Tag Archives: Freiburg

A valentine’s story: Verbotene Liebe – Hansi’s Proposal

This is my response to today’s daily prompt.

It’s not in keeping with the format requested, I don’t write poetry anymore but in spite of that I still wanted to share my story, It’s a little longer than my previous stories and it’s also technically unfinished since I don’t know the result of Sunday’s game and I don’t want to curse Freiburg by writing it before it happens. It’s my “ode” to Jogi und Hansi:

Hansi had been making plans for Valentine’s Day as soon as the new year began, he wanted every last detail to be perfect for Jogi and as soon as he had the dates for the matches that weekend he had began to work it all out in advance. At first he had been disappointed that Freiburg were playing on Sunday instead of Saturday and that they were away to Hertha Berlin.

After giving it some more thought Hansi realised how perfect it all was. He had worked out how he would take Jogi to the stadium on Saturday for the big event and how they would have the rest of the day together as a lazy day. And how on Sunday they would leave early so as to fly to Berlin for the match where Jogi could see his beloved Freiburg play and they could go for a walk afterwards by the lake.

Hansi had spent hours thinking about the bracelet he was going to get made for Jogi, agonising over each and every last detail of the design. He almost wished that he could ask Jogi’s advice; he knew that he would be in his element with such a task. Hansi consoled himself with the knowledge that Jogi would appreciate the effort and the trouble he had gone to. And that he would be pleased when Hansi told him that they could get new ones made for the ceremony, ones that Jogi could have a hand in designing. Hansi had also gotten a ring made, he knew that Jogi didn’t like wearing rings but he wanted to do it traditionally, even if it meant Jogi taking it off a few seconds later.

After taking delivery of the bracelet and the ring Hansi was no less anxious. Not only was he worried about Jogi finding them but he kept taking them out to check all the time. To begin with he had put them in his bedside cabinet drawer, trusting that Jogi would have no reason to go in there but Hansi had taken them out of there for the sake of his own sanity. In the middle of the night he kept looking over to the drawer and wanting to take it out and look at it just one more time. Eventually he had realised that if he kept doing this, Jogi may catch on to the fact that he was hiding something in there and so had resolved to find a new place to put them, both somewhere where Jogi wouldn’t find them and where he wouldn’t be tempted to keep checking on them. Thinking over Jogi’s pet peeves Hansi came up with the perfect solution, he put them in the toolkit in the boot of his car, his toolkit and not Jogi’s which would pass muster with an army sergeant. Not that Hansi’s was overly messy, it was just a regular toolkit with the usual amount of mess but that meant it wasn’t good enough for Jogi.

Friday night Hansi had taken forever to get to sleep, with the big day finally here he had taken them out of the toolkit and put them back in the drawer which of course meant that he spent most of the night thinking about them.
The next morning he awoke to find Jogi sitting up and staring at him, grinning in that slightly scary way which made one think he had something sinister planned. Hansi didn’t normally interpret it that way; he knew better than that, he knew that when Jogi looked that way it usually meant he was uncomfortable. This was not one of those times, now he looked like he was planning something and he looked very pleased with himself too.
“Finally you’re awake Hansi, its 7:03 already.”
“What’s the rush Jogi, it’s a Saturday and you aren’t going to a match today, you promised.”
“No I’m not, I kept my promise, but I’ve been waiting for 33 minutes already Hansi. Now you’re awake we can exchange gifts already.”
“Here, now in bed, you don’t want to wait until we’re at the table?”
“Now is good, I can’t wait any longer.”

By way of reply Hansi got out of bed and retrieved Jogi’s gifts and card, the two he could give to him there and then. As a joke and a fun precursor to what Hansi had planned, he had included a little something extra in the package with Jogi’s football shirt. In there in a Freiburg ticket holder was a ticket custom made by Hansi for what he had planned later that day. A ticket which read “entry for one to Hansi Flick’s heart.” He was sure that Jogi wouldn’t guess what he had planned from that, all he was going to say to him was that his real gift was at the stadium and that they had to pick it up.

