Tag Archives: Hannover

Seeking a Change of Scenery: My German Wife Orders Tickets for the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ in Hamburg, Germany

Phantom of the Opera - Hamburg - Neue Flora Theater

“Get ready to watch a twisted circus freak smash some dudes with a chandelier.”

I am a huge nerd. I sit in front of my computer every day designing logos, making websites and creating original illustrations for my clients all around the world. My hobbies include reading, writing and avoiding social interaction at all costs. Given the chance, I will remain hidden in the shadowy corner of my home office and never allow the sun to touch my tender, vampire-white skin. The noisy hustle and bustle of the outside world makes me cringe in fear, and the laughter of children is like shards of glass exploding in my eardrums.

My wife, however, is a beautiful, outgoing, social supernova. She’s a Gymnasium teacher, you see, so she has no problem whatsoever spending every day among the noisy, smelly, repellant savages running amok outside the safety of these four walls. She even enjoys venturing out into the chaotic unknown — especially for cultural events occurring in other cities. In fact, she has the excess energy to drag me along with her, even as I hiss and claw in impotent rage: “Oh please take us home, Mistress Extrovert! Take us back into the sweet embrace of darkness and silence from whence we came! Oh God, the light — it burns my eyes! The heat — it sears my flesh! Look there! I see humans! Horrible, ugly humans with smiles on their faces and happiness oozing from every gaping orifice! Sweet Christ, into what sort of nightmarish hell have you thrust me, woman!?

Phantom of the Opera - Hamburg - Neue Flora Theater

“I appreciate the effort, honey, but these cultural excursions are starting to feel a lot like something out of a Hellraiser movie.”

So anyway, knowing her misanthropic husband needs to get out of the house from time to time, my wife ordered tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera at the Stage Theater Neue Flora in Hamburg — 2 hours north of our home in Hannover, Germany. A week later, the tickets arrived in our mailbox and my wife held them proudly aloft, announcing the fact that we would be spending the following weekend watching Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatrical spectacular in a strange and unfamiliar city:

“We will go to Hamburg and then we will see
some different wallpapers!”
*

*From the German expression, “Dann haben wir einen Tapetenwechsel,” which is a hilarious way of announcing the fact that you’re about to experience a dramatic change of scenery.

 


Graphic Designer in Portland, Oregon and Hannover, Germany - Grafikdesigner Illustrator Copywriter

Ungrateful Little Sh*ts: What It’s Like to Plan a Field Trip for Teenage Students in Hannover, Germany

German teenagers (teens in germany)

“Wooohooo! I am the center of the universe!” — Image Credit: Philipp (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mapled/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

As you are probably aware, my wife is German. She is also a Gymnasium teacher here in Hannover, Germany. This means she teaches students between the ages of 10 and 18 — or 5th grade through 12th. That’s a lot of teenagers, man, and if you’re anything like me, you know teenagers are a bunch of filthy, disgusting little shitbags.

Yes, there are exceptions. If you have a teenager at home, I’m sure he or she is a perfect little angel who burps love and farts rainbows. But the rest of them are 100% self-focused, with underdeveloped personalities and little or no regard for those around them. And they stink. God dammit, how hard is it to slap a little Old Spice under them pits, Dieter von Reekenstein? Mother of God, I would rather dip my nuts in hot coffee than be trapped on the U-Bahn amidst a gaggle of these screeching retards.

Luckily, my wife does not regard her students with the same kind of vehement hatred I do. She loves her students, and she’s a damn good teacher. That said, even she stumbles across the occasional moment of annoyance. Like the other day, when she was trying to organize a field trip for her 8th grade class; she offered to take them to one of the museums here in Hannover, or even the incredibly awesome Hannover Adventure Zoo. The field trip wasn’t part of the class — she just offered her own free time in order to do something fun and educational with them. And like the ungrateful 13-year-old balls of snot they are, they insisted on going to Hamburg instead. Not even, “Thank you for the idea, but we would really love to see the Port of Hamburg,” or “Would it be possible to tour Hamburg’s Old Town instead?” They were just like, “We’d rather go to Hamburg.” Period.

So my wife came home that night and explained the situation to me. She took a sip of wine, shook her head in exasperation and said:

“I tell you, you give them your little finger, and they take your whole hand.”


Graphic Designer in Portland, Oregon and Hannover, Germany - Grafikdesigner Illustrator Copywriter

How One American Expat Celebrates the 4th of July Outside the United States

Team-Frankreich-Intermède-Hannover-Internationalen Feuerwerkswettbewerb

“Wait, what day is it again?

