Tuesday, January 29, 2008

die Ostalgie

We learned the best word in German today: die Ostalgie. "Nostalgie" means nostalgia and "Osten" is East Germany, so stick them together and you get a word that means nostalgia for the good ol' days of the German Democratic Republic.

When I was in Colorado with my parents, I made them watch the movie Good Bye Lenin! - and today my teacher mentioned it as the beginning of the Ostalgie-Wave. It's about this boy whose mother is in a coma when the Berlin Wall falls and her doctor says it could kill her to find out the truth, so he recreates East Germany in their apartment. It's sweet, and for people who lived in East Germany, it evokes the lives they lived in a country that no longer exists - the cars, the weird coffees and canned beans, everything they grew up with. It's a nice little movie and I highly recommend it.

Then for the reasons why you might *not* want to go back to East Germany, watch The Lives of Others. (Glad you liked it, Dahvay - that movie is the bomb, am I right??)

In other German pop culture news, I read in the Berlin Lonely Planet today that the U2 song "Zoo Station" is about Bahnhof Zoo, an old train station in Berlin that used to be full of street people and teenage heroin addicts and whatnot.

I am so psyched to go to Berlin and see all this stuff.


Sophist said...

The Lives of Others was probably the best movie I've seen in a long time!

Allison said...

OK, so I've been to the actual Zoo in Berlin and it was by far the most depressing zoo I've ever been to, really small cages and frantic looking animals. But that was in what, '96? So maybe it's better now. The rest of the city was crazy fascinating! You will have an awesome time.

towwas said...

Oh dear - I'm definitely planning on going to the zoo because it's the home of Knut the polar bear. I went to one really miserable zoo in Japan (seriously, bears in concrete pits - who *does* that??), so if it's anything like that, I'll have to run in, say hi to Knut, and run out again.

erin*carly said...

oh oh oh, you're going to see Knut! so awesome.

speaking of cool words in German, i'm a big fan of "abendglocken." it's in one of our songs for 18th Street (vineta, by brahms), and it's really fun to say and sing. apparently it means 'evening bells." the entire song / poem is beautiful.

David J said...

I kept laughing in "The Lives of Others" in those scenes where'd they show the spy typing up his nightly reports. Seriously, every word is like 14 letters long. What's the deal, Germany?

towwas said...

And that, Dahvay, is one of the many reasons why German is AWESOME.