Jogi having been awake for a little while already and had Hansi’s gift and card to hand, he didn’t have to get out of bed in order to get it, and he only had to reach over to the bedside cabinet. He too had gotten Hansi a shirt. Seeing Hansi return to bed holding two packages Jogi looked unhappy and Hansi knew why without him even saying anything.
“Jogi it’s fine, we don’t have to get each other the same number of presents.”
“But now it doesn’t match” said Jogi in that special crestfallen way only he could manage.
“Joachim I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone, but I swear sometimes you are simply impossible. And you know what’s worse? It only makes me love you even more”

Notwithstanding Jogi’s protests the two of them exchanged gifts, Hansi remembering to tell Jogi to open the first one carefully so as not to rip the special tickets inside.

Hansi opened his extra slowly, not just taking his time with the wrapping paper so as to open it in accordance with Jogi’s wishes but so that Jogi would hopefully be less bothered by the numbers inequality. This of course did not work because after Hansi had warned him to be careful he had taken the words to heart and was moving even slower than usual. Hansi had unwrapped his first present and taken it out of the wrapping before Jogi had even finished unwrapping the first. Hansi was looking over his new white shirt just as Jogi was taking out the red Freiburg shirt from the wrapping and looking puzzled at the ticket holder on top which had Freiburg’s logo on the outside.
Picking up the ticket holder Jogi said in a confused tone of voice: “but they aren’t playing at home this weekend, what’s the meaning of this trickery Hans-Dieter?”
“Don’t you go Hans-Dieter-ing me Herr Löw, look at the tickets and you’ll see, no trickery, just some creativity and sentimentality my dear Herr Löw.”

Jogi with one eye on Hansi, wondering what he was up to opened the ticket holder to find not one but two tickets inside. The first was a Freiburg game back in 2007, the first Freiburg game that him and Hansi had gone to together. The second was Hansi’s special ticket, the one for his special event later. Jogi with his rat like memory immediately recognised the significance of the first ticket; he would never forget a game he had been to see, let alone a Freiburg one.

“I thought you said there was no trickery Hansi.”

“There’s not Jogi, I just thought it would be fun. I was really disappointed that this week’s game was an away fixture but I wanted to continue with my plans anyway. Your main gift is at the stadium Jogi, we can go and get it after breakfast. Just promise me one thing mein kleiner Freiburger, no questions.”

“Well you just took away what I was going to say. Ok Hansi, I’ll humour you, no questions.”

Jogi put the tickets to one side and carried on with taking the shirt out of the packaging. Seeing the smile on Hansi’s face he knew that this was more than just a football shirt. He picked it up and turned it around; there he could see what had Hansi grinning in that way that made him look like a cross between an extremely adorable chipmunk and an elf. How Jogi loved his elf lord Hans-Dieter, he still didn’t get why Jogi called him that, nor did he have any idea that Jogi had designed and named his Dragon Age character with Hansi in mind. On the back of the shirt with the number 7 was written Jogi und Hansi.

“Hansi, my little elf lord; only you could come up with something so sweet.”
After spending a few minutes alternating between staring at the shirt and at Hansi, Jogi opened his second present where he discovered that him and Hansi had a similar idea. However Hansi had gotten him a navy blue shirt, not unlike the colour they had worn this summer past. Examining the shirt Jogi seemed satisfied with it, at least from a craftsmanship point of view.

“Hansi, I like the shirt but why navy blue, we’re wearing white now. White shirts and navy blue jackets.”
“I know Jogi, in spite of the fact that I don’t have to wear the same as you anymore, you dragged me with you to pick them. Trust me, I have my reasons. Trust your elf lord and all will go well.”

With the gifts and cards exchanged and Jogi informed of the day’s events, the rest of the morning proceeded as it usually did and the minute Jogi left the room Hansi took advantage of the moment to put both of the special boxes in his jacket pocket. Hansi had insisted on Jogi wearing the Freiburg shirt, he wasn’t happy about this but after Hansi had pleaded with him he couldn’t refuse and eventually gave in with the proviso that he could take it off as soon as they got back home. Even though they were watching the games at home, Jogi would still want to dress in his traditional shirt and scarf.

