Saturday, 29 April 2006

But...

Half a litre of premium lager (5% abv) in the local supermarket?

25 pence.

Yes, you can get skulled for a quid.

(Coke costs 75p!)

German Things That Piss Me Off

Pedestrian lights. Red ones. Constantly.

Paying to go to the bog. Anywhere, everywhere, they all charge.

Cyclists. They get proper roads and right of way over everyone and everything and we get to walk on dust paths. I mean, wtf? And do they pay road tax? I think not.

No one takes credit cards in Hamburg? Get with the 21st century people, cash is so yesterday.

Lager. Nuff said.

Wifey bitchin' about the food. "Look, all the fucking salad has got pig in it, all right? Just pick it out!"

Still, a small price to pay. Did we mention we have our own, two bed en-suite apartment in the posh part of Hamburg, free of charge? And they feed us too (without pig for wifey). And they have cable TV in both bedrooms...

:-D

Scoff in the City

So, we're in Hamburg City and we're hungry.

As we're now SIPs (Self Imposed Povs) we can't just wander into the local Maccy Dee's and just splash the cash. No, we have to check out all the ghettos to search for cheap grub and find a clean puddle to drink from.

Anyone wishing to send food parcels at this point, please bear in mind wifey is a veggie and we have run out of Marmite. Nooooooooooooooooooooo..........!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyhoo, passing one scabby horse and another scurvy dog we found this quaint little Italian restaurant, and I kid you not, called "Cosa Nostra" doing a lunch "special". Yes, I too was concerned at the word "special" and imagined concrete overcoats and the like but we went in (actually I pushed wifey in first as she's the Kung Fu Queen) and order pizza.

Big, thin base, crispy pizza with a choice of three toppings. Loverly guv, bring it on.

But no, they did not bring on the pizza. Instead we got a bowl of steaming hot and spicy soup. then they dished out a large, dressed salad before we received said pizza. And boy was it good too.

And then, as we were preparing to do a runner the sneaky little gets brought up bowls of ice cream to ensure we couldn't walk anywhere, let alone run.

The whole meal? Cost €4.90//head.

That's three pounds fifty in old currency.


Still think we have it good in Eng-er-land???

Monday, 24 April 2006

Hello to Poppenbüttel, Hamburg

Well, that was a laugh. Driving from Bielefeld to Hamburg using purely the GPS to navigate us. It got us directly to the front door of where we staying all right (old school friends of mum’s and absolutely lovely people to boot) but it decided that my driving skills needed to sharpen up so we ended up diving through the centre of Hamburg, towards Poppenbuttel (cool name, eh?), in the middle of rush hour! Yes…

Still, Bielefeld to Hamburg in less than two hours? Come and get me, Coppers.

Anyway, we managed and arrived somewhat safely, despite the best intentions of *Hamburg’s finest commuter force looking to dislodge a souvenir or two from the car. Look, you already own most of the British car manufacturers but this car is French, so sod off.

*I’m sure there is a gag about Hamburgers to be made here but it’s late and I’m tired. However, feel free to post up original and witty examples yourselves.

The place where we are staying in will put a five star hotel to shame. We have been given the entire top floor (they have tall houses here- this has three storeys and a basement) which has two bedrooms and a private bathroom. And they’ve foolishly said we can stay as long as we like. Ha!

M & H (no names mentioned to protect the innocent) are also extremely well travelled, especially in the Far East, and so they will be a great source of advice, information, tips and recommendations. How lucky are we?

The only drawback here is the lack of Cyber/Internet Cafés as the area is far too posh. This means that you’re all going to have to wait for more pearls of wisdom until we get to Berlin, where access should be easier. Saying that, wifey is threatening another “Tel’s Tales” and she’s found some quite hilarious Geordie-German words and phrases to keep you all entertained.

I'll Have a "P" Please, Bob...

As you’re no doubt aware, I stand 5’ 5” “tall” in my stockinged feet which ensures Action Man will never be short of a sparring partner. At times this has been a slight disadvantage (but it can be handy too when shopping for clothes and the kid’s section has a sale) none more so when visiting the land of the giants. It has to be said that the Germans are no small race.

Especially when you need a piss…

You know what it is like when your bladder’s straining at the leash so you decide to let Nature take its course and hose off a few pints worth? You manfully stride into the Gents, unzip and then look at the urinal in front of you, which appears to be half way up the wall.
Even on tip toe, you just know it ain’t going to work (your shoes are quite clean enough thank you very much) so what do you do?.
Naturally the gits haven’t left a milk crate out for you so the only option is to waddle over to the toilet and to avoid dragging your bell end through the bottom of the bog, you stand on the seat and let rip.



Blisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss……………………………………......

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Bye Bye Bielefeld...

Bielefeld’s Swansong

Sadly, this is the last post from Bielefeld. Having imposed on our aunt and uncle now for well over two weeks (I thought my German was quite good and what sounded like “Pass auf” {please look out/be aware} was in fact “Piss off” {are you still here?}) we have to move on and our next port of call is Hamburg.

Not sure how long it will take (the AA suggest around three hours but is that at Autobahn speeds?) and as usual we’ll end up getting lost despite wifey’s excellent map reading skills and the awesome powers of the GPS. I have this knack, no matter where I am, of always ending up in Colchester…mind you, even for me that would be an awesome feat.

Anyhoo, I’ve fallen in love with Bielefeld once again and should we ever get bored or fed up of our travels I feel certain this is the first place I will head towards to settle. If indeed we ever do.

I trust everyone had a good Easter break (they certainly do here, all of Germany closes for four days and it becomes a ghost country) and I look forward to continuing our tales from a city I have not been to for over 10 years.

I hope they have stocked up on enough Bratwurst (mit dem Curry sauce, naturlich.)

Oh, and in case you’re wondering (your concern truly touches me) I’ve broken a piece off my tooth. The broken molar is still hanging in there, well, whatever is left of it is and thankfully no real pain as yet. If all goes well it will last until we get into Poland where they have an abundance of good and reasonably priced dentists.

Unless they’ve already moved over to the UK that is…

Sunday, 16 April 2006

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

And We Are Where?




Clue: Bought the T-Shirt and we beat Frankfurt 1-0...

Now you're all jealous aren't you?

Tel's Tales

Springtime von Hitler und Germany

Springtime.What bloody springtime? We left Harwich on a beautiful, sunny, warm April morning and arrived in Deutchland in the middle of Winter. It is fffffreezing here Mensch.

Mensch is a widely used German word meaning man. As in whyaye mensch or hew mensch what are ye look’n at?

Except the Germans are far too polite to consider such rude phrases. Who else stands at an empty pedestrian crossing in the middle of the night just because the little man is on red?

I have been told off several times now for - walking in the cycle path (it’s flatter and with less obstructions) – kicking a 10ft plastic gorilla (he was look’n at uz) – and giggling at Hermann the German (yes he did exist and has a great big statue a bit like the angel of the north but with a funny Prussian hat on)

I have to say that it is cleaner here, and prettier and a lot cheaper. There are stalls and stalls of lovely pastry displays and yellow Easter bunnies and things, and I am now quite addicted to Kase Broetchen which is a very yummy baked cheese bread/croissant. This is my vege alternative to Bratwurst which of course is the usual street fare.

(Try ordering a salad without schinken. Impossible, mensch.)

The beer needs some getting used to. I stick to Alt beer which being decidedly less wee coloured at least looks a bit like beer should even if it takes twice as long to have the desired effect.

Bielefeld is really cool, we both like it here a lot. Some of the surrounding villages had me wondering if I’d wandered onto the set of the Witchfinder General and watching my back for angry peasants brandishing pitchforks and screaming “Brennen de Hexe”

Scores so far K v. Tel

Beers 20- K : 21- T
Fat bastard points 5- K : 6 - T
Pet-lips 2- K : 1 - T
Major strops nul- K : nul - T; honourable draw
Fights nul- K : 1 mit dem gorilla - T


Word of the week “Knackigem” which means crispy

The Gin House

It’s about time I mentioned my old (and current) stomping ground, The Gin House.

It’s a forum of like minded people who all share an interest in motorcycling and hurling abuse at one another and usually all other people in the news.

It was started about a year ago when our old motorcycle forum was closed and Trixyminx decided she could do a better job. So she did, and from this the Gin House began. Slowly all the old members re-joined and we’re now about one hundred strong.

I could name all the regular posters but with my memory I’m bound to forget a few and get knacked so I’m not going to even try. Suffice to say they’re all top people, swear feckin’ loads and are bloody funny.

Usually intentionally too.

But don’t just take my word for it, look for yourselves at:

www.thegin-house.com

Bet you’re wondering how you’ve missed this one before and how empty your lives have been.

PS: If you join and mention my name they’ll go really easy on you. Honest…

“Not Work Safe”

This title was thoughtfully provided by the biking forums I used to post on and served as a warning that if one occasionally had a look whilst at work, that the content of the post could include items that were not considered suitable. Could be bad language, sexual content or perhaps volume/music that may give the surfer cause for discomfort if their boss happened to wander past and look over their shoulder.

