Day 91 of 96 – All killer, no filler

20 Dec

Yesterday I went to the Christmas Market and one of the booths had the exact same wood-burning three-level oven from the Weihnachtsmarkt in Leipzig. This tells me that it was not custom made and I bet, if one were so inclined, you could find these things for sale on the Internet and they probably won’t be that expensive. This guy was selling a different type of bread-cheese-meat thing.

Target date - Winterlude 2013. Who's in?

There was also a booth set up by my new favorite radio station – Berliner Rundfunk 91.4. They were promoting the Berlin Eisbären (hockey team) and they had set up mini-rink where one could try and shoot the puck through a goalie made of vinyl. I did poorly but the guy was nice and gave me a prize anyway.

Or was it "the goalie did well"?

I assembled two jigsaw puzzles during my stay in Berlin and I listened almost exclusively to this radio station while I puzzled. It was a very strange experience. German radio is exactly the same as what we have back home but with many major differences. I will list them for you now.

1. Often times they don’t play the whole song. Sometimes if the news is about to start they’ll play the first twenty seconds of a song and then just fade to the news. On of my friends out west says that one of the English radio stations in his town (he’s near an American military base) actually promotes that “we play the entire song”. I asked the dude at the hockey booth and he was surprised to learn that this occurs. I guess if you’ve only ever listened to German radio you wouldn’t be able to tell.

2. During the first six hours of listening it was the greatest radio station in the world and then things started to change. At the beginning they were playing a whole bunch of songs / artists I rarely or never hear and it was kinda refreshing

  • Gordon Lightfoot – just one song, but still nice to hear some old school CanCon outside of the Great White North
  • Eurythmics – many songs I’d never heard before
  • Neil Diamond – some songs
  • ABBA – non-ABBA Gold
  • Zager and Evans – In The Year 2525. You have to hear this one
  • Falco – not just Rock me Amadeus, he had another song
  • Chris Rea – Driving Home of Christmas
  • Lynn Anderson – Rose Garden (this one was on the Zodiac soundtrack and I loved that film)
  • Roxette – SwedeCon!
  • Phil Collins / “Genesis” – A few different songs (when’s the last time you heard “Land of Confusion” – it’s even more relevant today)

Then it started to get repetitive. Like very. That Zager and Evans song was one of the strangest ones and this was the first time in my life I’d ever heard it. I thought it might have been just a song they threw in there for fun. Nope, two days later there it was again. And then again the next day.

What was once special has now been lost.

3. My German is just good enough to understand about forty percent of what was being said during the news. If you have not heard, over the last couple weeks here in Berlin some Grinch has been dressing up like Santa Clause and visiting various Christmas Markets around the city and giving out free drinks laced with some sort of blood-vomit-inducing substance. When this story broke I did not know the German word for “poison” so I was at a loss for what was going on. A couple of days later one of my Berliner friends informed me of the situation.

In light of all this I’ve stopped my practice of accepting free samples at the Christmas markets.

One Response to “Day 91 of 96 – All killer, no filler”

  1. Pam December 20, 2011 at 02:28 #

    Ha Ha!! My dad had the Lynn Anderson Christmas Album~very vintgage. Love Lynn Anderson.

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