The whole drive there he kept checking and rechecking his pocket, luckily for him Jogi had insisted on driving. Hansi had wanted to seeing that he was the one who had planned the surprise but given how distracted he was he thought it wasn’t such a bad thing. Plus he didn’t want to be the one who interfered with Jogi’s match day routine, he was always the one who drove regardless of who they were going to see. And besides on a day like today Hansi was inclined to grant Jogi whatever he demanded, as long as Jogi answered in the affirmative to his special question he would go along with whatever his little Freiburger wanted.

On arrival at the Schwarzwaldstadion Hansi led a very puzzled Jogi inside, a look which turned to intrigue when Hansi began to lead him towards the pitch. Jogi hesitated before stepping out onto the pitch as Hansi thought he might. Hansi had come prepared for this; he had brought boots just in case.

“We’ll only be out there for a few minutes Jogi but I brought boots just in case, we can change if you want.”
“Just a few minutes Hansi?”
“I promise, no more than ten minutes.”

With his hand in Hansi’s, Jogi reluctantly walked out with Hansi to the centre circle. There Hansi checked the contents of his pocket for the final time before getting down on one knee.
Without realising what he was saying or apparently what Hansi was about to do, Jogi began to object: “Hansi, you aren’t ruining those trousers, not on my watch.”
“Yes I am Jogi, I really am. Joachim, you were the centre of my world long before I knew you were, will you take my hand and allow me the honour of being the centre of yours? If you say yes I promise to you on this hallowed turf that I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you make me.”

Hansi waited for what seemed like an eternity, frozen in place, his arm extended waiting with the ring. When Jogi began to smile in that way that only Hansi ever saw him smile he knew what his answer was going to be but still Hansi waited, timing was always important with Jogi. Jogi still didn’t speak yet, he still couldn’t, all he could do was put his hand out for Hansi to put the ring on. With that done Jogi pulled Hansi up off the grass and before Hansi could do anything else, Jogi began to brush the bits of grass off his trouser leg. Now this Hansi had not prepared for, with the tension and excitement of the previous few minutes Hansi could not help but begin to laugh.

Overwhelmed by laughter and by tears Hansi could not say anything either, instead as Jogi finished what he was doing he put his hand on Jogi’s head and affectionately smoothed down his hair. Before Jogi stood back up Hansi lent down and kissed his hair, staying there for a few moments, leaving his face nestled in the silky black darkness. Hiding his tears from Jogi and holding on to him like he would never let go, so glad was he that Jogi was now as he had always really been, his and truly his forever more.

When he began to feel Jogi stand up he took a step backwards and tried to wipe the tears out of his eyes, looking at Jogi’s face he saw that he didn’t need to bother. His eyes were glistening too and instead of wiping his own tears Hansi moved towards Jogi and taking out his handkerchief, began to wipe the tears from his face. They just stood there for a few moments, holding on to each other, arm in arm, forehead to forehead, neither of them saying anything. At least until Jogi looked at his watch and told Hansi that his ten minutes was up five minutes ago. Once again Hansi laughed; his sweet perfectionist Jogi.

Coming to his senses and remembering the bracelet he asked Jogi for another five minutes, on any other occasion he would have looked at Hansi with a disapproving look but not now, not today.
Hansi got the second box out of his pocket, took out the bracelet and showed it to Jogi, drawing his attention to the silver part where it was engraved: “Jogi und Hansi: Zusammen für immer” just beneath the four stars. Putting it on Jogi’s wrist Hansi said:

“I got this made for you, I know you don’t like rings but it wouldn’t have been right without one, I wanted that part to be fully traditional. You can take the ring off now; this is your real ring. And in case it’s not exactly what you wanted, I thought we could get a pair made, together with you in charge of the design.”
“No Hansi, it’s perfect, I want this one and only this one, all we need is another one exactly the same for you.”
Jogi took the ring off but instead of handing it back to Hansi as he expected he gestured for him to hold out his hand.
“If it fits you should wear it Hansi.”

Hansi put out his hand for Jogi to try. He succeeded in getting it on the second finger he tried. Jogi looked approvingly at it, seemingly very happy with Hansi’s choices. One less thing for him to have to worry about.
The two of them walked off the pitch hand in hand, Jogi’s thoughts filled with all of the happy times he had here, all the times he had walked off here after a victory. Those pleasant memories now mingled with the happiness of today’s memories. How wonderful it would be, every time he went to a game here to be reminded not only of that but of today’s wonderful events.

