November 01, 2004


There's nothing like an Army post to bring out the trick-or-treaters. We're swarming with kids, not to mention that the Germans bring their kids on post to enjoy this weird American tradition of "giving away free stuff." Some of the German kids didn't even bother to wear costumes, and they gave me a danke schön when they left, which almost made me want to snatch the candy back. When I'm in your country, I speak German; when you're in my country, taking my free candy, please attempt a thank you. With or without the difficult -th- sound.

There were some good costumes. Lots of Sponge Bobs and Spidermans. Lots of princesses. A really cool Wolverine, complete with adamantium claws. A blue sweatsuit covered in rubber ducks: a duck pond. And unlike Lileks, I saw a couple of terrorists and Osamas. And lots of Soldiers. I guess it comes with the territory.

Oh yeah, and I'm the awful lady who gives away Tootsie Rolls and Blow Pops and cheapie candy. We got hundreds of kids, and I wasn't about to spend $50 on brand-name candy bars. I managed to make two large bowls of candy last for an hour and forty minutes, thank goodness. I was about to start giving away Pringles...

Posted by: Sarah at 05:45 AM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
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1 Well, at least you had candy. I live where there are nothing but tourists so didn't get any candy at all. Had the most trick or treaters I've ever had. I gave out cookie packets and puzzle books. I'm afraid to look outside and see what they've done to my house/car. :-)

Posted by: Tammi at November 01, 2004 08:09 AM (UOdfZ)

2 I love tootsie rolls personally. It was the homemade popcorn balls that I couldn't stand as a kid, that and rootbeer barrels. Ugh.

Posted by: John at November 01, 2004 08:58 AM (crTpS)

3 "when you're in my country, taking my free candy, please attempt a thank you" I thought you were in Germany, no?

Posted by: Sen at November 01, 2004 04:23 PM (UGEqL)

4 Well, at least they said thank you; that's better than no thank you at all. We had tons of kids. A car would pull up in the cul de sac, and the kids would just pile out! The weather cooperated too. Remember the year it snowed on Halloween? I think I have as much fun as the kids do! Your great-grandmother dressed up every Halloween and would answer the door in a costume, and she lived to be 101 yrs. old! I barely had candy left for your dad, and I bought the good stuff--Reese's peanut butter cups, Milky Ways, Hersheys, Three Musketeers, and two big bags of "fat free" (ha) candy! Love, Your mama

Posted by: Nancy at November 01, 2004 06:25 PM (YuW6k)

5 When you have to show identification to police guards to come onto this land, where goods are bought with dollars and American laws are respected, that's "my country," even if it is located inside of Germany.

Posted by: Sarah at November 02, 2004 02:57 AM (tbDbc)

6 Why the fuck don't you leave, Sarah? But please, oh please, don't come within 500 kilometers of Australia. We don't allow imports of toxic waste.

Posted by: Pastor Maker at November 02, 2004 05:54 AM (yktYu)

7 Ok, so let me get this straight... You live in Germany, German kids came to your door where you gave them candy for Halloween, they said thank you, but it wasn't in your preferred language? Do you even realize how asinine you sound? What's ironic is, Halloween anywhere else in the world isn't anywhere near the scale of the celebration of it in the US. It's even viewed as more as a nuisance than anything to celebrate in some places. Maybe the real problem is that you're expecting your views of other countries to conform to those of the US. Just a thought.

Posted by: Ani at November 02, 2004 09:48 AM (5mZhR)

8 No, as I stated before, I live in the United States, inconveniently located within the German borders. German people came onto our military post intentionally to trick-or-treat, since it's not popular off-post. They can at least put out the effort to wear some stinking costumes. And I love the ignorance of someone who asks why I don't "just leave", as if I had any freaking say in the matter. If they released us, I'd leave tomorrow. Tonight if I could get our stuff packed fast enough. I'll never understand why Seb's still reading my blog.

Posted by: Sarah at November 02, 2004 10:55 AM (jiAFw)

9 No you don't. You live in Germany, and if local kids are getting on base to share your American custom, your base housing isn't gates, either. I did two tours in Germany, and I'm sorry you find yourself 'inconveniently placed' there instead of appreciating the opportunity you have. If you want to wall yourself into your little fantasy America, go for it - but don't expect the local population or your fellow military neighbors to agree with you about it. What a waste of opportunity. And way to illustrate the Ugly American stereotype.

Posted by: LyndaB at November 02, 2004 11:07 AM (cupk4)

10 "Some of the German kids didn't even bother to wear costumes, and they gave me a danke schön when they left, which almost made me want to snatch the candy back." What a lovely example of the "ugly American" syndrome! Sorry Sarah; unless you're living in an embassy compound you are on sovereign German soil, not a little piece of America in Germany. You are the guest. Learn to behave like one.

