Monday, March 22, 2010

sich beklagen

[ Complaining ]

Let's face it, not every day living abroad is perfect. Yes, almost every post seems to have a photo of a nice city in Germany, some delicious food, or great moments with family and friends. But we cannot kid ourself and lie that there aren't moments that make us a little crazy.

Maybe it is the fact that all shopping is closed on Sundays - so don't plan to use your free time and run out for some last minute ingredients. Maybe it is the seasons changing, the snow all melted, and months worth of dog crap, beige and gray lies defrosting on every street corner. Maybe it is just the fact that traditional German food - even if it is incredibly tasty - is all brown on your plate. I don't want to even start about the language. I normally let Inge win in translation duels - German will always and forever be more direct, verbose and specific than English will ever be. Look at me ramble on - sometimes complaining is just fun.

The other day I made a very entertaining discovery on YouTube. It triggered the thought for this entire post. It is a little phenomenon called the complaints choir, and it has taken place in many major cities around the world. The concept is simple: get a group of people together that like to sing, make a beautiful song, and have all the lyrics be everything that just seems to tick you off about where you live. First I found Chicago, which was interesting because it is Midwestern, different than Michigan, but close enough to have some funny things in common. Then I found Helsinki, which had me laughing out loud. Even for the short period I lived there, so many things made sense. Little cultural things that I may have heard myself one time or another from a host family member or friend. Conveniently on the right hand side of the website was Tokyo. It was all too perfect. I was having a great time watching all the clips and seeing the cultural innuendos that were so funny and nostalgic.

Of course there was one for Germany, Hamburg, a city north of me that I have already visited, and it was also very funny. I figured it deserved a post on my blog. Listening to complaints can actually reveal a lot about the people of a country. I can count off the ones that I have heard this year from this clip!

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