9 posts categorized "Ordnung ist das halbe Leben"

Ordnung ist das halbe Leben VI: im Supermarkt


For your information, every open container has been weighed!


Please, on hygenic grounds, use our one-way gloves. 

Only organic
Please put only organic items in organic bags


The Federweißer is not provided with a fermentation lock, so the cover is not completely closed. We therefore ask you NOT to lay the bottle on its side because otherwise it will run out. Many thanks, your Supermarket Team. 


Please always line up at the Meat Counter! 
Thanks. (Clown Smiley)

Honoured Customers!  
Please lay your entire shopping on the conveyor belt.  Thanks.  

Trust is good
Trust is good, checking is better
No sale of alcohol to youth
Young people often don't look their age. Please understand if, when selling alcohol and tobacco, we ask for age identification—for the protection of all children and youth.

Belt divider hygiene

And note the excellent checkout belt divider hygiene.

The Definition of Sanity

Peace.  We heard that word a lot over the recent holiday season.   Prayers for it, wishes for it, regret at how little of it seems to abide.  Heavenly peace, peace on earth, the prince of peace, peace to all men, peace was on everybody's lips.

Isn't it ironic that the new year always begins so peacelessly?

That goes double for our otherwise genteel neighbourhood.  A mere 5 doors away from us, we find the Europaplatz; a noble public space which the city government, for one night of the year, surrenders to hammered arsonists with explosives.  They're so drunk, most of them can't even find the place, and begin to blow shit up anywhere handy.  This was the view from our front window at one minute past twelve. 


That jars with my customary New Year's resolution.  From the previous sentence, you might conclude that I make the same, unsuccessful resolution every year.  You'd be right.   

My new year's resolution would appear to fit the definition of insanity often attributed to Einstein: it's crazy to do the same thing year in, year out, when the only result so far has been failure.  

Personally, I prefer a different definition of insanity: Giving fireworks to drunks.

My usual New Year's resolution aims for an oft-misunderstood state of mind; that is, mindfulness. To be present in the moment, to abandon that which angers, to be thoughtful in word and deed.  To mutter, when needed, Reinhold Niebuhr's famous Serenity Prayer, minus the first word.  

In 2012, I made a binding promise, in public, to be mindful.  Like, with a meme on a website, and everything.  It lasted eight days. 

This year felt different.

An afternoon walk on New Year's day, as always, revealed a the detritus of the night before.  But the sun, low in the sky, cast a light that made the trash, abandoned atop some recent snow, seem almost poignant. 

Detritus footpath

Detritus 2

Detritus whirligig


Detritus beastmaster
Cars tried, and failed, to keep their dignity under the snow dumped on them.




Buildings and trees schemed which pals to tag for the Ice-Bucket Challenge.  




The usually sombre St. George's Church felt quite perky.  Under fresh snow, even their graveyard shines with optimism.

By the time I reached the Maximiliananslagen, our local park, I was primed for a good mood.  Mind you, the park lifts your mood no matter what.  Its visitors have mastered the very skill I lacked; an unselfconscious ability to hang out, and enjoy simple pleasures. Especially on the sledding hill. 

IMG_3103 - Version 2


Yes, Rover, the yellow snow always smells more interesting, doesn't it?

It was then, I stumbled on an impromptu lesson in being present in the moment.  Three hung-over-looking men decided that the best thing to do this fine day, was grab a few shopping bags, and in an ass-chilling fit of madness, go for a slide.


I shall use these men—clearly too old to find joy in anything so childish as losing control of the direction in which their butts are travelling—as my example for 2015. 

This year, the resolution might stick, mildly.  I'll keep you posted.


Blueskystudio2The first photo is entered in the PhotoFriday Weather challenge.

Ordnung ist das halbe Leben V: Protect Us from Dancing


This helpful sign tells us what German youth are allowed, and not allowed, to do.  It clarifies the regulations under the Federal Jugendschutzgestez, or Youth Protection Act.  Hey kids, don't get excited over the word "allow"; the first sentence makes clear that just because it's legal, parents don't have to agree to it.  So none o' your lip. 

