Oktoberfest’s Black Economy-Flat Rental

Oktoberfest's Black Economy-Flat Rental

My colleague Michael Owens‘ piece on Oktoberfest’s Black Economy-Flat Rental got me thinking.

Since I’ve decided to blog incessantly about the world’s largest Volksfest over the next few weeks, this is a great segue into the economy of the ordeal. Especially the Black Economy, or the untaxed income, is something that you might expect at any event of this magnitude.

Hookers are bussed in for the extra ‘demand’ during the more than two weeks of bacchanalia, and as Michael writes many people take their holidays and rent out their flats for a bit of extra dosh

Munich: the city of ‘We don’t need all of those newfangled things’

What an inviting message…yes, come to Munich

There was an intriguing article in the local paper last weekend, and I’m only just now getting round to talking about it. Sometimes I need a few days to decide if it’s even worth bothering you with.

Truly.

Not every idea is a gem. Aren’t there things you’ve done that, in retrospect, you probably would’ve reconsidered?

Well, I have an entire rucksack of those, but my suspicion is that you didn’t come here for my reject rucksack. That’ll have to wait for a slow day. These are anything but slow days. Quite the opposite, in fact.

For example, a week from Thursday the first print edition of The Munich Times is coming out. That means no matter how calm and collected I might appear here, I’m running ragged in my daily life. I have the same clients I normally do, and Ella and Louis, my sister and brother pair of Vizslas, need their daily trudge in the park. In addition to that, there’s the organising and cajoling I’m doing.

With whom am I doing all of that? With my colleagues at the paper.

That’s right: We’re starting a newspaper. In print. While everyone else is going digital, we’re betting that there’re still people that want to hold newsprint in their grubby little hands. I’ve heard all the arguments that we’re mad, and I’ve even strongly considered some of them. However, my heart is in this. Fully.

You want a taste of the sort of writing we offer? Well, here you go:

Chimpanzees: having a crack at culture (by Jane Marple)

Europe has to decide: cut or spend (by Michael Owens)

I personally have written on a variety of subjects, but I think the one I enjoyed the most was one of my first pieces for the newspaper:

St John Passion at the Matthäuskirche on Good Friday

And although England is now out of the European Championship, the writing about football is one of the best parts of The Munich Times, so here’s Chip off the old block (by Geoff Poulton)

You went and read every single one of those, right? You better have. You don’t want me to hand deliver the print edition to your doorstep, do you? I will, you know. Because, according to The Adventures of One Fancy World-Traveling Bon Vivant (with a jaunty hat), I’m the sort who just might do it. Show up and shove a copy into your waiting hands.

Can you even remember what I started this with? It was the article I read in the paper. For those of you who read German, here it is:

Hauptstadt der Selbstgefälligkeit: Warum München die Zukunft hinter sich hat

For the rest of you, the thrust of the article is that the citizens of Munich aren’t necessarily interested in progress for the mere sake of it. We’re a city that almost says, ‘We don’t need all of those newfangled things.‘ Not mindlessly, we don’t. Not  at all costs. No thank you.

Can you see where this is going?

What a perfect fit. A newspaper for a city that appreciates the traditional.

I’ve heard a statistic that a quarter of the Bavarian capital is foreign. That can’t be possible, can it? Not so traditional in that respect.

Yet in a way that plays to The Munich Times strengths even more so. It might not be the reader’s first language, but it’s very possible that English is more easily  understood than German. That’s certainly a part of who we’re aiming for.

We shall know soon enough. No need to fear: I’m taking you with me on this one. Something only a Bon Vivant would do. As is my wont.

Happy Birthday Franz Josef Strauß

the Flughafen in Munich

Happy Birthday to the aeroport…not the dude. The Bavarian politician, Franz Josef Strauß, has been dead for more than two decades. An article by Michael Owens about the celebration (Munich airport flying high, hopes future flights won’t be grounded) over at the Munich Times got me thinking about this place.

This aeroport is worth its own blogpost. And more.

The place has its own brewery. Really. And what’s it called? Airbräu, what else. And aside form a few shops at the main train station and over-priced petrol stations, you can’t shop in Munich on Sunday. Except at the Franz Josef Strauß Flughafen. They have tonnes of shops open even on the Lord’s Day. As if it had been decreed from on high.

My very favourite thing? Most aeroports are filled with shops that gouge you because they know you have nowhere else to go. It’s a law of travel. Highway robbery.

But here in Munich, there are even two supermarkets where you can shop for basic staples, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. And the prices? Not one Euro cent more than at your local market. Imagine that. Your refrigerator at home is empty. The shops close at eight in the evening in Bavaria’s capital, so if your flight gets in too late, you’re out of luck if you want to buy something to cook.

Fortunately, the city of Munich has got you covered. Just pop into the supermarket at the Flughafen. That’s what it’s there for.