The Germans and their flags

It’s been said that the Germans have spent millions of Euros on buying flags for their cars during the soccer cup. Funnily enough those flags were not made in Germany ;-). They also invented a new technology to fix those flags on their car windows. Who said that the Germans are slow in creating new jobs?

World Cup 2006

Slava, that technology for fixing flags to car windows was already being used in the US at least 10 years ago. My guess is that it was invented in Asia, but you never know.

Hi Jamie, that’s interesting news. On what occasions do American put flags on their cars and how big are those flags?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening lectures: A lecture from an american literature class[YSaerTTEW443543]

They’re just like the ones you see in the pictures. The flags are usually for some sports team, so in my town there were a lot of Red Wings flags on people’s cars when they were in the Stanley Cup championships. Sometimes the flags have the logo of the University of Michigan, when one of their teams is having a good season. On rare occasions, they are US flags for some patriotic event.

So it seems the Americans demonstrate their support for their teams more often than the Germans who used flags on their cars for the first time during the 2006 World Cup. And the only flag they put on the cars was their national flag. Who knows, maybe from now on they will also use the flags of their teams.

There has been quite some discussion about the impact the world cup has had on Germany’s economy. One tangible improvement the event might have brought about is the fact that we are probably going to change the law to allow store owners to keep their shops open whenever they want and for how long they want.

As of now, the German law says you have to close your store at 8 am. During the world cup some store operators were allowed to extend their opening hours until 10 pm. I think it’s high time we changed this. What about the opening hours for shops in your country?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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This is because we have a pathologically fanatical sports culture in the United States. Sports ability determines a school child’s entire social status and educational future from a very early age. In my school, I noticed my status among peers and teachers change completely based on the fact that I did not know how to handle a basketball on the first day of gym in 1st grade, when I was 6. In high school, we were forced to leave our classes several times a year to “support our team” at what are called “pep rallies”, which are more or less a sort of “Heil Hitler” event for the school’s teams before a big game. We were punished if we did not go. If we had skipped the rally to study for a big exam, we would still have been punished. In American high schools, the top athletes are often not punished for things that would get other kids into a lot of trouble. School officials expect kids to look up to the athletes in the school as role models, which causes plenty of resentment, because the kids know that a lot of these players are really horrible people. Many Americans hate sports long into adulthood because of this experience.

In my country stores can stay open as long as the local zoning ordinances say they can. In many places that’s round the clock, but most stores close around 9 p.m. Every supermarket in my area that started out with round-the-clock service has scaled back to closing at 10 p.m. or midnight, just because there is not enough traffic in the wee hours of the morning.

Years ago in Germany I told some people that where I live a lot of stores are open 24 hours a day. One of the Germans grimaced and exclaimed, “Who would want to work 24 hours a day!” I don’t know if he thought the employees never went home or what. Maybe he just wasn’t thinking.

Hi Torsten!

I like this theme as I always wonder what advantage it could bring to the store owners to keep their stores open longer, or what stores you are thinking about while supporting the change of this law?

I mean that for the one or the other store owner it might make a fortune as he/she possibly could win some customers, but in general I always imagine that there is a certain amount of money that could be sold for shopping (whatever you want to buy) and I think everyone is capable to shop anytime between 9 o?clock in the morning and 20 o?clock in the evening and for some special wishes you can shop till 22 o?clock to midnight at several shops. So why do you think a longer time of opening their shops could make a fortune for every shop owner?

Hi Michael

The point isn’t that shop owners will necessarily make a fortune, the bigger point is customer service. As I see it, if shop owners in Germany are allowed to be open as late as they want, the same thing will happen that has happened in the US. In other words, if there are normally no customers after, say, 9 p.m., the store owners will decide to make 9 p.m. their standard closing time. Or if there are normally no customers after 7 p.m., they might decide to close at 7. If, however, there are often quite a few customers until 10 p.m., then there is a demand or need for this service. Stores should be able to offer this service to customers if they want to.

What do you think about the change in store hours in Germany since 1990? I can still remember the supermarkets closing at 2 p.m. on Saturdays. I used to hate shopping on Saturdays because the supermarkets were always so crowded. I don’t think I was the only one who didn’t like it since a lot of other shoppers always seemed to be in a bad mood. 8) But in those days I had no other choice. I had to do my grocery shopping early on Saturdays.

What about the change to the 8 p.m. closing time for Monday through Saturday? Do you think that was good?


Hi Amy!

