Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006
From: Lee Lady
Subject: No Cats. No Exceptions.
A big current events topic in Germany is the declining birthrate. It is said that fewer and fewer new Germans are being created. (On the other hand, Berlin has the largest Turkish population of anywhere outside Turkey itself.)
Well, I suppose the people who keep track of these statistics know their business, but you couldn't prove the falling birth rate by me, considering the number of baby carriages and baby strollers that constantly cross my path. Especially on the trams.
What with the baby strollers and carriages, plus the bicycles, and dogs with their leashes stretching across the aisle (in Munich, the bus/tram ticket says, "Good for one person and one dog."), not to mention the cripples on crutches or with walkers (whose ranks I may in fact be ready to join myself in a few years, especially if I keep tripping over bicycles and dog leashes), and the occasional wheelchair, getting onto a tram is sometimes a major adventure.
It's not the driver's job to enforce the rules on trams. He's isolated in his own little glassed-in box, driving. So the German solution seems to be to just not have any rules. Eating, drinking (including alcohol), everything is okay on a tram.
But there is one rule: no cats. Translated into good colloquial American English, the rule would in fact say: "No cats. No exceptions."
There used to be a cat at Zegg, who mostly seemed to hang around the kneipe (pub). And yesterday I saw a poster for a lost cat in Frankfurt, where I am for the next two days before returning to the US. But aside from this, I don't remember ever seeing a cat in Germany.
So maybe it's not just on trams that they're not welcome.
Love & kisses to all,