Dear Friends of German Comedy,
Every month there’s a new problem.
Last month’s newsletter suffered from me not having any observations, this month’s suffers from me not being able to put them into words.
I’m left speechless by, no, not Bayern losing on penalties, but the at least nine months delay to the opening of Willy-Brandt-Flughafen in Berlin, leaving the capital of Germany, Europe and the World without an adequate airport.
Rumour has it that the delay’s been orchestrated by Berliners who are not prepared to put up with any more dull foreign tourists going on about how cool and cheap their city is.
Or, far more worryingly, maybe Germany is trying to blend in with its neighbours by being every little bit as useless as all other European countries. This theory would also explain Saturday’s game.
So it turns out me sending this newsletter three weeks late is almost premature by the standards of the new Germany.
It’s all very embarrassing, particularly when you consider what random capitals do ‘boast’ functioning airports.
Vienna for example! Flughafen Wien is fully operational, yet the Austrian government, just to rub it in,even had the nerve to announce they are not going to attend Euro 2012 matches in Ukraine. Apparently as aprotest against Yulia Tymoshenko’s imprisonment.
What business have they got at the Euros anyway? Their team didn’t qualify and has never ever done so! They might as well say they’ll boycott the meetings of the G8, the G20 or the G208.
But whatever you make of the Austrian government’s stand, it’s nowhere near as mental as French right-winger Marine Le Pen threatening French voters with her election goal of returning to her people “the happiness of being French.”
The French strike me as many a thing, but ‘happy’ isn’t one of them. They have been happy in their history only twice – once when the Vichy government was installed and the other when the Croque Monsieur was invented.
Talking of Vichy: I always get easy laughs accusing British media of being obsessed with World War II and unfairly reducing Germany to the time from 1933 to 1945. But I got that badly wrong, as I’ve just been interviewed for a very progressive programme for BBC4.
About British Army bases in Germany AFTER the war!
Admittedly, I was in no position to answer most of the questions, i.e. what life was like on those bases. That’s like asking a Cuban about everyday life in Guantanamo Bay. Yes, I know the location but there were 15 fences between me and the NAAFI store.
Did you know there are still more than 20,000 British soldiers stationed in Germany? But they will finally leave in 2020 and that’s not a minute too soon!
Several abandoned bases, i.e. Weeze, Hahn and Zweibruecken, have already successfully been turned into Ryanair airports and seeing how badly we’re doing when it comes to building new airports, making good use of derelict British ones is currently Germany’s best hope of aviation success.
That’s it for now – have a great month!
PS: If you’re surprised not to read more about the Champions League final, well, I don’t know what to make of it – all Germans I know are full of Schadenfreude about Bayern losing, yet all Brits hated to see Chelsea winning.
Anyway, that’s all best discussed over a pint and a burger at the Betsey Trotwood in Farringdon. Why not come along on May 29/30?
Then you can also catch the first previews of my new show Henning Knows Bestest. (What a seamless link!!)
Tickets for all shows on www.henningwehn.de