Parking in Germany: Stick Your Neck Out Lest Ye Burn in Hell

“How’s the weather down there, Stretch?” — (Image Credit: Giraffe by Derek Keats [] Modified, Subject to CC 2.0 License + Fire Background by Tristan Ferne [] Modified, Subject to CC 2.0 License.)
I tell you, being married to a German is never a boring experience, especially when it comes to communication. We speak mostly English at home, of course, because my wife’s English is basically perfect while my German proficiency is stuck somewhere between “Slow Preschooler” and “Unconscious Motorcyclist.” But the thing I love most about speaking English with her are the times when she uses a well-known German idiom and just translates that mother straight across the linguistic barrier without warning. Makes for some real comedy gold.

For example, my wife and I drove to the gym the other day. All of the parking spaces were taken, and some were even taken by those godless sons of bitches who park directly on the divider line, taking up two spaces at once and inviting absolutely everyone in the nearby vicinity to key their car so hard it scratches the engine. (Seriously, if you park like this, you are going to burn in a very special corner of hell where your every waking minute is spent fellating a peacock-headed demon named Andrealphus, who squawks with joy each time your mouth is filled with his scorching hot bird flu ejaculate.)

Aaaaaanyway, we drove around back and started looking for a space to park on the street. It was packed and things were looking grim. We crept slowly forward, scanning from side to side, and as we were about to pass the last couple spots, my wife said to me:

“Ok, make a long neck!”*

*From the German expression, “Mach einen langen Hals,” which, in terms of looking for a parking spot, is quite a bit nicer than our English expression, “Keep your eyes peeled.” (I mean, c’mon, “peeled?” As in, “skin your own eyeballs?” …Eww, dude.)

27 thoughts

  1. I moved to Düsseldorf in January, and decided that maybe I’ll make it after all when I found myself parking half in a too small spot and half in some “landscaping”. Without shame. I almost took a picture I saw so proud. As far as I can tell us that the only parking rule in Düsseldorf is you may never block a garage.


  2. Honestly, i think you would also transform english idioms straight in german. So improve your german and let your wife write down some awesome things too :D


  3. …key their car so hard it scratches the engine.

    This one phrase is worth the price of admission to your post. I’m dying here and you have a follower. Thanks for the chuckle.


  4. I was at a meeting once where a translator was stumped when one participant, dismissing a certain point, said: It won’t change the price of fish one iota. Stunned silence ensued for the longest time and then sniggers. My translator told me later that it was eventually translated as something like: seafood prices will be unaffected by the outcome of our discussion at the meeting…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Slow Preschooler.” That’s about right for me too. Sometimes I’m on point. And sometimes — like today — I sound like like a Troglodyte who’s taken one too many clubs to the head. “WHAT? ONCE AGAIN PLEASE, I ONLY SPEAK A LITTLE… WHAT? 50 EURO 5-AND-60? OH… 15 EURO 5-AND-70. HERE. WHAT? NO. I HAVE NO SMALL MONIES…UH……………….COINS. YES THANK YOU. MANY THANKS. SORRY FOR MY GERMANS.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Too funny!
    And parking in Germany? I live in Berlin, it’s a battle-field. Eek!
    p.s. Both my German husband and I gave up our cars for public transport (silence please), and bicycles (car drivers are the devil) :D


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