The rest of the day went exactly as Hansi planned, when they got back he even convinced Jogi to keep his new Freiburg shirt on. To join him and as part of their casual Saturday, Hansi put on one of his own, a Freiburg one which matched Jogi’s down to every last detail. Jogi in such a good mood from earlier events had not objected to any of Hansi’s plans, not the blankets he had spread out on the living room floor or surprisingly the dish of snacks that he had left there too. What a wonderful day it was, the two of them lying on the floor, wrapped in each other’s arms and enjoying their indoor picnic. It had been more fun than he had possibly imagined, everything had gone perfectly. Jogi was relaxed and lying wrapped in his arms, in the perfect position for Hansi to run his fingers through his hair. And more importantly because he was so relaxed he wasn’t being his usual perfectionist self and worrying about crumbs and other such things. Instead of being on crumb alert and anxiously glancing at Hansi every time he picked up a snack, Jogi’s eyes alternated between being fixed on the TV and on the bracelet that was on his wrist. Every now and then after his hand had reached up to his fringe to touch it in his usual way, his hand would find the bracelet that was now on his left arm, his fingers tracing the engraved letters over and over again.

Between the two matches they watched that day, they had a little fun of their own with Hansi being careful to move the snacks out of the way first. Jogi may be in a good mood but nothing would ruin that quicker than crumbs on the floor. After a few minutes of talking about the match and Jogi making some notations on his customary folded piece of paper which was quickly tossed aside, their afternoon break passed in a medley of delightful squeals and other such sounds.

So carried away were they that they almost missed the kick off of the next match. When they were done Jogi’s hair was no longer anything approaching tidy, Hansi had lost his shirt and the blankets strewn about the floor were now around them in a tangled mess. Seeing the time out of the corner of his eye, Hansi had not wanted to tell Jogi but he knew he had better, he didn’t want to ruin his good mood by interrupting his schedule. As the game started Hansi helped Jogi fix his hair but despite the winter cold Hansi decided against putting his shirt back on, though Jogi being Jogi he had insisted on locating it and folding it up neatly. Hansi enjoyed holding Jogi in his bare arms, feeling his skin touch his though this made it harder to focus on the match and to keep his mind off resuming the fun they had been having. He consoled himself with the knowledge that he would have Jogi all to himself tomorrow evening for because they were going to Freiburg’s game, they would not make it back in time watch the second match of the day live on TV.

In accordance with their plans after the excitement of the day they had an early night, for once that wasn’t code for resuming the fun from the afternoon. Having to be up early for the flight to Berlin the next morning it actually meant an early night.

Normally I would say Auf Wiedersehen….

Silver Screen

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

but since what Auf Wiedersehen actually means is until I see you again and I have no wish to see you again, to you sir I say goodbye.

Django Unchained is not my favourite film right now but that is my favourite line from it. I don’t have a favourite film right now, which is very weird for me. It took me almost fifteen minutes to come up with something which is even weirder. But once I started thinking about Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds I couldn’t stop quoting them, chunks of dialogue, word for word. Damn Tarantino and his über-quoteable dialogue. The source of my annoyance is that almost all of those quotes are lines of Christoph Waltz, whom I have no wish to see again as a special interest, hence the reason for the quote I settled on. Not just him but that type of special interest, that focus on one person.

I know Joachim Löw as a special interest is not perfect but at least I’m not just focused on him and at least it’s a little bit closer to reality than the CW one was. Though only a little bit closer, it seems I’m not actually ready to step into the real world yet. I keep trying to make plans to save for a trip to Germany and yet I keep wanting to spend my money on football stickers, trading cards and football shirts. I don’t get it, don’t I want to go to Freiburg and see the Schwarzwaldstadion in person and to go to Dortmund to see Signal Iduna Park? Or to see a Germany game live in person?

The only drawback from my interest in Joachim Löw is the fact that I now like Hans-Dieter Flick equally as much as him. A most troublesome fact given that he’s not his assistant anymore. I don’t know why but it’s like I just got that, like my brain has only just registered that fact. Schneider has been there for I think three games now, and only just now did I realise that he’s going to be there for the foreseeable future. At least I have plenty of old games to watch but to quote Monk that’s “a blessing and a curse.” A blessing for obvious reasons and a curse because it just reminds me that there will never be anymore of Jogi und Hansi.