How One American Expat Celebrates the 4th of July Outside the United States


An interview with the author of ‘Oh God, My Wife Is German,’ conducted by ParcelHero.com

Parcel Hero – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

1. Why are you a resident in Germany? Where in the US are you from originally?

I am originally from Portland, Oregon, but I moved to Hannover, Germany, in order to be with my wife; a beautiful, smart and (unintentionally) hilarious German woman. With her adorable linguistic mixture of Deutsch and English — better known as Denglish — she often says things like:

“Why does our time on earth have to be limitated?”

“But maybe I can spend money. I am the bread maker now.”

…or…

“It is time to get out of the bathtub now… my fingers are getting schrinkled.”

2. How will you be celebrating the 4th of July this year?

To be perfectly honest with you, I generally forget about the 4th of July every year, much like I forget most holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. However, if I should remember it this year, I will spend the evening worrying about the house we own in the States — and the likelihood that it will be swiftly burned to the ground by some mouth-breathing neighbor kid with a popsicle in one hand and a Roman candle in the other.

3. Where will you be celebrating it? (eg: a specific restaurant, party, etc.)

After calling my rental agency and confirming our house has not, in fact, been reduced to smoldering ashes, my wife and I will probably watch A Game of Thrones while eating a pizza and then pass right the fuck out.

4. What do you miss most about ‘home’ on the 4th of July?

I’ll miss the heat. July is generally pretty warm in Portland, but here in northern Germany? You just never know. It could be warm, but it could also be cold or windy — even rainy — because the weather here is always threatening an early return to winter… as if it were designed by Mother Nature herself to gently crush all joy from the German soul, keeping it focused upon the robotic task of producing the world’s finest automobile components.

— Oh God, My Wife Is German.
www.ohgodmywifeisgerman.com

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Expats around the world should check out ParcelHero for international delivery, collected from your door, by the couriers you trust, at www.parcelhero.com

And if you’d like to find out more about life as an American expat in Germany, check out some of our other posts, like this one: Five Things That Suck About Living in Germany


Fashion Tips from My German Wife: Choosing the Perfect Tie for Any Occasion

bad suit and tie

“Honey, I love you, but you dress like a blind man.” — Image Credit: bark (https://www.flickr.com/photos/barkbud/) — Subject to CC 2.0 Generic Copyright.

My wife and I have attended a few weddings here in Hannover, Germany — like 3 or 4 — so you’d think by now I would have my wardrobe all figured out, but I absolutely do not. I wore my dad’s old, gray, 1970s suit (with suspenders) for every formal occasion from 2001 until, oh, 2014. I just hate shopping for clothes, man. I’ve got a weird build: broad shoulders, a short torso, long legs and Bill Clinton’s godawful bitch hips. I don’t need the reminder, especially while having my scrotum tickled by some dude measuring my inseam. God dammit, I’m getting mad just thinking about this again.

Anyway, my wife and I were getting dressed for a wedding not too long ago, and she insisted we wear matching outfits. At first she wanted me to wear a red tie to match her red dress, but I didn’t have any black dress pants; only blue jeans, black shoes and a white button-down shirt. A red tie would have meant wearing 4 different colors, so I talked her into letting me wear a blue tie. (Only 3 colors. That’s awesome, right?) So once we’d settled the issue of which tie I should wear, my wife took a good, hard look at all of my ties. I had one in each color, including black. This was apparently a good thing, because she nodded her head, shut the closet door and said:

“Perfect. You have every color you need, and black is always good for funerals.”

If you liked this post, there’s a solid chance you’ll dig this one too: My German Wife Offers the Perfect Alternative to Traditional Childbirth

Moving from an Apartment to a House in Hannover, Germany: My Wife Exemplifies the Classiest Exit Strategy Possible

moving-to-germany-house-apartment-hannover

…upgrading our living conditions SO hard. — Photo Credit: Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon (https://www.flickr.com/photos/payitforwardphotos/) — Subject to CC 2.0 Generic Copyright

As you know, my wife and I live in Hannover, Germany. She is a native German citizen — bright, beautiful and freakishly enthusiastic about her work as a Gymnasium teacher — and I am an American expat; dark and introverted, spinning graphic design projects from my home office like a funnel-web spider tending to its silken trip-lines: “Oh yes, my pretties… come closer. Let me sink my venomous logo into your fledgling business enterprise…”

So normally I’m the hateful side of our little German-American relationship, and my wife is the loving side; she genuinely enjoys people and always looks for the good in them. But after living in a questionable apartment building with psychotic inhabitants and an apathetic management company for two years (See: Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane), even she was ready to burn the place to the ground and piss on the ashes.

