advice, coronavirus, German culture, Germany, laws, news

Word of advice… don’t call a German cop a “fascist”…

It’s another cold, grey, drizzly weekend in Germany. Christmas will arrive next weekend. I suppose I should be more into the spirit of celebrating the season, but I just can’t seem to find my mojo. I don’t really like going out in yucky weather even when there isn’t a pandemic. The spiking COVID numbers aren’t inspiring me to get out there and mingle with the masses.

But not everyone feels the way I do. My German friend, Susanne, shared with me some news out of Reutlingen. It seems there was a riot/protest there last night, consisting of Nazi sympathizers and COVID deniers, most of whom weren’t masked and ignored the rules against congregating. Things got pretty out of hand in some places, so the Stuttgart police showed up to maintain order.

Germans are usually pretty tolerant of peaceful protests and strikes. They’re usually scheduled ahead of time and announced, so people can choose not to be involved… or, if they’re into it, they can participate or observe. I believe one has to get a permit to protest legally. I have no idea if this group followed the rules. The protests I’ve seen are usually pretty chill… afterwards, everybody breaks up and has a beer or something. But every once in awhile, people do get their hackles up. Such was the case last night.

This video was shared on Facebook by Matthias Kipfer in the public group, 99,99 % (Filder) vs. R.E.S.T.. I’m not sure where this particular incident involving the man screaming about fascists took place. It might not have happened in Reutlingen, although I can see by the photos and videos in the group, there was plenty of action there last night. I see the guy screaming about fascists was originally posted on Twitter by Stadtrand Aktion. As you can see, the cops weren’t amused. This guy was promptly arrested. I suspect he will get a nice big fine, as outlined in the trusty 2022 Bussgeldkatalog. Edited to add: Susanne thinks the fascist cop incident might have happened in Berlin, since the cop has a B on his uniform.

More than once, I have written about how insulting people is illegal in Germany. It’s especially true that insulting the cops is a big no no. All I can think is that this guy took complete leave of his senses, forgot to whom he was speaking, and lost total control of himself. I know how that feels. It happened to me a time or two when I was a teenager. This fellow looks to be well beyond the teen years.

I think it’s funny that there’s a catalog of fines people can consult to find out about laws and fines. I especially get a kick out of the section on the fines for insulting people in traffic. When they are translated into English, they are both hilarious and nonsensical. Below is the list of fines as of 2022.

Some of these insults seem to have lost a little in their translations.

In all seriousness, these protests were pretty bad. Apparently, some people were using children as human shields against the water cannons cops tried to use to disperse the agitated crowds. I was impressed by how the cops managed to keep their cool. German police officers don’t seem to be as violent as American police officers often are. But then, they probably pay better and offer more training.

My German still sucks, but I do find myself picking up words and understanding more, especially when my friend shares interesting German articles with me that include juicy tidbits about current events. If I have gained anything from the past seven years, besides a massive beer gut, it’s a rudimentary understanding of basic German. My Armenian is still better, though. That isn’t saying much.

The above photo basically translates to “People who think vaccinations change their DNA should consider it an opportunity.” Who says Germans aren’t sharp witted? Not I!

In other news… I hope the new blog design is welcomed by the few regular readers who have been keeping up with me during these COVID times. I decided to play around with it a few days ago, and when I went to change it back to the theme I was using, I discovered that the “wandering” theme was retired. So now I have a new but similar theme, and a new color scheme. I think it’s easier to read.


Pockets of charm and a street food fest in Reutlingen…

I was inspired to visit the city of Reutlingen today after someone in one of the local Facebook groups asked about cute towns near Stuttgart to take guests.  A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about “cute towns near Stuttgart” and mentioned Reutlingen, although it was not one of the towns I’ve spent a lot of time visiting.  Today, I decided I wanted to walk around Reutlingen a bit more, at least so I could use my own photos of the downtown area in my previous post about “cute towns”.

It so happens that there’s a street food fest going on at the Festplatz in Reutlingen this weekend, so Bill and I decided to stop there first for a little lunch.  The street food fest consists of lots of food trucks offering a wide variety of foods– everything from vegan cuisine to beef barbecue.  Below are some photos I got of the festival.  It will continue tomorrow and runs tonight until 10:00pm.

Black Forest cupcakes!

A bouncy house for the kids!

Bill got a chili chocolate brownie at the above truck.  He says it’s probably the hottest thing he’s ever eaten in Germany.

The bathrooms were clean and free of charge to use.  Parking was also free.

We got some killer beef barbecue at this truck.

Portuguese pastries!

We didn’t have any wine… but we could have had some if we wanted it.

We finally decided on barbacoa, which was prepared by someone actually from Mexico.  She was impressed when Bill spoke Spanish to her.  These tacos were spicy and delicious!  They were definitely not German style Mexican!

That killer beef barbecue with spicy and mild sauces, a little kraut, and some carrots…

Obligatory shot of Bill.  After the barbecue, we were ready for sweets…

So Bill got me a Black Forest cupcake.  It was chocolate with whipped cream topping and cherry filling…  It made me smile!

And this was Bill’s super spicy brownie.


After we’d eaten our fill, we decided to drive into Reutlingen and walk around.  The city was pretty crowded today and there was a lot of traffic.

Here we are at a light.  I wanted to get a shot of that awesome church in the background, but kind of failed.

I got these shots of a skate park we passed.  Nice weather for recreation!

We parked the car and walked around Reutlingen.  So many people were out and about, enjoying the sunny weather and doing a little Saturday shopping.  Someone was also getting married at the church pictured below.


I thought this fountain was interesting.

I didn’t realize Vinum was also in Reutlingen.  We didn’t go in there today.  Maybe we should have looked for some more wines.

Reutlingen has “pockets” of charm.  

They were cleaning up after the Saturday market.  

A nice little “Tor” at the edge of town.

A “Lux Baer”…


We probably should have spent a little more time walking around Reutlingen.  It’s a nice town with a lot of interesting stores and restaurants, even if it’s not quite as exciting as neighboring Tuebingen is.  I’d say Reutlingen is a nice place to stop on your way to areas like Lichtenstein Castle or Bad Urach.  I’m glad we went to Reutlingen, if only to satisfy my curiosity and enjoy some really good street food!