It’s a shame it said from a film and not from a TV show, if it had been TV I would have picked the line from Columbo, “just one more thing.” A line which is also used a lot in many guises by one of my favourite detective characters, Robert Goren. The reason I would have picked that is that there’s always just one more thing with me. Always just one more thing I must have for my collection, this time being a Karlsruher SC card. Or like now for example, I was supposed to be in bed an hour ago, but I’m not, I’m here writing this because as Dr Schultz said “I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. I may not be the film nut I was a year ago, but traces still remain it seems. Some things really do die hard.

My first choice was a line from Inglourious Basterds that isn’t actually in the film, it’s the result of a mistake by a journalist from Sight and Sound. When Hans Landa says “I love rumors” they thought he said “I love numbers.” A line which is better than the real one, that is so funny in a very dark way, I appreciate that it may be too dark for most people, the Jew hunter saying that he loves numbers, but I got a kick out of that mistake, in fact I like their mistake better than the real line.

Another possible choice was a line from Reservior Dogs: “alright boys let’s get to work.” After coming up with that I pictured Jogi, Hansi and some of the team dressed up in the suits from the film and walking out onto the pitch like the opening credits, but other than that I had absolutely nothing to write about, so that got nixed.

I also thought about chosing a quote from The Miracle of Bern, maybe “Tor, Tor, Tor, ein Tor für Deutschland” or “Toni, du bist ein Fussball Got” but I decided against it, too obvious. Then I thought of Rush, but most of my favourite Niki Lauda moments are ones that don’t involve dialogue, like his reaction after driving a Ferrari for the first time. That would make a good GIF though, I think I’ll add that to my list.

On the subject of GIFs I’ve been having plenty of fun making GIFs of Jogi, like these:


Jogi und Hansi 2

JogiJogi 1Jogi 2

Hansi is king

At least until the end of the week anyway, the reason being that I now own (though they aren’t all in my posession yet) all of his DFB autogrammkarte, whereas I’m missing two of Jogi’s the 2006 and the 2010 one, both of which I should have by the end of the week. Having a clear out of my DVDs and games is certainly paying off. Jogi reigns supreme in regard to stickers, just one pesky one that I can’t seem to get a hold of, Hansi’s EM 2008 one. Next up is a signed picture from his playing days, I have one of Jogi’s from Freiburg. I can’t decide if I should get one of Hansi’s from Cologne or Bayern or if I should just get both and put the Bayern one somewhere less visible.

Hans-Dieter Flick - DFB AK 2006Hans-Dieter Flick - DFB AK 2008Hansi Flick - DFB AK 2012Hansi Flick - DFB AK 2014
Four nights into the new year and I’ve gotten some sleep on every one of them so far. I’m getting to sleep later than I’d like and as a result getting up later but it’s better than the alternative. So far I’ve resisted the lure of any overly long gaming sessions, in fact I’ve hardly played any playstation at all. Thanks to Soccernomics I’ve not watched a great deal of TV either. It’s a fascinating book, so far the chapters on fandom and why hosting the world cup makes people happy are my favourites. According to their research hosting the world cup doesn’t make the host nation any richer but it does result in an increase in levels of happiness. I doubt that will be true of the people of Qatar in 2022. No doubt the statistics would prove that assertion right, but even if the authors did update their book after it took place, something tells me the Qatari government would not be forthcoming with the relevant data. I hope that somehow they end having it taken away. Though given that they seem to have gotten away with using North Korean slave labourers, it seems unlikely that anything else will get in their way. As if Russia wasn’t bad enough, at least Russia is somewhat democratic.

It’s disappointing but not surprising that the European countries don’t do anything, that they don’t break off from FIFA and start their own organisation and tournament. I can see why they wouldn’t want to do that, to break off from the history of the world cup and all that it represents. But if they aren’t willing to stand up to Blatter and his cronies, what’s the alternative?

It’s so hypocritical, but then the bulk of the western European countries are experts in that regard, lecturing other countries about their human rights records whilst contributing to such problems themselves. If they don’t take such things seriously in the arena of international politics, why would they when it comes to sport?

