I remember meeting a few expats around various tables in nightspots in Berlin during my first few months here. I don't remember much of what they had to say as it was so banal. My shit was too. But there was this Indian dude at the table who, upon hearing someone say 'German girls,' jumped out of his shell and proclaimed "German girls are so boring."
I'm not sure what this guy meant. Clearly he was one of 'those of the I.T. persuasion' out of the subcontinent who thought he was just, shall we say, Too Cool For School or All Dat and a Bag of Chips. I smiled at him and imagined that the only experience he had with German girls was a glass of beer thrown in his face followed by a sheise storm. Really. Dude. Put down the Kama Sutra. And back away.
If pop music is any indicator of the social climate of a nation (let's just suspend disbelief, OKAY?), the pop songs on the radio in Germany are screaming for attention. Some of the screamers are girls. German girls. Enter: Tic Tac Toe (I'd do it. Heh), a German girl band one hit wonder whose video 'Hey! Mr. Wichtig' (Hey! Mr. Right) caught my attention when I first hit Germany for the first time in 1997. I was visiting a friend in Dusseldorf, he had MTV, they played the beJAYzus out of this video.
Tic Tac Toe - Mr. Wichtig
http://www.myspace.com/ogcjm1982 | MySpace Video
These three amigas were part hip hop, part reggae, part b.s. pop. And all the way feminist. They weren't having any of the usual muscle men with their kleine schlongs or their weak dancing. I'm not sure what they were having. Probably each other. More powah to ya, babies.
That was then. This is now. Enter: Eurovision song contest. I think this is some huge karaoke singer's version of 'Who Wants to Be a Star' or 'American Idol.' Generally there are tragic results. Which means I never hear of the hapless winners. But sometimes, just sometimes, a sickly sweet, infectious pop voice pumps through the shitty speakers of my local kebab joint and I have to wonder to myself "who dis?"
I hate pop music. I hate how it has no soul, no jazz, and no lyrics capable of catering to anyone over the age of 14. But sometimes, just sometimes, a sickly sweet German girl with a slightly-Australian accent hits the speakers and bends my head slightly, just slightly, to the left. And I give it a listen.
Both videos are bouncy, full of grrrrl attitude and all that. Both songs made me bob my head to the left and/or right when I first heard them. Obviously I prefer the second one because it was sung in English and I could feel for the poor young German girl who had 'painted her toenails for you' just the other day. Wow, you've come a long way, baby.
But the first video had its lively island beats and rappy fist pumps to da man who dared to have muscles and nothing else. Both the song and the girls in it had a certain je ne sais quoi. Only in German. So years after I had lived in the Czech Republic and Tic Tac Toe's silly pseudo-Ger-maican pop riffs had faded from my memory, a new beast hits the pop charts. This time, she's wearing new blue underwear, sporting freshly-painted toenails, and is looking for your love. She's your personal satellite. Which is German for 'stalker.'
And Deepak said German girls were boring.