Tag Archives: England

Footie Results

Germany lost against Engerland 1:2  in Berlin. Ah well. I never went to see it as my mate J. was watching Scotland v. Argentinia in a pub, which was broadcast around the same time.

After searching the net for the result of that game (not exactly on the front page of any news site etc 😀 ) I found they too lost – 0:1. The excitement surrounding the match was apparently due to the fact that it was Maradona (fat cokehead)’s first international as new manager of the Argentinian team.

Wow. I have so little interest in football that all this stuff only exists on the periphery of my consciousness 😛

Germany v. England ‘Friendly’ Tomorrow

England v Germany

Image by bounder via Flickr

Tomorrow, Germany play England in a friendly in Berlin. Last time I watched a friendly between these two ‘arch football enemies’, Germany won 2:1 and in Wembley Stadium. I’m thinking of going to my mate J. and watch it there – being a Scotsman, he’s bound to support Germany 😉

Will send him a text later today. I can’t watch it here as I have no TV. Plus, I probably wouldn’t watch it if I was by myself at home – footie doesn’t really interest me that much.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Italy Holiday Day 10: Barter Economy

Italian olive oil, both oil and an oil bottle ...

Image via Wikipedia

Whenever I’m over here, I engage more actively in a barter economy, which I suppose is more archaic than a regular capitalist economy involving money. Briefly, I tend to do computer and/or translation stuff for my neighbour I. (I’ve even done an entire website for her), and she in return sorts out various appointments with builders and such and she also deals with things in my absence (bless her!).

Today for instance, she had a distraught phone call from an acquaintance whose 20-year-old son had gone to London and was going to have nowhere to stay tonight, as the deposit for a flat that his parents had transferred via the bank hadn’t arrived in English account yet (they only transferred it on Wednesday FFS – how is it supposed to get there within 2 days’ time?). They needed someone to phone the agency in London to find out what was going on, and try to get the keys for him so he wouldn’t be homeless. The son’s English being very poor, and the parents with no second language at all.

Little do these people realise that London is an evil capitalist shithole. No money = no fucking keys! When I phoned the agency, I knew straight away they weren’t going to budge. London is unlike the Italian countryside, where it’s fine to pay money later and where the word is enough to make people feel secure. Over there, nothing will happen without money. I understand both cultures – the UK is my home, and I have been here in Italy plenty of times – but for these poor parents it must have been quite a shock.

Anyhow, I did some research for him (youth hostels in London), explained about Gumtree (classifieds to find accommodation), and also my neighbour emailed and phoned my ex BF who lives in London (I gave her the contact details e.g. his phone no. at work and his work email address – seeing that it was really quite urgent I reckoned she must get in touch with im ASAP). He replied and said he would help the guy out, and that he could stay at his flat tonight etc. – very nice of him 🙂

The point of this post though is that I always do whatever I’m asked when I’m here, and generally speaking like to think I have a good ‘track record’ of doing things for people for free. I enjoy the idea behind barter, and I notice it’s a common feature of the culture here. For instance this week-end we were meant to go olive picking, which the neighbours do for various farmers and in return they get their olive oil for free all year.

For some reason, I get a buzz off doing things for people for nowt. I suppose it’s because I’m very very good at some things, but shite at others. Thus, I enjoy putting my expertise in certain areas to good use and to help others out (as it’s easy for me to do), so I can half expect / demand them to do stuff for me which I’m not good at, thus saving money 😛

Maybe my motivation is a capitalist one after all. I mean I’m not some Hippie type selfless ‘giver’, nor am I motivated by any religion or similar (‘doing good’). Though it does make me happy to solve something and sort out what *only I can sort out*, and no one else. Think of it what you will 🙂

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Scotland is NOT England!

England and Wales (red), with the rest of the ...Image via Wikipedia

A wee rant about the semantic conception of ‘England’ in Germany. It happens quite frequently that Germans refer to Scotland as ‘England’. For many Germans, ‘England’ = ‘the island containing the countries England, Wales, and Scotland’, i.e. the UK minus Northern Ireland (or: Great Britain). ‘Ireland’, on the other hand, = ‘the island containing the countries the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland’.

My mum for instance to this day sometimes asks me,

So how are things in England?

And I say

Scotland, SCOTLAND!

Same with some friends who visited me in June. Today I came across the same thing at work and it made me mad (it always does). I was reading this piece of research and it had as one answer (in a list of countries) in a questionnaire:


The research was done by a German company and it had the guy’s contact details on the cover. So I phoned him straight away and asked that it be corrected in the future 😀

He defended his using it, stating that for Germans, England means ‘the island’, and that it didn’t matter since semantically, it’s the same thing for Germans. He also said he wasn’t sure whether or not he would change it, and that he would think about it.

The problem is that by using ‘England’ synonymously with ‘UK minus Northern Ireland’ he perpetuates the misunderstanding of our countries in Germany. Furthermore, anyone consulting this piece of ‘research’ who is *not* German (the research is in English and for an international market) will potentially misinterpret the data.

@ everyone in the world: Scotland is NOT England!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]