Naturally, many of the provisions concern alcohol. Thirsty adolescents should note in §9 that one may drink legally at the age of sixteen, as long as the drink contains no fortified spirits.  Germany recently declared college education free for all students, including those from abroad, and this loophole makes the deal even sweeter for many American youth who need to wait 'til they're twenty-one for a Miller Lite.  Dichter und Denker, meet underage Trinker. 

You may even do this in a pub—before midnight according to §4—but not in a nightclub.  Because there might be dancing.  

Youth dancing is controlled as strictly as alcohol.  §5 forbids those under 16 from entering a disco without the buzzkill of adult supervision.  And kids under 14 can't even do folk dancing past the hour of 10.00 pm. 

Bavarian Tanzangst reaches a peak next week when we celebrate the Feast of All Souls on November 1.  Halloween parties for all ages need to clear the dance floor on the stroke of midnight, lest it run afoul of the notorious Tanzverbot, or dancing ban.  The Church, still a powerful influence on German life, insists that the day remain solemn.  No dancing, public or private, for people of any age.

Because dancing might lead to sex.  That's probably why the sign tells us, in the grey highlight near the legend, that none of these restrictions apply to married youth under 18.   

The Tanzverbot turns adult citizens into adolescents.  Flout it.  Who wants to join me for a quick Madison in the Stachus next Saturday?  

Ordnung ist das halbe Leben IV: At the City Finance Office




PLEASE first take a WAIT NUMBER!


-Contact Desk.
Please wait until your call
shows on the display panel.  
Two persons are waiting in front of you. 


PLEASE note Contact Desk 1 or Contact Desk 2


(Contact Desk 2 has not been manned since 2005)


 Please note hereupon, 

that you [must] lay the provided ball-point pen back again after use.

Because the next visitor would like to fill out his form/application with it.

The ball-point pens are placed by
the Finance Office Munich Service Centre
in the context of [a] Service Concept for the disposition of visitors.

They are not promotional giveaways!!

We thank you for your understanding. 

Playing with Feuer

Silvester 179a
Living in Munich, we enjoy high levels of peace, safety and public order. Which is why it's so surprising to witness the Silvester, or New Year's Eve, in action.

There's an awful lot of recklessness with fireworks, and many drunken revellers toss firecrackers around simply to cause mischief.
A fave trick, it seems, is to toss a string of crackers at someone's feet and tell them to dance.

On Monday night, I witnessed someone throw a string of crackers under the wheel of my neighbour's Porsche; luckily, it only smoked up the upholstery. (Was this a political statement, like the rash of car burnings in northern cities?)  The ever watchful Papa Scott assures us that the injury toll in his northern city of Hamburg has declined in recent years, but I suspect this may be more luck than management.

Our place is near the Friedensengel in Munich, where police close off the street to give tipsy pyromaniacs a free rein. Even today, we can smell the cordite in the air. I posted the photo above on New Year's day in 2008, and it gives a hint of how we face down the dangers of a festive occasion.  The überlin blog gives you a filmic taste of what it's like to be in the middle of a German public Silvester celebration.

Drunken assholes love to toss firecrackers into post-boxes. It's such a common problem, apparently, that the post office has worked out a procedure. The deliverable mail is dried out after the fire brigade's dousing, placed in a plastic sleeve, and delivered with a very, very obsequious letter of apology, asking the recipient still to trust Deutsche Post nonetheless.   It also asks one not to blame the sender for the condition of the article.  This kind New Year card arrived from Berlin damp and smoky, but legible.  


Let me use that card as a segue.  Master Right and I belatedly wish you all a happy, bountiful, and above all, safe 2013.

Ordnung ist das Halbe Leben 3

Please insert trays CROSSWISE

Please don't use.  It's still being tested!  Thanks!

It is sad that in a global company we must deal with such matters, but it seems that there are always people who do not know how WC-cleaning functions. Here is a bit of help. 
Figure 1. Totally Wrong. Figure 2. Wrong. Figure 3. Almost Right. Figure 4. Right.

Hands Spread Disease-Causing-Germs.  Correct Washing Protects. Hold hands under running water.  Pulverise soap* (*or similar hand cleaning substance) for 20 to 30 seconds. Also between the fingers. Then thoroughly rinse.  Dry Carefully.  Brought to you by the Us Against Viruses campaign, the Robert Koch Institute, and the Federal Center for Health Instruction. 

