, I remember learning a few basics about grammar and verb conjugation, and thinking to myself, “Hey, maybe I’m making some progress! Maybe I’ll actually learn this ugly bastard!”

Oh silly little American nerd — I had no idea what I was in for. German keeps getting more and more complex the deeper you go, and unless you’ve been doing a perfect job of memorizing those godforsaken gender-based articles along the way, you will make mistakes every single time you open your yap and try to speak it.

But my wife, God bless her, has been 110% supportive the entire time. Never a discouraging word. Always telling me how great I’m doing, how I’m learning so much, and how I will become fluent someday. She’s fantastic like that. She still has to correct me when I make big mistakes, however, which is why our conversation back in May of 2012 went like this: We had just come home from a trip to the beach and were unpacking our bags, when suddenly I had to go poop really bad. Like, Red Alert bad. So I dropped the bags, pointed my finger to the sky and proudly announced:

ME: “Ich gehe zu scheißen!” (“I’m going to shit!”)

…to which my wife replied…

THE WIFE: “Good job. That is right, but it is very rude.”

My German Wife Accidentally Adopts Two Monsters While Cleaning Our Office

plastic Kinder Surprise egg toyYou see that little green guy in the picture? He came from a Kinder Surprise egg. Kinder Surprises are chocolate eggs with plastic toys inside — most of which require assembly and utilize tiny moving parts designed specifically to block your windpipe.

Kinder Surprise egg uberraschungThey’re totally banned in the United States because of this choking hazard, and also because they’re classified as food items …yet they contain non-food objects completely hidden inside. It’s a semantic issue, really, and semantics are not cool with Americans. I mean, how can you have two labels applied to the same useless piece of shit? It’s just too much for us to handle. But as for choking hazards, my Kinder Surprise egg contained the toy pictured above — carefully contained within a vacuum-sealed plastic bag, which also contained a fold-out booklet of assembly instructions, all of which were contained within a plastic shell the size of a marshmallow. So if some kid managed to jam this entire thing is his mouth and choke to death on it, he was probably about to lick a light socket anyway.

Kinder Egg toy in German plastic plantThis is my Kinder Surprise toy peeking out of a plastic plant. All day long, he’s just looking at me. Watching. Judging. It’s cute I guess, but not my idea. My German wife was cleaning our office the other day, you see, and rather than let my little toy continue to gather dust beside my computer, the way I like it, she consolidated items and invited a whole new member into our family:

“This is Carlson,” said my wife, proudly displaying her ingenuity. “He will watch over you and keep you safe while you work.”

german keychain owlThis hideous little thing is the stuffed owl from my wife’s keychain. She named it Mechtild — a girl’s name, apparently. Mechtild is broken, of course, so for the past year she’s been sitting on my wife’s desk being useless. If you pinch her between your fingers, you can hear the beans inside crunch together. It’s creepy. I hate her.

stuffed own keychain in germanyHere we have Mechtild peeking out from another plastic plant; this one facing my wife’s side of the office. When I asked why we suddenly had two creatures hiding in our fake plants, my wife replied:

“Well, I was cleaning today and I thought it was super cute when I put Carlson in your plant. Then I got jealous and I wanted one too, so I put Mechtild in my plant, so now we both have one! …but I still like yours better. Mine is kind of ugly.”

plastic plants in germanyHere are Carlson and Mechtild in action. And with that, I welcome you to the new and improved headquarters of Oh God, My Wife Is German!

American Expat Living in Germany Looks Back at Blogging in the Year 2013

funny german couple at festival

“Damn dude, you have CHANGED.” — Photo by Alex Archambault (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lostintexas/)

2013 was a big year for The Wife and I. After living in the States together, we moved to Hannover, Germany! Now, I’ll be real honest with you: it was scary at times (there may have been tears). I dropped everything, including a house, car and job, and moved across the globe to a country in which I did not adequately speak the language. Meanwhile, my wife scrambled around finding us an apartment here in Hannover, moving everything in and launching her post-university career. Jesus Christ, I think I’m going to have a panic attack just thinking about all that stuff again. Yep. It’s on. “Honey, call the Krankenwagen; my thunderous American heart has finally given out.”

