Friends International English Conversation Group

Archive for the ‘customs’ Category

During our last meeting we talked about favourite meals and came across the asparagus. It is a seasonal vegetable only harvested in spring. In Germany it is a very popular dish, and grown in nearly all parts of the country, such as Brandenburg, North Rhine Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Rhineland Palatine. It is also grown in North and South Americas, Greece, Poland etc, but it is rarely consumed there. I have no notice of any British who prefer it, and a Polish Friend has told me at our meeting that it is grown there but mostly exported to Germany. Its healthy effects on the human body are undisputed.

Asparagus can be consumed either on its own or together with potatoes and/or a porc chop. Bacon goes very nicely with it, especially the bacon being wrapped around the spears. Another combination is a piece of salmon fillet going with it, so you have the taste of two extraordinary dishes in one.

Asparagus can be purchased green or with violet tips or all white and in different thicknesses. White thick evenly grown spears are the most expensive; it costs between 7 and 10 Euro per kilo, depending on its quality. For the starting soup, take the water in which you cooked the asparagus and add some salt and spices and broken asparagus (smaller pieces) to make it tasteful.

Most asparagus farms also offer an open air restaurant to consume the delicious dish right on site and stage events for their customers. So what about a day out to the South of Berlin for pure enjoyment?

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Last Tuesday, we talked about our experiences with applying for jobs in Germany and Anglo-Saxon countries. First of all, in Britain and otherjob experience, countries, it is quite normal to change jobs in a matter of two years. This would be classed as job-hopping in Germany, where staying with a company for decades is still the standard. In Britain, this would be seen as being inflexible. Changing jobs there means getting more job experience.

Applying in Britain means pointing out your abilities and job experience. This goes especially for the cover letter. From the cv, an employer must be able to take information about former employments to be able to rate the professional development of the candidate. So the job interview will focus on the advantages a company would have from employing a specific applicant.

The habit of attaching a passport photo to the cover letter, as is common in Germany, would be classed as unnecessary and even discriminatory in other countries. The same goes for private data as maritial status and the number of children. This is of no evident use for the employer, as he only is interested in the employee´s performance.

In Germany, an application is classed as incomplete without a testimonial of the former employer. In international standard, you would at the most provide one or two references. Some companies even want a reference only during the job interview and will not check on it if the candidate is taken into serious consideration.

So attention all Germans applying internationally: get informed about the standards and stick to them! And attention all expats applying for a job in a German company: Get informed about different standards!

More information and links concerning the topic can be found at http://lehrergehrke.wordpress.com .

What the hell is that? It´s from Hindi, spoken in India. And we discussed it at our ast meeting, so it is the word of the day!

You can see Dabbawalas only in Bombay. The main problem is that people going to work don´t want to carry their lunch boxes. So their wives get the lunch boxes ready, they are collected by Dabbawalas, who are lunch box carriers. The lunch boxes are marked by colours so that they cannot be mixed up and reach their destination. It is a huge organisation, but it works without using one single letter.

The only problem we could not solve is the question why somebody would need a service to carry lunch boxes instead of taking them along with oneself…

So you see if you join us you don´t only meet the world, you also learn about customs all over the world. You don´t want to miss out on that, do you.


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