The Quarantine Diaries, Day 50: Loosening up

There’s a war waging worldwide, and it’s between those people who want to re-open society and those who advocate for more caution to prevent a second wave of the virus. States such as Washington, California and New York as well as German chancellor Angela Merkel are on one side. Most of the Deep South, the Midwest, the individual German states, and US President Donald Trump are on the other.

which states are reopening may 6 2020
The New York Times is publishing an interactive map of which states are re-opening and which aren’t. This is the status from 6. May 2020.

Continue reading “The Quarantine Diaries, Day 50: Loosening up”

The Quarantine Diaries, Day 2: I’m sick of screens

Day 2 of social distancing (because that’s what it is, we’re not officially in quarantine) was harder than the first. I didn’t want to get out of bed, my muscles ached from my jog the day before, and I hadn’t slept long enough so I was tired.

Continue reading “The Quarantine Diaries, Day 2: I’m sick of screens”

Geography lessons, gentrification and unexploded ordinances: a weekend in Aarhus

After more than a year away from Denmark, I took a weekend trip away from Hamburg to visit my friends in Aarhus.

Aarhus has changed, and it hasn’t. After a 4-and-a-half hour train ride due north, I found myself downtown in a city which I had once called my home. It was a surreal feeling, with everything at once so strange and so familiar.

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Downtown Aarhus. The gray clock tower in the middle is City Hall.

The EU has designated Aarhus the European Capital of Culture for the calendar year 2017, which means the city will be organizing a series of cultural events in order to draw visitors and make a name for itself.

According to Wikipedia, Preparing a European Capital of Culture can be an opportunity for the city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and it can help foster urban regeneration, change the city’s image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.

You know what another word for “urban regeneration” is? Gentrification. And the gentrification was hard to miss.

Continue reading “Geography lessons, gentrification and unexploded ordinances: a weekend in Aarhus”

#RefugeesWelcome

There is no hotter topic in German media right now than refugees.refugees-welcome

I’ve told several friends about my job teaching German to refugees and gotten a lot of positive feedback. Several have asked if I get paid (I do) and said they’d like to be involved in something like that, even on a volunteer basis. Everyone is talking about the refugee crisis right now, with Germany taking in more refugees per month now than it has in twelve months in the past. (I believe the statistic I heard was, Germany took in more refugees in June of this year than it did in all of 2013). Chancellor Angela Merkel is under close scrutiny for the country’s refugee policy right now, especially after that video of her accidentally making a little girl cry went viral. Continue reading “#RefugeesWelcome”