She checked the house rental listings every night for months until finally she found the perfect opening: A little house in a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, still close enough to commute to work, but far enough away we wouldn’t be tempted to climb on top of our new roof and pick off our former neighbors like a couple of wildly underqualified Marine snipers.

We got the news our rental application had been approved, and then we started packing like mad. We boxed everything up, hired a moving company and got the hell out of that apartment. As we drove away, gazing at the building as it receded from view, my wife stuck her hands out the window — both middle fingers held high in the air — and shouted, “Adios Amigos!”

Of course, with her adorable German accent, what actually came out was:

“Ahh-Dee-Yahs, Ahh-Mee-Gahs!”

If you would like to read another classic Denglish quote, check this one out: My German Wife Is A Huge Fan of HBO’s A Game of Thrones

Unsolicited Marriage Advice from an American Expat: Be a Good Listener and Your German Spouse Will Thank You

ear-diagram-drawing-offenes-Ohr-german

“What’s that you say, dear? I’m having trouble hearing you over all this dysfunction.” — Image Credit: Sue Clark (https://www.flickr.com/photos/perpetualplum/) — Subject to CC 2.0 Copyright.

My German wife and I have only been married since 2012, so I’m not an expert or anything, but being a good listener seems to be a pretty important part of marriage. That is, if you want to stay married, I mean. If you’d rather catapult yourself through a sudden divorce, go ahead and let your eyes glaze over whenever your spouse starts talking to you. Hold your thumb down on the TV remote, steadily increasing the volume until the sound of her voice is drowned out entirely. You’ll be on your own in no time.

But being a good listener doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actually do anything. In fact, the less you do while your spouse is talking, the better. When it comes to daily communication — like when you tell one another about your respective workdays — listening is really all about being present. Face your spouse. Keep your eyes open. Nod every once in a while. Maybe throw a grunt or two in there. It’s so easy! By merely being present (in body, if not in mind), what you’re actually doing is allowing your partner to vent. You’re refraining from doing or saying things which might hinder the verbal diarrhea your partner so desperately needs to spray you with. Just square up to that fire hose and take it in the eardrums.

Obviously there are times when you need to actively comprehend what you’re hearing and then offer up some kind of response, like, “Yes, honey, it sounds like that woman on the train was being a bitch. That bitch.” — but those times are pretty rare. On a daily basis, most people just need to unload their emotions onto something slightly more animated than a freshly painted wall. This is why, when my wife comes home and tells me in vivid detail all about her day at work, I just shut my dirty hole and watch her talk. And for this small amount of effort — 9 times out of 10 — my German wife will reward me by wrapping things up with a sigh and saying:

“Thank you for your open ear.”*

*Translated directly from the German saying, “Danke für dein offenes Ohr.”

If you would like to read another classic Denglish post, check this one out: My German Wife Struggles to Organize A Traditional Swiss Raclette Dinner in America

 


 

North vs. South: Where to Choose a Job in Germany Using Your Gastrointestinal Instincts

funny-german-food-Rosinen-raisins-sandwich-kyzen

“You can take that job and shove it in your food hole.” — Photo Credit: Niels Heidenreich (https://www.flickr.com/photos/schoschie/) — Subject to CC 2.0 Generic Copyright.

After my wife finished her time as a Referendariat teacher-in-training — AKA: 18 months of stress-induced psychosis — she was faced with the grueling task of applying for jobs in various German cities. We were already living here in Hannover, but weren’t sure if we wanted to try someplace new, like Hamburg or Bremen. One thing we knew for sure, however, was that we did not want to move any further south.

I find the social dynamics between northern and southern Germans completely hilarious; they make fun of each others’ accents, food, weather, soccer teams — even their attitudes toward life in general. Northerners think of southerners as overly conservative, self-entitled brats with too much money and one great big boner for Jesus Christ. Southerners look at northerners as depressing, humorless robots with lumps of coal where their hearts should be. I love it. (Especially because the rest of the world is pretty sure all Germans are humorless robots.)

So as my German wife was applying for jobs back in 2013, she explained her search criteria to me thus: She would only be applying to cities in the north because we are not “Southies.” She went further to clarify why she would be choosing between certain job offers, saying…

“Right now, I want to pick out the raisins where I have a good stomach feeling.”

If you would like to read another classic Denglish post, check this one out: My German Wife Warns Me About the Mythological Beast in Our Bathtub