Golf License?

I’ve said before that everything in Germany takes 3 weeks and a stamp. Well, apparently everything also takes a license.

Now, in the US, many places require a fishing license to go fishing. Fine. You go to the local Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, or whatever, fill out the form, pay a fee, and get a license — a permit, if you will.

Not in Germany.

In Germany you have to get an ACTUAL fishing license — the kind where you take lessons and an exam, just like a driver’s license! Here’s more information about it. Wow… just… wow.

I tell you that to tell you this: I found out today that you have to have a license to play golf! It’s called a Platzreife, and you must pass not only a written test (24 out of 30 questions, only given in German) but a skill test as well — putting and chipping, etc — and then play a round of 18 holes with a pro, with a score of 108 strokes or less.

In case you’re wondering whether I’ve lost my mind and decided to pick up a hobby…. Today in one of the English courses I teach, a participant gave a presentation about golf, and mentioned it when talking about the differences between golfing in the US and Germany. I was astounded!

So Jon, Lisa, if you plan to play while you’re here, bring a handicap card from the country club, if you’ve got one handy. They won’t let you play otherwise!


Germans love their eggs. Year-round you can buy brightly-colored hardboiled eggs at the grocery store, in 6- or 10-packs just like regular eggs. Also, most of the “belegte Brötchen” (literally, little breads laid with stuff, or sandwiches) will have slices of hard-boiled egg on them. And I’ve seen a number of pizzas with “Eier” listed as an topping! Continue reading

I'm Still Standing…

… and that’s about it, right now. In case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. We moved to a new apartment on March 20, and the only internet access I’ve had since then is at the local coffee shop (Mr. Bleck, it’s called, and that’s about how the coffee tastes. I hate German coffee, but that’s a topic for another post!).

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We’re coming up on the end of Fasching season here in Mittelfranken, otherwise known as Karneval, or as we know it in the South, Mardi Gras. It’s much more of a family celebration here, though, with lots of parades and parties for the kids. It’s been interesting explaining to the students in my English classes that Mardi Gras is NOT a kid’s holiday! Explaining the whole “bead” thing was a source of great amusement. Continue reading

Cooking in Germany

I’ve had some interesting trials in adapting my cooking to the German lifestyle and grocery stores. The biggest change, of course, is the conversion to metric measurements and temperatures. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind when packing in Athens to include my US measuring cups and spoons: dry, liquid, and tea/tablespoons. I also brought several of my favorite US cookbooks. Continue reading