It seems that the issue with the heat and the extreme temperatures is more of an issue to some people than the labour conditions of the people working on the construction of the stadiums. Forget about whether or not Qatar has a democratic government, who the hell thought having a world cup in the middle of the desert was a good idea?

I would not bet good money on the tournament being held in winter, how would that work with the domestic schedule? Though it would certainly give the Germans a significant advantage with their winter break. Interestingly enough Theo Zwanziger doesn’t think it will be held in Qatar at all, but that’s his personal opinion and of course he’s not the DFB president anymore and soon enough he won’t have any involvement in FIFA either.

I feel so conflicted about it, I love watching the world cup, yet I feel wrong by contributing to FIFA in any way. There must be an end to their corruption somewhere, I wonder what would it take for them to be brought down, what line could they cross that could not go unpunished? Seeing as how allowing a dictatorship to host a world cup is not enough. But then of course, it’s not new for them, except last time around it was a military dictatorship and not an oil/royal family one.

On a less depressing front, only two weeks until Justified is back. I think I may rewatch the previous season before it starts, since I only remember parts of it. I’d like to get all of them on blu-ray in a complete box-set when it finishes, that would be worth saving up for. But it hasn’t been released on blu-ray here and the later seasons in the US are region locked. I can’t believe it’s the last one, no more Raylan or Boyd or Wynn Duffy. That just can’t be.

Also coming back is Banshee, I’m less excited about that. Even though Ulrich Thomsen is still in it which is great because’s my main (only) reason for watching, I was disappointed by how the story with Rabbit ended and by a few other things too. I didn’t like the way they disposed of Zeljko Ivanek’s character, liking him as much as I do I may be a tad un-objective on that count. He’s in Madam Secretary at the moment, a US political drama is not something I would normally watch, I’ll give it a shot seeing as how he’s listed as being in 11 out of 13 episodes.

Random numbers tangent, yesterday my most views in a day record was broken, I got 119 views. That’s not why I’m happy, what makes me happy is the fact that 76 of those were from Germany and this is funny, four from Brazil. Seems the internet gods have a sense of humor.

Alone in Germany

An Extreme Tale

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

When was the last time that sentence accurately described your life?

That sentence could justifiably be used at anytime, now it’s especially true. I have a reality based special interest, I get to spend some time outside, I’m not spending all my time playing video games and hiding away from the outside world, I’m learning German. And yet something is still missing.

There’s another relevant sentence here, said to me a few months ago “you should go to Germany next summer.”

Funnily enough, I just bought as a Christmas gift for this person a copy of Alone in Berlin. When they said that, I thought I should do that, it would be great. Ten seconds later reality kicked in and reminded me how ambitious and insane this was. I can’t go to an unfamliar city in this country and I want to fly to Düsseldorf. It would all be so perfect, from Düsseldorf to Dortmund, to Frankfurt and of course Stuttgart and Freiburg. I’m undecided about Munich. If I went at the end of summer, I could get a ticket for Freiburg’s first game of the season, if it was a home game.

The irony is given that it’s where my obsession with Germany started, Berlin wouldn’t feature in the trip at all. It’s too far out of the way, that would have to be a separate trip. That’s probably best given how much there is I want to see in Berlin anyway.

The trip would be important not just in terms of me doing something by myself but also it would be the first time one of my obsessions gets tested. None of them have ever had to meet reality before. There have been possible chances, but they didn’t last long enough to face them. It would be interesting to see what happens afterwards, would it spell the end or would it make it stronger. Will experiencing Germany in reality change my mind about it, will it turn out to be not what I thought it was?

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking over the subject “why Germany” and trying to write a little something, because I’d been talking about it with someone. Their theory was something about Germany being a home away from home, I didn’t really understand what they were talking about. It can’t be a home away from home, not when you don’t have a home to be away from. I certainly would not class this as home, not in any way, it’s just where I happen to live. I don’t how much the reasons they think I like Germany are rooted in preconceptions and stereotypes of Germans. For example Germans are meant to be organised, precise and liking rules and hating chaos and disorder. It is true that I like all of those things. I wonder if Germans are more formal than British people in their day to day interactions. In Germany and the Germans the author noted this fact but said that it was starting to change, I wonder if it has continued to do so.

