Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black Saturdays

At this year's Thanksgiving Dinner at the Greiffenegg-Schlössle US Consul General James W. Herman eloquently calmed down German angst with respect to the new administration taking power in January 2017. He praised the idea of thanksgiving as giving your thanks for all the good things you have received during the past year. Mr. Herman encouraged the German people to adopt the celebration of Thanksgiving.

Consul General James W. Herman at the Greiffenegg-Schlössle
Pardon? Didn't he know that from time immemorial we have been celebrating the Erntedankfest (harvest festival) on the first Sunday in October although admittedly mostly in rural areas and without much publicity.

Fact is that over the past years the German people or rather department stores and vendors have adopted Valentine's Day, Halloween, and most recently Black Friday. In particular this year Red Baron saw the shops full of creepy articles they never were able to sell for Halloween showing that the rooting of this custom in my country is not very deep. I also noticed that Black Friday sales are picking up pace in Germany.

Misunderstood Black Friday: for a whole week
In Freiburg we really do not need Black Friday for we have black Saturdays throughout the year. Going downtown on a Saturday means that you'd better polish up your French and your Alemannic dialect for any sort of communication. In particular the Swiss invade the department stores at Kaiser-Joseph-Straße and Freiburg's restaurants. Black Saturdays are bright Saturdays for Freiburg's merchants. Now at Advent time the Swiss assault has increased and - thanks to Trump ante portas - is nourished by a Swiss franc getting stronger with respect to the euro every day.

Around Bertoldsbrunnen this morning
I must admit that I profited from the Black Friday sales on the Internet in completing my private weather station with a wind gauge, paying 25% off. Well, my actual gain was less with the US dollar getting stronger with respect to the euro every day. Thank you, Mr. Trump.

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