Archive for November 2008

Schadenfreude

November 30, 2008

Recently I had a lot of dicussions about german humor and what are the distinctions to other countries humor. And we came to the conclusion, that the main one is “Schadenfreude”. The uniqueness is pretty much shown by the pure fact, that there are no really translations for the word itself and several english dictionaries list the german word. It consists out of Schaden (damage) and Freude (joy) and describes the process of being amused by other peoples mischief.

Videos are much better than words, so I’d like to show you the distinction with a video. The subtitles are pretty bad, but it should be enough to understand most of it. I could have chosen a lot of other examples, but I’d like to present you “Gablerstaplerfahrer Klaus” (Klaus the Forkliftdriver). It is Klaus first day as a forklifter driver and he is not really following the safety instructions. What starts with some small jokes, ends up in fulimant finale of disaster.

Warning: Everything in this video is acted, but it is incredibly gory and should definately not be watched by children! If you can’t see blood, than do not watch this video!

(Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A287255)

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The power of a mask

November 28, 2008

Today I want to write something about some interesting experiences at Halloween. Basically a Antti, a Finish friend of mine, and me tried to buy some really cheap costumes and ended up finding some really strange masks in Shinsaibashi, which were actually really funny and cheap! So looking totally ridiculous anyway, we got the idea of even topping that and putting on suits at the same time.

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Crazy Halloween action

I won’t write to much about the day itself and our the impact we had on campus, wearing these costumes, because that is already perfectly covered in Antti’s Blog but I like to talk about the power a custome can give. Because basically we were allowed to do everything these two days. Nobody could tell if we were gaijin or ryugakuseis (because of our no talking and only acting policy) and nobody could take us serious.

So after some hours, we began to grasp that power and started doing stuff, we would have never been able to pull of as ourselves. We sat down at cute girls tables, just staring at them, to freak them of and see the reactions, took away the signs all the Japanese were carrying around to advertise their booth and so many more hilarious things.  And it was so much fun. Actually I think we could have got most girls on a date on these days, just because we were special, interesting (for some people creepy) and got especially had no restrictions. In this costume we could pull off, whatever we wanted to and wished for.

So of course it doesn’t affect my normal life to much and my insight out of this is not to wear a costume more often, but it shows what I am actually capable of, not restricting myself, because of fear people might think bad of me. So it wasn’t only a lot of fun, it also boosted my self-confidence and gives me the feeling, that it might be a good idea to get rid of or loosen my self-imposed chains.

Möbus: a famous german brand

November 27, 2008

Today I want to tell sth. about Möbus, a famous German brand, which is surprisingly also very well-known in Japan and sold in a lot of shops. Most of the times, they even have their own presentation area in the shop and the slogan “international bewährt” (internationally well proven) can be seen everywhere.

Möbus shoes

Möbus shoes

Möbus bag

Möbus bag

 

Hm but 少々お待ちください! Möbus? I have never heard of this brand and I am from Germany. Something going wrong here. So what’s going on? So I started some research and actually I can at least say, that Möbus is not a fake brand name. The company was actually Germans third biggest sport-shoe producer, until it went bankrupt in 1982. And it was revived in 2003, although it is a really small, unknown company in Germany, which is selling nothing than several models of their sport-shoes. So no comparison to what is happening in Japan.

So how did it get here? I can’t give a definite answer to this, because I can’t find the information, but from the company history on the german website, I can tell you, that they worked together with the company Ontisuka Tiger in 1978 to sell and distribute their products in Europe. So they started producing the Möbus sport shoes as well as Asic-shoes in the same german factory. I can’t get more details out of it, but the deal might have been that the Japanese are allowed to use the brand-name and starting to sell Möbus shoes and other articles in Japan, becoming pretty succesful but not seem to have any relationship with the original german company which went bankrupt in 1982 anymore.

Sources:
Official website
Möbus – Wikipedia