Wednesday, September 24, 2008
We are following developments of the 700 billion dollar bailout bill being proposed to Congress by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Chairman Bernanke. I've been watching live video here.
The kind of fear mongering surrounding this event and the hype in the media is very similar to the shot-gun decision making process that Congress was being forced to make about Iraq.
The German media seems more relaxed about events in the US saying that most banks in Germany have not participated in the shady subprime lending market in the US. Sure, US investment institutions are in a pickle but so were dot coms not too long ago and people and the market have survived that "crisis".
Maybe now is a good time to think about changing dollars into Euros? We'll keep our eyes peeled on the greenback.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It's a sad day in Germany. Knut (pictures from Spiegel Online), the adorable polar bear that made headlines worldwide, lost his caretaker from his bear cub days, Thomas Dörflein (CNN story in English). Update: Knut has his own blog (in German, of course)!
In other news, we went to a German movie theater (Kino in German) for the first time. Unlike the US where it's first come-first serve for seating, the movie theater we went to had numbered seating. It also took 30 minutes of commercials before we got to see the featured movie which included a cameo appearance of Art Garfunkel's son James Garfunkel. The movie is called "Robert Zimmermann wundert sich über die Liebe" and is a sweet, funny story reminiscent of "The Graduate".
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
...check this site out for some interesting facts about how and where your tax money is spent. Interestingly enough, both Obama and McCain worked to pass legislation to make this type of fiscal transparency possible and available to you online. Go ahead, click through it. It makes you shout: "Willie Nelson for President!"
Our absentee ballot requests are in the mail. I think we went through this site.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Trier, the oldest city in Germany, is well worth a visit. We spent a whole day sightseeing - the Porta Nigra and the Roman thermal baths being the highlights of our stay. I was amazed and somewhat creeped out by the tunnel system of the thermal baths. It was our last stop of the day and we were the last visitors. We went down into the tunnels which are endlessly long and wind around well beyond where visitors are allowed to walk. At one point, we heard someone running behind us and we were afraid that we would get mugged because we thought we were the only ones there. We got out and back into daylight in a hurry but we liked our little adventure.
Another place worth a visit is the amphitheatrer on the outskirts of town. Actually, it's more like a coliseum or arena because it was used for gladiator fights. They actually offer re-enactments but unless someone gets torn from limb to limb, I don't buy it (ha!).
We headed over to the city of Luxemburg because of its proximity to Trier (30 min.) and just to add another country to our list of places we have visited. While it is a very nice city, it lacked something... I think, it's an identity. In the past, the country has been taken over many times and acquired a generic feel and quality. I asked a tourist information person what Luxemburg is known for and she listed three things - banks, wine and steel.
The pedestrian part is a shopper's paradise and restaurants are quite pricey there. For a better value, it's best to save the big appetite for a meal outside of town. Must-sees in Luxemburg are the Wenzel walk along the valley and the Bock "casemates", a tunnel system inside the fortress walls built by the Austrians.