Random Jogi tangent, as well as buying gifts I’ve been designing custom wrapping paper, who wouldn’t want their gifts wrapped in Löw-ness. this is the picture I used:



Whilst reading up on some things for the Christmas themed Jogi und Hansi chapter, I found out some very interesting things. For example the first known Christmas tree was set up in Freiburg (home of course to Jogi Löw) of all places, by the town bakers (also cool because Jürgen Klinsmann’s father was a baker) and it was decorated with fruits, nuts and baked goods. Children were allowed to remove these on New Year’s Day when the tree was taken down.

Also interesting is “der Adventkalender” because the first printed calendar appeared in Munich in 1903.

Apparently Germans use real candles on their trees, I remember someone saying this online a whilst back, I wasn’t sure whether to believe them or not. But it’s true.

More interesting than this is what is called Weihnachtspyramiden, Christmas pyramids that were built by people in areas such as Northern Germany where trees weren’t plentiful.

To think, I find all of this fascinating, yet I dislike Christmas here. Why would I like it? Disruption to everything, everyone is home for the holidays, some people let their kids run wild, everything is different and just all wrong. At least people have stopped buying me surprise presents, that’s the worst. I hate being giving a gift and not knowing what’s in it, even worse is when you are given it in front of everyone. Luckily the last few Christmases have been quiet and hopefully this one will go the same way. I’ll be counting down the days until the monsters go back to school and they are no longer overrunning the cinema and I can go out alone again.

I’ll be counting down the days for another reason this year, and I’ll be counting them down all the way to the end of January for the Bundesliga has an exceptionally long Christmas break compared to the league here at least. I’m well stocked up but I’m still not pleased about it. I have plenty of Germany games to watch, the 2006 & 2010 WM (plus I’ll soon have the 2014 WM on blu-ray) and also the EM 2008 & 2012. And several qualifiers and friendlies. I still don’t have (and probably never will have) the Russia and China games but I should be happy with what I have accumulated. I should also be happy knowing that I’ll soon have a copy not only of the DFB Pokal final when Jogi was in charge of Stuttgart but the European Cup Winner’s Cup final too.

All of this is proving a welcome distraction from what has been so far a miserable weekend as far as football is concerned.  First Freiburg lose 4-1 and then Paderborn go the same way, except they couldn’t even manage one goal in reply. Though there is one thing to be happy about, let’s see if it lasts for longer than one day this time:screenshot-www bundesliga com 2014-11-29 16-56-27Borussia Dortmund, sitting once more at the bottom of the league. It’s been a very strange weekend, usually it’s Bayern who are piling up the goals, this week it’s every game but Bayern’s that had lots of goals. Five in the Friday game between Freiburg and Stuttgart. Five in Schalke (4) v Mainz (1), 6 in Leverkusen (5) v Köln (1), 4 in Augsburg (3) v Hamburg (1), and of course four for Bremen against Paderborn. Alle Spiele, alle Torre is certainly going to be action packed and lively this weekend. I hope there are lots of goals tomorrow to keep up the pattern, it’s cool.

Random musings – Jogi Löw and The Imitation Game

It’s interesting, you show the same video to two people and get very different responses. The videos in question are of course Jogi related, two videos I made from the Germany-Scotland game. The first person I showed them to made the inevitable Nazi joke, a German yelling and a German I like. Because some people think I can’t think about Germany or a German without thinking about Nazis in some way. That isn’t true.

It’s funny because he’s so un-Nazi like, despite looking like a Bond type villain and looking somewhat sinister at the best of times, like here for example:

Jogi - award ceremonyThe other person commented on how in the first video I showed them, in which he did introduction for a quiz, he sounded completely different to the ones of the game. They said that despite the fact that he was yelling, there was a softness to his voice, at odds with the usual harshness of German. I really like the bit at the end, the collar fixing.

I also managed to see him at the Freiburg game, when they beat Schalke 2-0 on Saturday, thanks to the Bundesliga round-up on TV:

On a related note, I’ve been reading a book called Germany and the Germans, and apparently Swabians “tend to be mocked by other Germans for their odd sounding sing song accent.”

