8 November 2007

Wilkommen in Squaddieland

It's a strange world to witness.. British squaddieland in Germany. I'm British, have spent 95% of my 34 years living in Britain, and I've never seen so many British military personnel. And let's not mention the rather large, rounded ones. No, I have to ... expand... a bit on that. It's like the British Police these days. I'm just surprised to see rotund soldiers that's all; it's not what you expect. The weird vibe that exists around here on the outskirts of Paderborn, 150 km NE of Cologne in Nordrhein-Westfalen, has promted Johannes and I to call it Tatooine. I don't whether it's just down to the German angle or the bored soldiers or both but even the little villages around here have sex shops. I can't put my finger on why but I just can't get used to popping into the local not-delightful Penny Markt for some Happy End toilettenpapier and mingling with all this camoflage gear. Not wanting to winge all Middle-England-like, and I love Deutschland, but on the subject of Penny Markt, Lidl and Aldi: why does Germany only seem to do bargain supermarkets so well? Why, for once, doesn't globalisation achieve something actually desired and install Waitrose all over die L√§nde? What does strike me though is discovering this annexe of the UK state. I'd never considered it before but there are 7 British bases still in Germany, with c25K personnel and a further c25K associated people. That's a lot of infrastructure. Can u imagine if Germany asked them to leave? Where the hell would the UK put them? Bet we'd lose Dartmoor. Or Hampstead Heath. Apparently that's not likely though as according to the beeb in 94 , all this contributes €1.5/year to the local economy. Plus Germans have got loads of room.

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