A Nation divided

You already know that Reunificiation and all that jazz is my thing. You also know that I religiously follow the weekly newspaper Die ZEIT (when time allows). So now these two things have come together, not too surprising given the major topic that the Fall of the Wall on the media agenda. It is actually very interesting to see how different media in different parts of Germany chose to tackle the topic: the East German Broadcasting Organization MDR publishes all things Fall of the Wall under “25 Years of Freedom”, Google launched the hashtag Deutschland25 and Stern Magazine was full of ads with companies celebrating 1989.

The way Zeit Magazin has captured all these interestings things is something you should see – and it is even in English! Hallelujah! No more excuses to not go infotain yourself: A Nation Divided: East Germany’s legacy remains visible in statistics. Learn about where people are called Ronny, where in Germany people own most guns and – important for German learners! – where which words for stapler and roast chicken are used. (Spoiler alert: There are four different ones and three make me crack up.)

While I’m at it, I might as well add something personal to this Friday post, and yes, of course: The Work Week Song # 44! Since one co-worker has quit and two others are on vacation, this is the appropriate song for this week:


Work Week Song #41: Euphoria

As some of you know, I have a history with „Euphoria”. When my friend Christian had just recently met me and we stood on our corridor, some 20 metres from the dancefloor, engaged in conversation, someone put on Loreen’s Eurovision song and without even properly exiting the conversation, I sprinted to the dancefloor.

I also have a history with calling radio stations and requesting songs. Or at least when I was in 6th grade I once did that to request “Killing me softly”, a song we sang in music class.

So when my co-workers put on Radio Hamburg where during the afternoon you can request songs, the idea came up to call them. Of course I did! My co-worker said I should ask for Euphoria (NB: not my idea, but I was more than happy to do that) and I quickly came up with a reason why and told the host, “Because the song reflects our work attitude. Even this late in the afternoon, we are euphorically doing our job”. (The Fake it till you make it approach, you know.) We were put on air, I did some own PR for us and my colleagues obeyed the radio host’s demand to dance on the table.

No dancing. Except on tables.

No dancing. Except on tables.

P.S.: The only faux-pas was that I forgot to mention we are looking for an intern.

Work Week Song #40: Old MacDonald

In my new project, I work with agriculture. At night, I dream of cows and I am looking forward to impressing everyone on the next Schützenfest in my parents’ home region. (What the heck is a Schützenfest, you wonder? Click here.) My co-workers thought my work week song was delightful and wondered if we could not maybe incorporate it in our communication measures.

A moo here, a moo there!

Work Week Song #39: Nine to Five

Recently, I have been considering putting together a whole CD or at least a medley with songs I started re-writing for my work place. My junior colleagues are supporting this idea. We are thinking we could release it for the company’s jubilee at the end of the year. So far, the medley would include new versions to “I can’t live”, “Atemlos, “Kumbayah” and “The Winner takes it all”. That’s quite a spectrum, eh? Not so sure what the boss thinks of it. So until then, here’s my work week song for this week, a classic with excellent lyrics.


P.S.: I figured it would be smart to label the weeks. Also, it makes it look like I had posted 39 songs already 😉

Work Week Song: Defying Gravity

I am not even going to discuss how I am again late with my Work Week Song…

My colleagues are really into alliterations because they watch “Schwiegertochter gesucht”, a dating show where candidates are always attributed an adjective that matches their name. So recently they decided to nickname me “Heitere Helen”, Cheerful Helen, and they have the nerve to ask why I haven’t been cheerful from the very beginning. I let the music speak.


Work Week Song

This week, I was very occupied with the event we arranged for a customer. It was a lot of men there. Germany still has such a long way to go.

So here’s my Work Week Song:

Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
‘Cause it’s OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading

I also left an issue of the German feminist magazine, EMMA, with Annelie, who needed some arguments against prostitution for her discussions with German men. All the Swedes I have discuassed this subject with hold an opinion that in Germany is regarded very feminist alternatively Christian-prude. (Prostitution in Germany is declared a legal, regular job, which has contributed to making Germany a trafficking hub.)


Work Week Song

I swear, I already had this post ready and done – and now it disappeared!

This week’s work song describes this week but even more last week. It is a Swedish schlager that is both annoying and somehow irresistable. The chorus very much captures my work week. I now know every version of music on hold and I am planning to publish a scientific paper on it soon, ” ‘Fly me to the Moon’: A sociocultural analysis of large publishing houses’ music on hold”.


Växeln hallå, hallå, hallå
Växeln hallå, hallå
Fröken hallå, hallå, hallå
Koppla mig till tjugotvå
Det blir inget svar där, hon är inte kvar där
Ja, jag är ledsen, försök på nytt igen
Växeln hallå, hallå, hallå
Koppla mig till tjugotvå

Switchboard, hello, hello, hello
Switchboard, hello, hello
Miss, hello, hello, hello
Connect me to 22
There’s no answer there, she isn’t there anymore
Yes, I am sorry, try again later
Switchboard, hello, hello, hello
Connect me to 22
This week, I finally revealed my secret super power to my colleagues as well. When one of them began singing a new line to the currently extremely popular German song, “Atemlos” (“Breathless”), I quickly wrote her a new entire chorus which reflected her feelings regarding work so well that she was completely delighted. I really got into the mood of song-re-writing again so when #mydanishintern and I entered the building again after lunch and I was lazy, I sang to her, “I don’t wanna walk. I want to take the ele-vator”… (I really hope you recognize the song?)