Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Thoughts from Hamburg, Germany: 7.11.18

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here. Garish but informative.

Matters Hamburg/German
  • I finally got to re-visit the city's Art & Crafts Museum yesterday. Where the numbers were, at most, 5% of what they'd been on the free-admission day last Wednesday. Rather to my surprise, 7 rooms were dedicated to a 70 year old comedian called Otto, who began his long career in Hamburg some decades ago. [By a bizarre coincidence, the first answer in the cryptic crossword I started at lunch in the previously elusive Indonesian restaurant was Otto. What are the odds on that? The (not terribly difficult) clue, by the way, was: German lot tormented in part.]
  • From Hamburg to the Danish border is about 160km. And yet a western bit of the city – Altona – was Danish until 1864. That it's now German is the result off the Second Schleswig-Holstein War – guess who started it - in which Denmark lost large chunks of its territory to the (inevitable?) victors. I suspect that not many people outside Denmark know this. Incidentally, I heard on a British TV documentary recently that it was the loss of so much valuable territory that led Denmark to establish its huge bacon industry on poor land further north. For which Brits will be ever grateful.
  • Here's a foto of a marker in the pavement in Hamburg, showing where the border used to be. Specifically, where the Danish city of Altona ended and the German city of Hamburg began:-
  • An atmospheric foto of Hamburg's docks, taken by a friend of my host:-

Matters Spanish
  • Things are certainly not going according to plan around the removal of Franco's remains to some out-of-the-way nook or cranny. A real hostage to fortune is looming, as you can see here
  • What not to take if you're an 'Anglo' in Spain. And here's Lenox Napier on this subject.
  • Some flesh for the bones of my comment about Spaniards spending much of November 1 cleaning up tombs and niches.
Matters USA
  • Voters' Attitudes 1: Exit polls on voters’ views last night showed 48% thought Trump's immigration message was too tough, 32% found it about right and 16% not tough enough. So, 48% v. 48% on the issue. Dear God.
  • Voters' Attitudes 2: 56% thought the country was on the wrong track and 41% thought it was on the right track. Ditto.
  • Fart Fantasy 1: I would like to have a much softer tone. I feel to a certain extent I have no choice, but maybe I do.
  • Fart Fantasy 2: I’d love to get along and I think after the election a lot of things can happen. Right now they’re in their mode and we’re in our mode.
  • Fart Fantasy 3: Last night was a Tremendous success.
One wonders what he'd have said if the Republicans had kept control of The House of Representatives.

  • Word of the Year: Single-use. See the other contenders here. Of course, it'd be singleuse in German.
Finally . . .
  • I recently mentioned the durian fruit. So, no reader should surprised at this report of airline passengers revolting against the revolting stuff.
© [David] Colin Davies, Hamburg: 7.11.18


Maria said...

I do remember reading that Schleswig-Holstein once belonged to Denmark. But, then, I read history books as if they were novels when I was a child. I also remember that Hamburg and Lübeck formed part of the Hanseatic League, which was a predecessor of the European Economic Union. Though, precisely because I'm a history lover and because it's almost not at all taught in Spain, I agree with you that few would know about the history of northern Germany and Denmark.

Colin Davies said...

Yes, and its origins date back as far as the late 1100s . . .

I thought Lübeck, like Kiel, might also have been part of Denmark but couldn't find confirmation of this.

James Atkinson said...

Well there was a Danish tv series 1864 shown on the beeb the year before last, so there's really no excuse.

Colin Davies said...

Hmm. Ta. Must try to see it on the iPlayer.