Wicked German for the Traveler

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Was für ein Tier ist das?
Which animal was this?

Welcher Teil?
Which part?

Bitte zeigen Sie mir die Stelle an Ihren Köper.
Please just point to the place on your own body.

Hmm. Das sieht mir nicht besonders schmackhaft/gesund aus.
Hmm. That doesn't look very tasty/healthful.

Habe ich erwähnt, dab ich mich entschlossen habe, Vegetarier zu werden?
Did I mention that I've decided to become a vegetarian?

From the author of the successful Wicked Travel series over 317,000 copies in print, just the book travelers and students need to gain a foothold in Deutschland. From the finer points of cultural exchange to tormenting skinheads and all the excuses for backing out of a polka evening--this book will make sure no German puts one uber on you again. Illustrations throughout.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563052941
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Tomb is the author of the Wicked Travel books. He also writes for the Sunday Travel Section of the New York Times.
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Read an Excerpt


Germans make many things well, and beer is among their greatest achievements. Its exact origins have been lost among thousands of groggy mornings and sledgehammer headaches, but this is what scholars now believe about beer's history.

c. 20,000 B.C. Og of Url eats a handful of yeast with his gruel and water. He is hailed as the Father of Beer and Life of the Party at his funeral the next day.

c. 11,000 B.C. Herman of Villendorf drinks 12 steins of lager in 1.79 seconds, breaking the world record. His Subsequent belch also sets a record, killing 28.

c. 6000 B.C. Henrik the Effete, the first beer connoisseur, invents the sip. He is banished to France.

c. 1516 B.C. The German Purity Law is written to protect the quality of beer. Anyone caught drinking Coors is spanked to death by a 300-pound barmaid.

500 A.D. Huns descend on Germany looking for riches, virgins, pretzels, and a genuine fire-brewed beer with no aftertaste.

501-1870 Hun celebration

1871 Otto von Bismarck settles Germany's major dispute and unites the nation with his decree on Dinkel Acker Light: Tastes great and less filling.

1961 Berlin Wall erected. East German government bans every brand of beer except Harnburgh. The party appears to be over.

1990 East Germans, hearing rumors about the classic taste of ice-cold Spaten, knock down the Berlin Wall, party nonstop and run up a six-billion-dollar bar tab.
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Table of Contents

  • Get a Grip on German…5
  • Pronunciation Guide…6
  • Talk in the Provinces…7
  • Linguistic Disclaimer and Exculpatory Protestation…7

  • Hotel Existence…8
  • History in Beer…10
  • Beer Hall Small Talk…12
  • Beer Connoisseurship…13
  • A Visit to Blitz…15
  • Your Oktoberfest Emergency…16
  • Down and Dirty in the Ratskeller…17
  • How to Become a German Dishwasher…19

  • The Cost of Money…21
  • Absolute Wursts…22
  • The Wurst of the Wursts…23
  • Phone Call for Mr. Kafka…24
  • Post Communist…25
  • Shopping for Laughs…26
  • You and the Swiss Army Knife…28

  • Surviving the Autobahn…29
  • Road Curses and Fines…30
  • Road Signs…31
  • The Policeman's Beat…32
  • Swerve and Protect…34
  • Socialism Through Automobiles…35
  • Confessions of a Sinner…36
  • Mid-Morning Express…37
  • Mystery Train…38
  • The Spirit of the Red Baron…40
  • The Front Lines…41

  • Grimm Tales of the Black Forest…42
  • It's All Happening at the Berlin Zoo…43
  • Castle Critique…44
  • Crib Sheet to Major German Myths…45
  • The Pretty Good Outdoors…48

  • How to Pick Up a Rhine Maiden…50
  • Man or Superman…51
  • Anarchy Rules…52
  • The Words of Love and Pastry…54
  • Mix & Match Musical Commentary…56
  • The Gallant Duelist…58
  • Escape from Oompa…59
  • Surviving German Romanticism…60

  • Magic Mountain of Marks…61
  • Promptness Hints…62
  • Autogesprache…63
  • The Inevitable Thank-You Note…64
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