Friday, January 1, 2010


Sorry. I wasn’t going to talk about Sour Krauts until well into the New Year. I figured that unleashing one blatantly anti-German slur in one year was enough (see: ‘Deutschbag’). But the bitter old DDR commie biddies wouldn’t stop bitching and moaning and screaming as if someone had shot their dog. And now that I’ve picked up a few German words, now whenever I hear some tired old repressed bag of Deutsch scream in public about something someone is doing ‘to offend them,’ the bitching seems to be closer to home.

I’m no stranger to bitter biddies. The absolute Queen of Bitch has to be, hands down, old Czech women. In the morning they slam their shopping carts into young and old in order to get to the bread bin with cheap rohliky (bread rolls), and then proceed to plow through the stale bread on top to get to the apparently better bread on the bottom. Elbows fly. Occasionally harsh words are spat through yellow dentures. They get their bread and then board the local transport to displace all the poor bastards on their way to work. They whip out their Old Retired Commie Bitch I.D. and scream at people to give them their rightful seat. I have seen them actually hit people with their canes and scream curse words that American truck drivers from the Deep South haven’t yet learned. And their poor lives are so hard that getting a free flat from the government and a meager pension is cruelty to them. So they take it out on the rest of us.

Back to the DDR biddies: same worm-ridden dry old husk of a rotten brain in a shrunken skull, different language. But the body language is the same. Enter: yoots. I use the word ‘yoot’ a lot in my blog. For those unfamiliar with derisive New England slang, yoot means youth. But I’m not from New England. Maybe they just can’t say ‘youth.’ Anyway, yoots enter. They enter and proceed to do what yoots do everywhere on Earth. To whit, they make noise. They laugh, have fun, drink and generally enjoy life. This pisses off Old Commie Biddy to no end. Her life is nearly over. She remembers the Good Old Commie days when yoots shut the fuck up and gave their Commie elders their due respect. Not any more. With the advent of global freedom, strapping young yoots with Mohawks need not take any shit from the system, the cops, the government and certainly not from some tired old Commie relic with antiquated delusions of grandeur.

I ignored most of the biddies’ minor misdemeanors this year because I had seen worse in Prague. This year I largely ignored them as they yelled at dog owners who let their dogs run free, screamed at people in markets for no apparent reason, or the usual spitting at all things younger. But today I understood that there is a certain type of biddy who is beyond redemption. She unleashes her foul Commie stench in a familiar way, but with a uniquely Deutschbagischer way: Rules. The Sour Kraut isn’t content to watch idly as rambunctious yoots desecrate her sanctimonious silence with their bacchanalian whoops of joie de vivre. Today I saw an old German woman yell at three obvious tourists with a camera. This took the cake. As a photographer, I am well aware that German people have way too much control over what photographers can do with their cameras. Even in public places. So when I heard this screeching Sour Kraut demanding that the tourists (from Spain or Italy, I couldn’t hear their speech, but they seemed to be Latin) produce their ausweis (I.D.).

“Are you the press?” She demanded more than questioned, “Show me your I.D. Otherwise FOTO VERBOTEN on public transport.”

The offending foreign yoot with the camera wasn’t even pointing it at the shriveled old Sour Kraut. He was simply photographing his lovely young lady, who was wearing a very nice black hat reminiscent of a Spanish matador or the equivalent Italian thang (if I knew anything about fashion and/or Italians and Spaniards). I followed the whole episode because that is what I do. I observe humans of various cultures in mundane daily routines and dip them into a bucket of ridiculous satire later in the evening after I’ve had my tipple. Eventually the three Latin yoots moved on down the train to another compartment in search of relative peace and freedom to snap pictures in pastoral urban scenery where the local goats don’t bleat so bitter. I wanted to stand up. I didn’t. I wanted to step forward as the Voice of Freedom and give her the tongue lashing she so desperately deserved. I wanted to scream in loud German that I haven’t yet learned: “Entschuldigen sie bitte, Frau Sour Kraut. I just overheard your conversation and you need to know that you are not only a Sour Kraut, but a Deutschebag as well. Your perfunctory and parsimonious performance in public suggests that you need to take a time out. In fact, you have obviously lived a long, productive Commie life in the factory producing metallic sheise for the glory of the dead empire. Now you have but two duties left: Sign the will and get into the Gott Damn Box.”


  1. Wow, that old broad (or biddie or Sour Kraut) is really mean!

    I like when you wrote this part..."I observe humans of various cultures in mundane daily routines and dip them into a bucket of ridiculous satire later in the evening after I’ve had my tipple."

    Gave me a chuckle. I do a lot of observing, too, so much so that when the kids were younger (if they were in my presence), they were embarrassed by my open observations (I was staring, they said).

    I remember a social work supervisor telling me that we, as social workers, have a "license to stare."

    Artists have that same license, I do believe. It is your privilege and your duty to report your findings!

    Interesting post.

  2. ahahaha. this is so true (not to mention well-written). when my family visited my father spent the entire week complaining that germans never smile. sour krauts indeed!

  3. Thank you both for the comments and compliments. Now, insizlane, BUY ME A DONUT! Just kidding. My next blog post will be entirely about jelly donuts (imagine that) to celebrate my 1 year anniversary in Berlin. If you know where I can get a REAL Berliner donut, not that damn sour plum jam one, please let me know. If you know of a bakery that makes jelly donuts with blueberry filling, let me know and I'll buy YOU a donut!