2013 was also a big year for our blog. In addition to our usual denglish posts, I began writing about life as an American expat in Germany, and the culture shock and linguistic misadventures which ensued. I also started making videos and posting pictures from our travels around Germany, which brought in a lot more new readers. We were featured on The Local and several other expat resource websites. On top of all that, one of our posts was ‘Freshly Pressed’ on WordPress.com. Our readership just exploded over the past year, and as of the writing of this post, we’re about to pass the 10,000 subscriber mark!

We would like to sincerely thank you for reading our blog and invite you to take a look at some cool information from this past year, including:

  • Silly Statistics
  • Our Most Popular Post Ever
  • Where Our Readers Come From
    …and of course…
  • Our Top 5 Blog Commenters

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 320,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 14 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to view the 2013 blog stats from Oh God, My Wife Is German!

My German Wife Makes A Can of “Hot Pot” Soup and Leaves Me A Hilarious Note About It

Hot Pot Glass Noodle Soup German Canned

Within this can resides enough explosive power to detonate your colon like a pink sock full of gunpowder.

I guess Hot Pot soup originally comes from China, but they sell the hell out of it here in Germany. And let me tell you, it absolutely lives up to its name; it is hot, spicy, and, well… it fits perfectly inside the average cooking pot. But you know how my German wife and I like to pimp our pizzas on Sunday nights? Well, we also like to pimp our soups.

We add chili peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, hamsters, gerbils — just whatever the hell we have laying around the house — and throw them all together with a can of soup to make a flavor explosion violent enough to not only damage our mouths, but destroy them entirely. And the gastrointestinal effects? Oh, they confound they senses. Have you ever passed gas so fiery-hot it seared the very lining of your anus? Have you ever generated flatulence so potent it made you see stars? We have, and we do so every time we pimp a can of Hot Pot.

So the other day, my wife noticed the mushrooms in our refrigerator were about to go bad. She sliced them up — along with some random greens, an entire onion, and several handfuls of crushed red chili peppers — and tossed them into a boiling crucible of Hot Pot soup. I was off at my German language class, so she ate a bowl and left the rest for me, along with this fantastic little note:

hilarious note from wife to husband

To clarify, the note reads: “Hi sweets, I hope you had a good class. I made soup for us — hot pot and I think it’ll burn our little butt hole! Yours more than mine! :) I love you!”

Denglish 96: My German Wife Knows How to Pimp An American Pizza

funny pizza pimp

“Take the flavor. TAKE IT.” — Photo by tacit requiem (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tacitrequiem/)

If you are familiar with our blog, you know my German wife and I like to make pizzas on Sunday nights. But we don’t actually make pizzas, we ‘pimp‘ them: We buy cheap-as-balls frozen pizzas, then add all kinds of crazy shit to make them taste fantastic.

Now, The Wife and I have different methods for pimping our pizzas. I like to go berserk and add like a pound of shredded cheese and enough salami to choke a rhino. My wife likes to add extra tomato sauce and toss a few delicate handfuls of spinach on top. She also has differing opinions of cooking methods. Namely, she prefers to leave the pizza in the oven for a mere 15 minutes, and she likes to place it on the center rack, specifically.

She is so confident in her pimping methods, she likes to remind me of their merits each and every time we stick a pizza in the oven. This is why she concluded her latest affirmation with the line:

THE WIFE: “…and remember, last time, it turned out absolutely phenomenom.”

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

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Denglish 95: My German Wife Gets Stuck in Traffic, Struggles Adorably to Pronounce the English Letter ‘J’

Germans hate travel delays. Hate them. This is because they belong to a culture in which efficiency is prized above all other aspects of society. In Germany, efficiency is king; a cold, unfeeling despot sitting atop a mountain of dead alarm clocks high above the heads of lesser priorities, such as passion, hope or basic human enjoyment of life.

