You thought I was kidding about the pill behind the Reichstag, right? Well, here’s your evidence. There are even more of these abominations around town, all in that pallid sickly color. The most recent one I’ve seen is behind the new Hauptbahnhof, a pair of sneakers. I bet you didn’t know the Germans invented sneakers, did you? Someone alert Chuck Taylor! Worse, so as not to offend any company and invite a lawsuit, these giant galumphers have been designed so that they look like immense bronzed baby shoes with velcro tabs.
Yeah, I said I was through with it, but what else is there to write about? In fact, what other reality does Berlin have at the moment? Anyway:
Worst World Cup slogan so far goes to Coca-Cola Germany for its “It’s your Heimspiel! Make it real!” Although, to be honest, it shows how strong the use of English is in marketing to youth in Germany; this would never be allowed in France, where any English is an ad has to sport an asterisk and a translation below in legible type (my favorite: “Do You Yahoo!?”* *Est-ce que vous etes Yahoo?” Well, actually, no, but I wish I were, looking at the latest stock quotes). The bizarre mixture of English and German only where it’s absolutely necessary (as in the word Heimspiel, which took me a while to figure out, but which means that all the championship games are being played in Germany) is ubiquitous in the advertising of sneakers, clothes, music (especially downloadable) and soft drinks.
Does this mean that the average German high-school kid speaks English? Hahahahaha! Stop! You’re killing me!
Although, y’know, more of them speak more English than American high-school kids speak German. Or French. Even the ones who are studying those languages.
You can read about yesterday’s trip to the races at Hoppegarten here and here, although I just want to say that comments like “everyone lost money” are rank jealousy. Just because I’m a manly enough man to be able to collect my winnings in cash without need of a bodyguard is no reason to get sniffy. And factoring in everything, I think that