Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Sunday Paper.

It’s not really the “Sunday” paper.  It just happens to be the paper that I sometimes buy on a Saturday, but is so thick,  that I usually spend a certain amount of time on Sunday wading through the thing.  I can give you a link to their website, but of course,  it’s all in German.  You know the type though.  There’s the The Globe & MailThe New York TimesThe International Herald Tribune

Oh but wait,  turns out that last one is owned by the New York Times.  No wonder a lot of the stories are the same.   This is one of the reasons sitting down with an actual newspaper that is printed locally will always trump what you can find on line.   I would happily sit with the Globe and Mail,  but the only place I ever even saw one other than in North America was in Paris.   How they managed that I have no idea,  since that was back in the days before the internet.

To add to that slight inconvenience (of not finding a Globe and Mail),  German is still a second language for me,  and I’m afraid always will be,  so eventually my head starts to spin if I read the newspaper for too long.  And no,  I’m not going to read a three day old Financial Times,  which I see is available at the Tabac around the corner.

Ironically,  even when we are at home,  I’m rarely tempted to go out and buy a Sunday paper,  since it’s a good way to completely evaporate an entire Sunday,  and get nothing else accomplished.  Being at home always seems to be about getting “something accomplished”. 

Now,  having said all this,  and given you all this background,  I just want to say that,  once in a long while,  there is a “story”  that sort of stands out from the rest.  You know,  all the doom and gloom….


I therefore present to you the following:

The beer war has ended.

Supposedly the “beer war” has come to an end.  At least in Austria,  where you’ll now find the two side by side on the same shelf. 

We’re all thrilled.


There are not many people in North America (and yes,  I’m including you Canadians here)  who actually KNOW that there was/is a beer called Budweiser that has been around since some time back in the 13th century.   Yes,  I said 13.   That’s a while.  Now,  to say they’ve been brewing exactly the SAME beer all those centuries might be a bit of a stretch,  but that wouldn’t be the point.  The point is,  any beer, and there’s only one, from the city of České Budějovice qualifies.  Don’t let that Czech name freak you out.  Here’s the thing,  and this is where it all gets very, very simple.  The German name for this city is,  wait for it,  Budweis.  


Now don’t nod off on me just yet.  Let me give you a couple quick German lessons.  If you’re from Hamburg,  then yes you’re a Hamburger.  If you’re from Vienna (Wien),  then yes,  you are a Wiener.   (hence the name of a particularly tasty type of cutlet called a Wiener Schnitzel.)  Nothing to do with hotdogs!

This little “rule” doesn’t work for all places,  but quite a few.

And yes, from the English point of view,  these terms sound silly,  I know. 

So therefore,  any beer from Budweis,  is gonna be “Budweiser”.   There you have it.  I suppose the same applies to the people,  but anything you read about that city seems to revolve around their beer.  Funny about that.

I’m not going to give you the whole long winded story about the court battles that have been going on for well over a hundred years over the use of that particular name,  except to perhaps speculate that,  if your law firm has the Anheuser-Busch account,  you won’t need to go out looking for too much new business. 

The only other thing I’d like to add is that,  they are two completely different beers.  If you dislike “The King of Beers”  ( Right.  “King”.  How silly. )  then you’ll probably like Budwar.   I’m in that group I’m afraid.  American beer just doesn’t really do it for me,  and I’d only haul a “Bud” out of the cooler if the only other choice was say,  Coors Light.  

I’ll just drink water,  thanks. 

The other little snippet of irony in this whole deal is,  Anheuser-Busch isn’t even American owned anymore!  It’s owned by InBev, and they’re Belgian.   The horror! 



You’d think I’d have heaps more to report from scanning the paper, but I’m a pretty simple minded fellow.  The beer story will do.



Now,  speaking of “simple minded”,  I was waiting yesterday for the dinner call from the Hare Krishnas,  and it never came!  I almost had to look at the clock! 

Again.  The horror!

Well,  my stomach is a pretty good time keeper, so we could still probably do without the clock,  at least on the weekends.  And yes,  the potatoes with sour cream were tasty.  Thanks.


I think though,  that what happened was that they were either drowned out, or intimidated by…..these guys:

(and by the way,  I’ve FINALLY figured out how to get these suckers to open in a new window.  Just click….)



OK,  is it a rat with a bong?



Remember how I was talking about being able to avoid some of the noise from the city?   Well,  the music coming from this small parade was pretty unavoidable.

The crowd on the sidewalk off to one side there is pretty typical of Mariahilfer Strasse on a Saturday afternoon,  which is precisely why I have no desire to go out there.   Unless of course it’s to take some pictures of this raggedly-ass bunch trying to promote the legalisation of Marijuana.   Or maybe just Hemp,  but I don’t think that was their intent.

I would just like to interject here that,  if these folks really and truly think anyone is going to take them seriously,  then they need to work on some image issues.  This is pretty much the same bunch of scuzzballs that you see hanging around looking like they haven’t had a bath since some time after they were potty trained.  Assuming of course they ever were. (best to be upwind?)  Sorry,  but being adorned with piercings and insisting on having Dreadlocks doesn’t make for a good impression. 


I only included the picture of the cops,  since they looked like they were really,  really thrilled to be on that detail. 

I don’t think there was any concern about any fights breaking out.  Not that I could smell anything,  but if there’s one thing that could be said about this type of “protest”  or “parade” or whatever,  it’s that they’re all pretty mellow.   Like,  they’re ambulatory,  but only just.

As it happens, I just saw an article on the BBC website talking about some of the dangers of alcohol.  Hm,  a drug that we not only have readily available,  but is a pretty good source of taxation for a number of countries.   Talk to anyone who goes to regular “AA” meetings about how addictive a drug it can be,  or what it can potentially do to your life.   Then we’ll talk about marijuana or any of the other “harmful” drugs. 

I don’t want to start a whole debate here about what substances should be legalised or whatever,  or the “War on Drugs” or anything, since we could just beat that one to death.


(Don’t fight it….regulate and TAX it!!…we’ll need the money for our pensions!)


Imagine what would happen if the US government got into the business of importing all those bales of weed they insist on destroying and started marketing the stuff?  The deficit problem would probably go away in a matter of years.  AND the cartels would be put out of business. 


Either that or everyone would be so stoned it wouldn’t matter.


And then hey,  everybody is happy!





  1. Beer wars - I love it. So much more civilized than regular war. I'm not a beer drinker at all so I couldn't take sides but it is funny. Sorry you missed your dinner bell.

  2. Bob...wanted to thank you for leaving a comment on our blog
    I took your suggestion about clickable graphics=larger size. I did it on this last blog but wrong. I know how to do it now and will in the future. Thanks so much for the suggestion. Yours work great.
    Along with Sandie (a good friend), I don't drink beer but I have found Ultralight to be tolerable.
    Enjoyed reading your blog. Look forward to reading more about your journey in Germany. Stay safe.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.