Should you see such a title contained within the posts of “K’Tel Tour the World” it may act as a warning that you may wish to avoid the subject if you have a delicate disposition or are embarrassed easily or perhaps you have an anti-bad taste gene.

With this recommendation duly issued I will now demonstrate why this particular post may be considered “not work safe” and remind you all that there may also be many, many more such titled posts in the future…

It has been brought to my attention that my posting style is not as usual- far too serious, not enough swearing and way too long. So, back to basics then- toilet humour.

As some of you may know, German toilets are not designed as per the UK counterpart. They have overcome the torture of splash-back by incorporating a shelf, half way up the pan which avoids the whole issue of soggy paper syndrome-finger-where-you-don’t-want-it. Fiendishly clever I’m sure you’ll agree (Vorsprung durch Technik they say around here* and ain’t that a fact?) except this allows much more involved visual inspection of your arse-chunder if you happen to have a fascination with such things.

I do.

Well, I am an ex-school boy.

This can however be quite alarming when you’ve been on the beer and curry trail.

*shudder*

Anyhoo, I digress. The problem with sharing one bog with your aunt and uncle having their bedroom directly next door is of course “natural” noises.

Why oh why, is it always in situations like this your normally cast iron guts decide they wish to emulate the bag pipes and accompany any dropping of the kids at the pool with a flatulence normally only witnessed during the latest hurricane? It’s not just aunt and uncle I’m concerned about but the entire block of flats.

“Take kein notissing meine kleiner kinder- it iss merely the Englischer Pig Dogs bombing uns vonce again” you imagine the Hausfrau telling her screaming offspring.

Two solutions: Sing very loudly- not so good late at night. Or better still, titter in a high pitched voice and hope wifey cops for the blame…

No doubt I’ll now have a clamour of fans wanting the old posting style back again. :-D


Or not….

*Well, they might do despite it being a rather cheesy ad slogan…

Bie-ler-FELD

Bought the shirt (sale price, “it was a bargain, Tel”), had the ticket (9 E ~ £6) and saw the game (Armenia Bielefeld versus Eintract Frankfurt).

Brilliant atmosphere and although not the best of games we won 1-0 (and should have been at least three) and took the points to go to 10th place and hopefully avoid relegation.

Interesting Fact: Bielefeld hold the record for the most relegations from the Bundesliege but hopefully not this year.

Also, I assume as “we” won (yes, “we” as in I am a Bielefelder) Spurs will have lost right? I’ve not watched any TV over since we left the UK and have not missed it in the slightest but I’d like an update please. And no wind ups either please.

As we were out here, Klinsmann has finally decided to promote Jens Lehmann as Germany’s number one shot stopper dropping Oliver Kahn to reserve. The Bild’s headline (Bild = Sun “newspaper”):

Klinsi Killst King Kahn!

Outstanding!

Friday, 7 April 2006

Better and Better

We called through to my aunt in Hamburg and she sounded delighted to hear from us. Unfortunately though, she was due to leave on a short break and therefore we couldn’t come up and stay until after Easter (see, I told you she was happy to see us) so we’re going to be in Bielefeld for at least another fortnight.

This makes me very happy as this is where I was born and I really do love being here. It also means that we are still not paying any type of rent so we have more beer tokens to play with. This makes wifey extremely happy.

As we have extra time, we spent a day on the trains checking out some of the quaint towns and villages around the area. The trains here are dead efficient, as you’d expect, and amazingly cheap. For four adults to travel all day, it worked out at 6.5 E (no Euro key) per person. I couldn’t even get into London for that!

Quaint ? They seem to have had an unhealthy preoccupation for burning witches around these parts. These are my sisters.

Today is also Friday, the traditional day in Eng-er-land where we finally get through the working week and head off down to the pub. It’d be a shame to turn our backs on all traditions so I guess we’ll be doing our bit to keep Britain “Great”.

Our first toast will be to absent friends.

The Early Crew: Glen (our adopted Bielefeld supporter) Andy and Keith
The Lookers Crew: Ted, Ian, Cliff & Denise (who’s already sent us an email, if that piques the consciences of the slackers) and John
The Club Crew: Dovey, Pieman, Norbloke, Clarky et al
The Burds: Helen, Ira, Emma and Wendy
The Regulars: You know who you are…Gerry, Johnny T, Tom, Dave Nuts, Pye-oh etc
and the bar staff of course.

You’ll all be sorely missed and we’ll be raising a Stein to you all.

*Wifey comments.

