Following Germany’s 7-1 drubbing of the hosts, here are seven facts you didn’t know about Germany — and one you didn’t know about Brazil.
1. Watching the slapstick 1963 British comedy sketch “Dinner for One”, starring Freddie Frinton and May Warden, is an essential part of the German New Year’s Eve celebration.
2.The word Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz (law delegating beef label monitoring) was removed from the German language this summer, but there are still some crackers — kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung (automobile liability insurance) and donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitaenswitwe (widow of a Danube steamboat company captain), to name but two.
3.If you ask a German the time and are told “halb drei” (literally “half three”) the time is in fact half past two (half two in English). Germans count the minutes to the next hour rather than after.
4. The Munich Oktoberfest actually starts in late September. Don’t worry too much if you miss it: there are 60 beer gardens in and around the city that are open all summer.
5. In 1888 Germany had three emperors: Wilhelm I, Frederick III and Wilhelm II. Frederick III died from cancer of the larynx aged 56 having ruled for just 99 days. A liberal by disposition, he would have been a very different emperor to Wilhelm II.
6. There is a Barbie doll modelled on Germany’s current Chancellor Angela Merkel.
7. The opening of Berlin’s long awaited new international airport has been delayed five times and it is still not exactly clear when it will be ready for service. What happened to Teutonic efficiency?
1. Osama Bin Laden-themed bars are something of a trend in Brazil. Well, there’s at least two, anyway. Bar do Bin Laden in Sao Paulo — run by an Osama lookalike — and Caverna do Bin Laden, or “Bin Laden’s Cave” — can be found just in Niteroi, around 25 kilometres north of Rio de Janeiro.
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