the Teutonic invasion of 08

March 2nd, 2008

This summer the east coast, mostly New York, Boston and Florida will witness an invasion of Germans that might make people wonder who actually won the second world war. Germans are obsessed with effiency. And they have 6 weeks vacation a year. And they like to safe money. Well, that’s efficiency again. Right now they pay 65 Euro cents for each dollar. While making as much or more than their US colleagues. So everything is really really cheap for them in the US. Which is only a short flight away. Let’s say you are planning to get a MacBook Pro. You get that 732 dollars cheaper in the US than it would cost you in Germany. That pays for your airfaire. And so it does continue.

I think that there will a certain amount of trouble around this new wave of Aldi-Ami invasion. You see, many Germans are not so keen on the american way. Well. At least many of them are not. This has many complex reasons, and a couple of simple ones. As simple as having an Idiot President. Mrs Merkel for instance was a physicist by profession. Now stupid people exist in all countries alike. And your average obnoxious american tourist is probably as obnoxious as your average german obnoxious tourist. The difference is that American are blissfully unaware just why everybody seems to hate them. Germans expect that to be the case. Some might even consider this wave of lifted eyebrows that they face a part of their perks when they travel abroad.

In any respect it will not be fun, and I should try to get a dialect coach to get an italian accent or something, should I have to go to the east coast this summer.

google.de kaputt, so is Karstadt.de

January 6th, 2006

Tomorrow we will drive 40 miles to the next city to do some offline shopping. Who cares? I know, nobody. But these little chores give you an interesting glimpse on the state of things. In Germany shops can’t just be open when they like to be. As crazy as it sounds there is a Ladenschlusszeiten gesetz where more than 3000 words define when stores can be open or closed in Germany. It used to be simple that stores would close at 6:30 pm. Which was real helpful when I was young: It got me out of bed to return some empty beer bottles and get new ones. Sometimes I missed it. That was a long time ago, and there was a revision of the law. Of course it is still regulated, but not really simple when stores are open and when they are not. After all this is Germany: if you want to consume then you have to obey some rules. There need to be rules. Germans love their rules.
Back to the shopping trip: The biggest department store in Germany is called Karstadt. Think Sears blended with Macy’s. They usually occupy a big chunk of the inner city. My wife googles

karstadt bremen oeffnungszeiten

Which should do the trick: karstadt is a very very rare name, only being used for the store. Bremen happens to be the city that the store is in. And oeffnungszeiten is german for “shop hours”. The results are complete spam. 100%.
Not one page in the right direction.

Karstadt has a website. But they seem to prefer to pay google money to be listed in the search results. Not a single result is from their own site.

The only question that remaings: Who is more broken, ‘google.de’ or ‘Karstadt’ .
Probably both.

google.de is as messed up as Apple Germany. They always have been a total pain to deal with.
I think they manage to tell their US motherships that it’s Germany’s fault that they have no success. Easier than actually getting something done here.

What might be the next google at the ‘big daddy data center’ does show the same amount of spam and junk.
Different junk, but the actual website of Germany’s biggest department store is equally missing.