For a German, it’s all about getting from point A to point B, and anything holding up this process is to be regarded with weaponized contempt. Late flights, tardy buses and delayed subway trains drive them absolutely bugshit. And traffic jams? Oh God, traffic jams will rocket their emotional state all the way from Eerily Stoic to Nuclear Wrath.

On an important side note: In German, the letter ‘J’ is pronounced like the English letter ‘Y’ (e.g. ‘John’ becomes ‘Yohn,’ and ‘Jazz’ becomes ‘Yazz.’)

This is why, back in Portland, Oregon, as my wife was attempting to drive west on I-84 during rush hour, she sent me the following photograph and angry text message:

Traffic on Interstate 84 in NE Portland, OregonTHE WIFE: “I am today in a very bad traffic yam!”

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

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Denglish 94: My German Wife Explains the Optimal Weather Conditions for Seasonal Allergy Attacks

Funny sneezing fit from seasonal pollen allergies

“It’s the middle of December. Why am I sneezing? This should not be haaAAHHHCHOOO!” — Photo by Adam Wise (http://www.flickr.com/photos/adammichaelwise/)

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you know I’ve got some vicious pollen allergies. Allergy attacks and sneezing fits are to be expected in the spring months, especially when you are living in a foreign country like Germany, with its totally alien and unnaturally aggressive pollen spores. (I like to picture them as little dirndl-wearing, axe-wielding spike balls.)

What are not expected, are allergy attacks in the middle of winter. The rain and cold should keep the pollen count down, right? I mean, I don’t even have a cold right now, and yet I’m sneezing like I just snorted a fruit fly up my nose. (That totally happened to me once.) Maybe it’s the cold in the air. Maybe it’s the ankle-deep layer of dust beneath our bed, which gathered because I haven’t swept in months and I am a profoundly lazy man. I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s raining right now, I am sneezing and my German wife had this to day about it:

THE WIFE: “That is odd. Allergies usually happen when it is dry as a fart.”*

*My wife later informed me, “Yes, that word comes from Northern Germany. It is ‘furztrocke,’ meaning ‘fart-dry.’ “

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

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Denglish 93: My German Wife Struggles to Organize A Traditional Swiss Raclette Dinner in America

Swiss raclette cheese being melted and scraped

Melted Swiss Cheese: so good you’ll want to rub it all over your nipples. — Photo by Yusuke Kawasaki (http://www.flickr.com/photos/u-suke/)

Back when we lived together in the States, my wife attempted to plan a “raclette” dinner party at our house. Raclette itself is a semi-hard cheese from Switzerland typically used for melting. (Let’s pause for a second here and appreciate the fact that ‘semi-hard’ is still funny to me because I have not matured one single day since I was 12 years old.)

A traditional Swiss raclette dinner evening with table-top grill

“Bless this meal and the inevitable heart failure it causes.” — Photo by Vasile Cotovanu (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vasile23/)

The word raclette also applies to meals in which small pans, known as coupelles, are filled with meats and vegetables, covered with slices of Swiss cheese, and then placed beneath a table-top grill to melt. After the cheese has completely melted, dinner guests withdraw the coupelles and eat the contents. Then their heads explode because their brains cannot process such an overwhelming rush of deliciousness. Seriously, eating raclette is like having an orgasm in your entire head. (I call it a skullgasm.)

So, what I’m saying is, raclette dinners are awesome. Trying to organize a raclette dinner with all of your busy friends — most of whom have kidsis not. For my German wife, trying to get a bunch of Americans under one roof was like herding cats. Some of our guests had previous commitments to attend to. Some of them forgot what ‘R.S.V.P.’ meant (or actively disregarded it), and others were just too busy wiping baby bottoms to show up. But in the end, my wife managed to organize an awesome dinner, and when it was all over, she collapsed on the couch and sighed…

THE WIFE: “It is always so difficult bringing everybody under one hat!”*

*She later clarified: “That was a Denglish saying! In German we say: ‘Es ist schwierig, alles unter einen Hut zu bringen.’ “

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

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