Possibly some other people would hurry to the next computer shop now and buy some RAMs at 11 p.m. , I definitely wouldn?t do so.

Oh, you don?t know what happened to me. :oops: Let me tell you.

In any points in your recent reply I agree with you and in any I don?t as you surely can imagine. So I wanted to quote on your post, splitted your post paying attention to a good design, wrote some huge texts, explained my thoughts and as you know me, babbled a bit and was happy to finish writing my reply after nearly 45 minutes. I just wanted to add a post scripteria when my computer decided to have not enough RAMs. :twisted:

So, please, forgive me when I?m too tired now to reply on such a (at least for me) difficult theme. :roll:


P.S.: [color=red][size=150]You damned,darn computer[/size]. If you defend against submitting [size=75]this post now I?ll [/size]…[size=59] you[/size]. :evil: :lol: :lol:

Hi Amy!

Hope my computer don?t decide having not enough RAMs today. :roll: As I like to tell you my opinion concerning the shop opening law.

Due to that theme I saw a report on TV today about the exception from the law during the World CUP. Shop owners and employed shop-headers were interviewed. The one told (smiling) about having an increase of about 25% while opening longer than usual and that they had a great business after 8 p.m… The most articles they sold were that regarding the WC. The others told about no increase and that they had had more costs for the staff only but hadn?t sold more than usual. So you?re right, that on the one hand it could increase the service if the shop owners were allowed to have a longer opening their shops but for exceptions only (that?s my opinion). I think we have one certain amount of money we are able to spend in shops and as I believe we are perfectly capable to spend it during the nowadays allowed opening times.

I often think about what the consequences were if the shop-opening times were longer. I?m sure that it would request higher costs for the shop owners or the companies and how do they intend to calculate that costs as I?m also sure that in the sum not more money will be spend for shopping than before?

As for the nowadays times for opening the shops, I think they are correct for Monday through Friday. On Saturday, I think, it were enough if the shops were opened to 5 p.m. at least for customers like you or my wife or many other people who don?t like crowded shops. Honestly, do you go shopping on Saturday later than 5 p.m.?


Hi Michael

Congratulations! Your RAMs behaved themselves very well today. :lol:

I agree with you, Michael. Shoppers do have a finite amount of money to spend. But I also see one particular aspect that could have an effect on the spending of that money. If a shopper is uncomfortable while shopping (for example, too crowded or just not enough time), they would tend to minimize both the time and money they spend in the shop.

Personally, I find the shopping hours in Germany pretty good now. Regarding Saturday hours, I don’t usually go to the supermarket later than 5 or 6 p.m., but I have been there later than that on quite a number of occasions. Usually those later times would be because I either had to teach a Saturday course or I had simply forgotten to buy some things that I needed for Sunday.

I don’t think shops should be forced to open or close at specific times. It just seems they should be able to decide for themselves what the best times are.


Hi Amy!

It seems like I?m not really the header of my RAMs :evil: :lol: as they walked out once again this evening while I was replying to Tamara.

As it is late I have just one question: Would you like to continue on this discussion with an [color=red]Old Red Socialist? :shock: :lol: I mean I can understand your arguments. Nevertheless there are some other points of view in my mind that I would like to talk about.


Hi [color=red]Old Red Socialist :lol:

What else do you want to talk about? Do you think your RAM can handle further discussion? :wink:


Hi capitalist! :wink:

Reading the last sentence I came to wonder whether you mean my personal RAM or that of my PC? :lol:

As for my points of view about the “Ladenschlu?gesetz” ( there is no English word for it, is there?) : I can?t imagine that it would make a fortune for anyone and that doesn?t depend on a more or less pleasant atmosphere while shopping in the late evening. As the German government decided to raise the “Mehrwertsteuer” ( were the correct translation shopping taxes ?) the people will continue to turn the cent twice before spending it, do you think they don?t do? I mean, think about the costs you have to pay for when you?ve got your wages, salary, compensation or whatever you get. Telfon-bills , insurance-contract-bills and so on… will increase too, so that you?will have less money definitely for shopping.

On the other hand, longer opening the shops means increasing costs for the shop owners as they have to pay more for their staff or they have to calculate the work times for their staff different from now. So either they must calculate that in their prices or less sales-clerks have to serve more customers. So were you ready to pay a bigger amount for the same things or were you ready to miss the service of the staff? Or should the staff work longer for the same wages? (This is the opinion of the Old Red Socialist)

Do you have other suggestions how the longer shopping times a day can work?