I’m familiar with the term, I’ve read it in connection with autism, but I’m not sure of what it means.

This is what a dictionary said: “a way of speaking in which the sound of your voice rises and falls in a pattern.”

And this:

  • 1 verse with marked and regular rhythm and rhyme
  • 2 a voice delivery marked by a narrow range or monotonous pattern of pitch

And this is a direct quote from a discussion about it: “A sing-song voice is different from a song like voice. With a sing-song voice, the inflection rises and falls in a consistent pattern, so it is quite monotonous.”

I’ve read all of that, I watched two videos and I’m still unsure of what it exactly means.

First up today was The Imitation Game at the cinema, then Bratwurst at the German market and the day ends with Germany v Gibraltar. And happily, Max Kruse is in the starting line up and more importantly Kramer isn’t.

The film was good, not a good audience though (I’m usually uncomfortable at the cinema when there are too many other people there anyway, but this is one of the few times I wanted to leave in the middle of a film). I wonder if the decision to portray Alan Turing as somewhat autistic was purely a writing choice or whether Cumberbatch decided to play him that way as well. I don’t know much about Turing so I can’t say how close they stuck to the true story, but the film was entertaining, not at all dull considering the complex subject matter. I found the bullying scenes very hard to watch, especially the under the floor-boards one. And the story with Christopher was unbelievably sad, I can add that to the list of the few scenes in any film ever that has made me cry.

Surprises abound in the Gibraltar game, Neuer actually gets somewhat challenged, twice, the first was incredible. The other surprise is that at the end of the first half, Germany are only three-nil up. Even more surprising is the end result, only 4-0 and that was because of an own goal. And this is the team that Poland beat 7-0 and Germany could only manage 3. I hope they don’t get too bad a mauling in the German press.

To end with Jogi, today a new set of press clippings arrived from Germany. I liked some of them so much I decided not only to post some on here, but since there were quite a few that I liked, to give them a post of their own.

Defeat, disappointment and the Dortmund question

screenshot-www soccershouts com 2014-11-08 22-23-34





That is how the bottom of the Bundesliga looks at the moment. Unlike the person who made this delightful signature, I’m not quite so gleeful, though with Stuttgart’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Werder Bremen yesterday I find myself wishing for Dortmund to lose today (sorry Roman) or at least draw since even a draw would not be enough to get them off the bottom of the table. That would be a small consolation, then at least Stuttgart will not have to spend the international break at the foot of the table.

And there was a piece of good news with Freiburg beating Schalke 2-0, only their second victory this season but enough to take them up to thirteenth. A bit of breathing space for them.

And a Thomas Müller hat-trick at Frankfurt. Another game ruined by the BT commentator who helpfully announced this fact in the Stuttgart game whilst talking about the top scorers in the Bundesliga.

It wasn’t all football this week, I managed to get around to finishing Dead Island which was also full of disappointment in regards to the end. After slaughtering my way through thousands of zombies, the end of the game is a boss fight against mostly gunmen. How imaginative, what a dull end to an otherwise good game.  I have Dead Island Riptide lined up next, hopefully that will be better. And to continue the zombie theme, Dead Rising 2.

I also managed to find time for three films, Outpost, Company of Heroes and The Way He Looks. The last was the best, a beautiful Brazilian film about love and life and growing up. Not my usual kind of film at all, this one looked interesting so I gave it a chance and I am very glad I did. Normally with these kinds of films I just find the characters annoying and can’t relate to them at all. Here it really felt like the two of them had been friends their entire life and they were all three dimensional human beings, not just carictures of what a writer thinks teenagers are like.

Company of Heroes, there was only two good things about it. The first was that Richard Sammel was in it (the only reason I bought it) and the second was that a lot of the film took place in Stuttgart. That’s it, the rest of the film was terrible and for some weird reason, Richard Sammel’s character kept starting out in German and then without warning or reason switching into English.  He was the evil and sadistic Nazi, still he was good with what limited material he had to work with. He always is.

Outpost was cool, not too stupid like some films of the genre can be and was scary in places. I do like a good horror/sci-film when there’s Nazis involved. I may be sick about reading of them, but I can never get sick of this kind of film.