Under the Hill

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Posts Tagged ‘germany


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Fare dodging is one of these small offenses that many people in Germany don’t find that bad at all. All excuses aside (and there are a lot of them around, everybody always tries to reason away this actually being wrong…) the reason for the increased amount of fare dodgers might come with the insane amount of money privatized public transport is demanding lately.

So of course some people get a bit creative when trying to dodge fares without getting punished for that. One case that has just gotten out of courts actually had a fascinating reasoning behind it: the legal terminology for dodging fares in German law is “Leistungserscheichung” which might be translated as “obtaining something surreptitiously”.

Now everybody always was kind of sure that meant any kind of fare dodging. After all, if you were going to dodge a fare, was there any way but doing it, well, in secret? Surreptitiously as the dictionary says?

Turns out yes, technically there is a way: Seeking refuge in audacity. Tell the conductor beforehand that you are going to go without a ticket. Show openly that you are not paying and still ride the train.

That theory was put to test in court a few days ago. One guy decided to try the idea and rode on the subway wearing a t-shirt saying “Ich fahre schwarz” (I’m fare dodging). And then tried to take it to the court when he got caught.

He lost though. The nice idea aside, the court said, but just wearing the shirt was not enough (the conductors said they didn’t even notice it), but he would have had to tell the ticket vendor at the station AND the conductor when he boarded the train. Then of course he could have used the train without paying the fare. If both of them had let him do that at least. Which they were pretty unlikely to do.

So the reasoning obviously was valid (he would have been allowed to ride without paying IF only…) but the execution was flawed.

Written by G. Neuner

26. February 2010 at 12:21 am

Posted in Odd, Travel

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CSI: Disaster

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white_menboI don’t know if I should laugh or cry: Over the last two years there has been a big hunt for a female police officer killing criminal with mob connections based mostly around southern Germany and Austria.

In 2006 an officer was shot in Heilbronn and the DNA traces which were brought in from the crime scene showed the presence of a female person at the car the officer was shot in. I still remember that case, a friend of mine was in Heilbronn that day and he told me that the police was frantic searching for the murderer and never found him/her.

The same DNA as in Heilbronn later was found in samples from crime scenes from all over southern Germany, and spreading over to Austria, from small burglaries into garden cottages to acts of violence and vandalism. They even started a whole special department trying to find this queen of crime who managed to elude the authorities somehow, and whose presence never actually could be verified by witnesses, only by DNA samples… and who is more trustful, a (maybe even criminal) witness, or an unbiased DNA sample? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by G. Neuner

25. March 2009 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Odd

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Dinner for One

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“Dinner for One” is a rather obscure comedy sketch written by British author Laurie Wylie for theatre in the 1920s. In 1963 German regional public TV-station NDR made a recording of the piece for broadcast with Freddie Frinton and May Warden. In English actually, as everything English was kind of hip back then, even though people would not have called it that way. As the German audience was supposed not to know enough of English to actually understand the whole of it, it was produced with a little introduction in German explaining what exactly would happen on screen in the following 15 minutes. Not really the best way to keep the suspense up, but who did ever say Germans knew how humor works?

90-year old Miss Sophie (whose family name is omitted for the sake of decency) is having a birthday dinner with her four best friends/suitors. Unfortunately all of them are dead already, the last one of them died 25 years ago. So trusty butler James has to take their place toasting to the host. And while he does so he becomes increasingly sloshed. Hilarity ensues. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by G. Neuner

31. December 2008 at 5:57 pm