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

I have managed to find my next bike but I'm not sure I'll get both feet down. Still, will be good around the Nurnbergring...
Postcard From Bielefeld, Germany

Well, we got here OK. The ferry dropped us off at Hoek van Holland (jolly obliging of them I felt) on Sunday and we cleared the drive across Holland into Germany and to Bielefeld (232 miles according to the tripometer) in under 2.75 hours. Pretty good going considering it’s our first time in a RHS drive car on the Continent.

First impressions are that European drivers are extremely polite and move over as soon as they have over taken anyone or if you begin to get a bit close to them. And that includes the BMW drivers too. No, really.

We cruised at around 110-120 mph pretty much all the way and not only did the car seem fine but the driver was pretty much in his element. I know the Germans like their speed but even they like to keep their licence in tact, whereas we don’t give a stuff. Send us your fines through the post Rozzers, we don’t live in the UK anymore. Ha, ha…

Also, don’t forget, as an ex (and soon to be current at some point) bike rider/owner, high speed is something I do for fun and having done over 160 mph on the open road on two wheels before in the UK, I reckon we can hold our own.

By the way, it is against the law to gesticulate or swear at other road users on the German highways so perhaps we may have to invest in blacked out windows, just in case… :-D

Anyhoo, worthy things of note so far:

1- First song heard on Dutch Radio: “YMCA” Village People
2- First song heard on German Radio: “Lucille” Kenny Rogers

All of a sudden England begins to become more appealing again…Just imagine if it had been David Hasslehoff though?

The food here is superb, even for vegetarians and is easily cheaper than in the UK. We reckon it’s at least like for like, ie something here for a Euro is a Pound in England so eating is not only fun here but also better value. For the slower people at the back of the class, that’s about a minimum third cheaper, all right? We haven’t had to fill the car up yet so no idea about petrol costs but I suspect it will be a tad better value here too.

This is our second day here and since then we have managed to sample the local ales already. In the interests of impartiality we drank quite a few to make absolutely sure the beer in these parts is of a reasonable quality but it has to be said, they ain’t no “Black and Tans”, that’s for sure. Still, when in Rome and all that. Although this is Germany and we’re not due to invade Poland for at least another month.


Weather? That is the stuff outside and will not be mentioned further this time as we’re now away from England and so we don’t have to make small talk about it, one’s health (good) and the football. Although Newcastle turned us over yet again and fourth spot looks well dodgy now. Mind you, Bielefeld won 1-0 away against Hannover, a local derby, so we may just avoid relegation from the Bundesliege this year. I’ve got tickets to see them play next Saturday (Frankfurt “ich bin ein Frankfurter” etc) and I hope my Jonah like qualities don’t bring their winning run to an end. Although a winning streak of one, can soon be made up again I guess.

Life as it will now be still hasn’t really dawned on us yet- at the moment it feels just like a holiday and I suspect this feeling will continue whilst we free load off the various aunts, uncles and friends of the family over the next 4-6 weeks. It will get real enough once we do go to Poland so in the meantime we’re making the most of things and having some fun.

Getting a connection to the internet is pretty straight forward here too- we’ve a free cyber café just down the block which makes life much easier. The only restriction we have is my inability to keep the readers enthralled and a weak laptop battery. Both will need to improve in the future I think.

Right, that’s enough guff from me- wifey will soon be gearing up to post which should bring the standard of this Blog right up there to semi-professional level.

And I know it’s all writing and dull stuff, but we intend to take a few photos of around the area soon so the spackers who need their fingers to read with will get a break soon enough.

Speak to you soon people. ;-)

Saturday, 1 April 2006

April Fool's Day

So the day dawns and we face the big off.

Countless good-byes having been uttered over the last few weeks, usually accompanied by the loss of further millions of brain cells and now we get ready to trundle down (or is that up?) to Harwich.

Having crammed our entire worldly goods into the back of the Pug it appears that the rear axle is still intact but cornering has now become more of a lottery- I'm sure the scraping of wheel on arch will become the new hip trend. You heard it here first, kids...

They say that saying good-bye is a hard thing to do and they certainly got that right. People I have grown up with and shared life changing experiences have been arriving by the truck full (OK, so it's a small truck but this is my story today) and quite honestly it's been bloody hard to hold back the emotions but wifey coined the best response.

"It's not when will we see you again, but where"

Thinking back, I hope the chums were coming to say good bye and were not just making sure I was definitely leaving...

The next post, if all goes well will be made from Germany, Bielefeld, to be exact and hopefully that will be next week sometime depending on where we can find a connection. If you're really lucky, wifey will soon start writing too so my inane dribblngs will be countered by her Geordie wit.

Ha, now you're in trouble. :-D