Monday, September 19, 2005

Butterflies in the Bundestag

Well it's been a wacky weekend here in Gerryland- the election is over and yet they have no idea who the government is. Both main parties are claiming victory becuase the other has no clear majority, and in fact the real winners are the Left party and the FDP, a kind of liberal democrat party I think, becuase they both stole vites for the main parties and increased their majorities enormously.

Yesterday I went to check out the voting booths, hoping for some action and excitiment or at least a bit of civilised shoving but all I got was... nothing.

Turns out there's an unwritten (or possibly written, actually it's extremely likely being as this is the buerocratic capital of the world) rule that the parties stop campaigning the day before.

I asked my students why they didn't campaign until the very last minute and they stared at me blankly until one of them said, they do: the last minute is the day before. Now I understand why the concept of Last Minute Holidays (that's what they call them here) has really taken off. They have discovered a whole new time zone that previously didn't exist in the German psyche.

I also visited the butterfly exhibition on Sunday, which was wonderful. One of the glasshouses in the Botanic Gardens was filled with all different kinds of butterflies, some even from Oz I think. The biggest one was about the size of two fists and had brown eyes on its wings. I got a lump in my throat when I suddenly came across a bottlebrush with five orange butterflies perched on one bloom- it was beautiful.

On Saturday I went to an arts and craft market where one of my students was volunteering. I was expecting bits of macaroni stuck on cardboard so was really thrilled when I walked into this beautiful light-filled hall filled with tasteful wood, metal and textile products. My favorite was a gorgeous toy of the Very Hungry Caterpillar made of green wool, with different shades all through it. But at sixteen euros it was a bit pricey. All the goods are made by disabled young people so I felt not at all guilty about doing some other shopping however. It was really cool to be in the sun, at a market full of kids and adults, just hanging out.

2 comments:

Online Incomes said...
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Tim said...
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