Bayerische Mist Wagen or Bavarian Manure Wagon
(The German word "Mist" has nothing to do with weather eg fog, it simply means muck/manure or as a harmless swear word - damn or I guess more accurately - bulls**t.)
Powered by Bavarian air cooled Eicher 1950/60s (at a guess) technology and fueled perhaps by a few Bavarian Allgäu Brown Cows and the odd Haflinger pony.
The driver doesn't know me although he is Farmer Franz's neighbour. Franz was next door working on his silage heap or at least from the telephoto lens, he seemed to be tidying up. He keeps a lot tidier yard than another near neighbour of his. Think I should stop at this point.
I sometimes think I give the impression that everything is great, wonderful, perfect ....in Germany. That is certainly not the case. You can find just as many things to get mad about, as anywhere else in the word. And some things are far worse than ever in the UK! And that takes something:
- no Branston, no Pickled Onions, no HP Sauce, no Digestive biscuits, no Cheddar worth the name, no Hellmanns Mayo, no Cadbury Creme Eggs, NO MALTESERS, no Tiptree/Wilkin's jam, no HobNobs, no Jacob's Cream Crackers, no Gingernuts, no Grapenuts, no (proper) Alpen Muesli!, no Marmite, no Colman's mustard, no Golden Syrup, no proper bacon, no shortbread, no clotted cream, no double cream, no custard creams, no Fray Bentos, no Campbell's soups, no mushy peas, no black pudding, no mint sauce, no Piccalilli, no chutney, no curry powder, NOT EVEN A HAGGIS to be shot around here.
It's not easy. And yes, just like all Rest 27 European residents, we are sick of being denied these things. The sooner the UK Brexits, the sooner we can negotiate a deal so that these items can, at last, be imported.
Actually what I wanted to say was that we also have problems but they are acknowledged and in general, one tries to overcome and improve them, using discussion and agreeing solutions.
Of course, there are the same greedy, nasty, incompetent people as anywhere else. Siemens announced a few months ago the closure of two large industrial plants in Germany but then we saw the boss sitting next to Trump at a Davos dinner announcing Siemens would be building a new production site in the USA and today at the annual meeting in Munich they announced second-best annual profit of €6.2 billion, one can imagine the outcry. And it came as much from the investors as the few workers from the to be closed units who attended the meeting. It's quite probable there needs to be restructuring etc but to rub people's noses in the dirt when they are losing their livelihoods, and all for the sake of pleasing the likes of Trump and of course taking the €20 billion tax savings.
And today my anger boiled over, firstly with the incompetence of the local tax office who have after 6 months still not repaid us the VAT on our PV unit, a four-digit sum that we owe to the bank and pay interest on but send us now a warning letter because we didn't pay them the €60 VAT on 10.01.2018 when we got a payment from the electricity board for the electricity we put in the network. €0.50 fine as it's 14 days overdue. The 50 cents don't worry me, but back in June when we handed in all the forms, one of them was the authority to direct debit the VAT payments. Answer on the phone today - the file has somehow got held up!
And then I thought it was time to phone another such useless organisation, the local adult education centre as I still haven't been told if I passed my German language test on 15th December, needed for my application for German citizenship. It was promised in 4 weeks and I have now given them the benefit of the Christmas/New Year delay. In my case, it isn't urgent but what about many of the other 49, who are clinging by their fingernails to stay in Germany and face life-threatening consequences. I double checked the external examination boards site first and the FAQs said the certificates would be issued within 21 says - no ifs and buts - to the adult education centre.
Fuming more than a muck spreading oldtimer tractor and even more than a brand new VW diesel, I went to my Email inbox to get my registration number and happen to see one of the forms I had completed when registering for the course in September, asking how I wanted to have my certificate - ordinary post €2.50, registered post €6.50 or collect it oneself for free.
Do I need to say which box I ticked?
Yes, there are idiots everywhere, even in Germany and even though they aren't German.
Oh, and could we consider banning British Food Blips. It is annoying at least one expat. I did not sleep a wink last night thinking of Haggis with Maltesers.