Please ALWAYS take a ticket or use your permanent-parker card!!  Vehicles with compressed natural gas propulsion should not be left in this garage.

Rule: The Complexity of Instructions must be in Inverse Proportion to the Simplicity of the Object to be Operated. (see also shopping trolley instructions here)

Respect!  No Place for Racism

Ordnung ist das Halbe Leben 2

A sense of order
A sense of order brings rewards/gives you an advantage

Patients, wait
Please read!!! Discharges.  For the pending release (and admission) of patients, please take a waiting area place (!in front of the wheelchair!)  You will be summoned individually!!!

Patients, wait
Highly esteemed customers, 

We ask that you please understand that we cannot allow in the hospital cafeteria, the consumption of food or drink brought with you, or bought in the kiosk.

With friendly greetings,

The Management

Highly esteemed customers, 

We ask that you please understand that items taken from the ward cannot be exchanged [for cafeteria food].

With friendly greetings,

The Management

Refrigerator instructions 1
On this refrigerator, in a hospital day-room, we see three signs which tell (valued) patients to place their used crockery on top, just as they should do with their tea cannisters, and their thermos flasks.  The thermos flasks earn a !!! Further notices say that the refrigerator is to be used only for groceries, and that all contents must bear identification.  By a quirk of the German language, this can also mean all groceries should have a license plate.

A young doctor asked me what was so interesting about this refrigerator, that I should want a picture of it.  I replied that it seemed very German to me.  "Ja," she admitted, "das stimmt."

Screen shot 2011-11-21 at 15.59.42
Hello everyone,

Your attention, if you please.

This weekend, the cleaning lady will clean the refrigerator. 

From this evening at 6 pm, all open edible wares must be removed from the refigerator, as well as all which have reached their use-by date.  Any items not removed will be disposed of without further consultation.

Thank you for your understanding and co-operation!

Refrigerator instructions 1
The pictograms explain the procedure for disposing of your used crockery, in the cafeteria of a major German multinational company.   One must place one's tray on the moving belt, make sure the dishes are not stacked, put the cutlery on the tray (as you can see, I forgot to do that) and make sure your paper napkin is not left among the food scraps, but thrown into the chute which you see at the bottom right.

Refrigerator instructions 1
For your safety! The Correct Usage of the Shopping Trolley [in this hardware store]

  • Carry children so [in the child's seat]
  • Always hold the handle tight [on moving walkways]
  • Don't overload (max 160 kg/350 lb)
  • Don't let objects poke out
  • Over 120 kg/260 lb forbidden  [I detect a little confusion, here. Erklärung, bitte!]
  • And furthermore, very esteemed customers, on safety grounds please use ONLY shopping trollies on loan from in-house

Refrigerator instructions 1

Dear parents, dear children, we ask that before you play,
you attend to the following points...

I shan't tell you everything (!) which parents and children must bear in mind at this autobahn cafe in Franconia. Yhese are rules for using the play-apparatus which we, in English, would call monkey bars or a jungle gym.  Among them, though we see three separate warnings for children to climb inside the apparatus rather than on the outside, for children to take their shoes off, maintain a polite attitude, for them to leave their dogs or other animals outside, and not to smoke.

(For previous Ordnung, click here)

Ordnung ist das halbe Leben

IPhone 123
Only cross with the green light.  Set an example to the children.

IPhone 085
We allow careful self-service

IPhone 112
ATTENTION: Only PARK within the dotted lines. Report to the office.

IPhone 094
Please pay the parking fee directly before your exit!  You are granted 15 minutes abstention after the payment sequence before your mandate expires.  For technical reasons, after the discharge of this fifteen minute abstention, a new parking event begins with a renewed apportionment of the minimum charge. Please conduct supplementary payments at the automatic payment machines.

IPhone 103
At the cashier, please re-count your retrieved money immediately!

Later claims can not be made restrospectively!

IPhone 106
Please request a receipt!  Issuance of receipts after the fact is not possible.
(And besides, we're closed.)

IPhone 084
To trespass on this
(securely fenced and diligently patrolled) building site is FORBIDDEN!!!

IPhone 132

IPhone 119
Please sort the empty bottles in an orderly fashion!!

IPhone 116

IPhone 135