Monday, December 1, 2014

Prost Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dear Friends,

One of the best things about living in Ann Arbor is that we have signs, and one of the best things about signs is that some of them list our Sister Cities.  

In the past, we have taken you on a whirlwind tour of Hikone and a whirlpool tour of Dakar. This month, we will embrace both inter-cultural discourse and distant cultural interccourse as we cyber-jaunt through our oldest urban playmate, Tübingen, Germany. 

People of Tübingen, I offer you this month's Hard Taco song, "Ubble-a Dup Dup," which was so-named to give you a healthy American portion of the letter U the way we believe God intended it... without an umlaut. 

Tübingen is a small college town in Southwest Germany, just a few miles from the German Alps. The first recorded mention of the city was in 1191, when it was besieged by Henry IV, King of Germany. He noted that the gentle Neckar River that runs through the city center was "ideal for kayaking and tubing," and called the town Kayakingenundtübingen. This was shortened to Tübingen in 1540 when Martin Luther exposed kayaking as a Papist pastime. 

The University of Tübingen has a world-class reputation for cultivating innovative thought. Well-know graduates include Friedrich Holderlin, the hypochondriac poet, and Alois Alzheimer, who invented dementia. The most popular major among current students is German, although graduates find careers in everything from engineering to lederhosen engineering.

Tübingen, Germany - Quick Facts/Speculations
Population: 89,000
Old world values: Austerity, order
Liberal college town values: Frugality, tidiness
Emblem: David Hasselhoff carefully arranging Gummy Bears 
Tree: The family tree of the Hapsburgs
Flower, and what one says to it: Edelweiss, every morning you greet me.  
Statue in Town Square: A giant beer stein depicting images of scholars discovering that lunch is the most important meal of the day
Motto: Mut und Glauben, Aber Kein Augenkontakt, Bitte. ("Courage and faith, but no eye contact, please.")
Nickname: A Small Cog In Our Great National Cuckoo Clock
Exports: Train parts, curt nods, Popes who think it's okay to retire, BMV luxury cars (they can't pronounce W.)
Favorite Grimm Fairy TaleA woodsman sells his children to an evil dwarf and lives happily ever after.
Second Favorite Grimm Fair Tale: A queen prays for a child, and a benevolent angel brings her one... in her soup. She immediately recognizes what it is, so she cries while eating it. 
Most Popular Baby Clothing Store: Snugglers of Catan
Traditional angles for viewing Zungenwurst: From the front and in partial profile

Zungenwurst from the front

Zungenwurst in partial profile

With warmest regards,