Posted by: A Hermit at November 02, 2004 12:46 PM (ErRgf)

11 Sarah, You happen to live on an American base in Germany. Through Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA), you are lucky to be under American laws. I served in Germany, and lived in Germany for 9 1/2 years. I've run across many people that think like you. You act like many of the Americans I knew - the "We kicked your ass 50 years ago" kind. It's a shame really. People like you could be why you hear many Germans say, "Amis raus!" Germany (and Europe, for that matter) has so much to offer. Maybe if you got out and explored, you'd find out things like: the reason Halloween isn't as popular in Germany because they happen to celebrate Fasching (similar to Mardi Gras). Halloween is a pretty Ameircan tradition.

Posted by: texprodigy at November 02, 2004 01:01 PM (0xnTl)

12 Woo-hoo, Sarah, you're attracting those egocentric dolts who take everything literally again. And apparently first time visitors, too, since they don't seem to have read your many posts about interaction with the community and the things you love about Europe. First of all, Pastor Maker, you needn't worry about Sarah ever coming to your part of the world. Having had to live in New Zealand for two years, I have fully briefed all my friends on the curiously insular nature of the coneheads down your way, especially tall poppy syndrome and the inbred inability to accept people from other countries into the local society. No worries on that score. Sweet as. CHOICE, BRO!! In addition, Sarah does not look at all bovine, which will greatly limit her ability to blend in with the female population, at least in New Zealand. As to Lynda B and TexProdigy, funny how the memory dims and all things German take on a rosy Oktoberfest happy cowbell atmosphere once we're home in the heartland. I have lived in Germany for a total of 10 years - civilian and military, three different locations, big cities and small villages. And I'm still here, so a bit more qualified to speak. (Much like Sarah, who is probably better traveled, more cultured and more fluent in other languages than anyone who posted here. Go ahead, Sarah, list the other places you've lived, since these blockheads seem to think you're just pining for Peoria, like they probably did their first tour.) Halloween is a big deal in our local German community. German stores now stock candy, pumpkins for carving, cards, and so forth. It gets bigger every year. Our post, as a gesture of goodwill to the community, allows German employees to escort children and grandchildren onpost to trick or treat in the American onpost housing area. Normally, they cannot come onpost because they are not ID card holders. Just this one night, and occasionally for a Volksfest. Germans in our area make faces when Americans speak in loud tones and order in English in the local restaurants. That's understandable. Sarah, and most of our group, can order food, shop, and converse to some extent in German. Sarah can actually speak multiple languages, the rest of us struggle along. But if I am going to Czech Republic, Italy, France or some other country, I make sure I know how to say please, thank you, excuse me and other polite phrases. Although perhaps a bit over the top, Sarah's basic point was that if you're going to interact all night and accept token gifts from people who don't speak your language, it wouldn't take much to give a big smile and thank them in English. I agree, Sarah hasn't lived here long enough. If she'd been here as long as I have, she would realize that a "thank you" from a kid on a military base is a welcome anomaly regardless of the language. The majority of American brats on a U.S. base or post have horrible manners and foul mouths. Just being behind them in the food court makes me want to go back to good old fashioned ear-grabbing. But hey, Pastor Maker, you'd fit right in. They like to use the word 'fuck' also - combined with any other word that comes to mind. Much like you, they childishly seek to shock with the use of a "bad" word. Unfortunately for you and other clueless moonbats from the hinterlands, the word "fuck" does not shock anyone who lives on a military post. Perhaps you should try a five or six syllable insult next time? We don't get many of those. My apologies for tarring the kind, tolerant and educated people of Australasia - all twenty of you. And as someone who interprets the NATO SOFA for a living - let's have a quick class. American civilians who are here with NATO SOFA status fall first under German law if they commit a crime. While the Germans normally don't prosecute minor infractions, they do have first bite at the apple. American family members are not subject to American criminal law in Germany -there are no state courts here, only federal courts that try soldiers (after the Germans release jurisdiction.) Any serious crime involving NATO SOFA forces accompanying family member must be tried in German court under German law. The soldiers and civilians tried in German court serve their time in a German prison. A Hermit, just so you don't feel left out - you're a simpering, smug twit, just like always. Persons allowed through the gate without ID cards are guests on post. Ask any of us who have to sign on our German friends, then escort them personally everywhere on post. As usual, in your rush to try to post the pithy comment you have overlooked the factual reality. You never disappoint. MWAHH, big kisses.

Posted by: Oda Mae at November 02, 2004 02:13 PM (srnjK)

13 Oda Mae, I'm sure the Australian Defence Forces (part of the "Grand Coalition of the Willing") and George W. Bush thank you for your kind words about the people of Australia.

Posted by: Pastor Maker at November 02, 2004 03:03 PM (BUHoE)

14 Oda Mae, You go, girl!! I love your feistiness and your obvious knowledge on most subjects! Gotta' go vote! Nancy

Posted by: Nancy at November 02, 2004 04:20 PM (YuW6k)

15 Why am I bothering reading posts from someone as ignorant and bigoted as you? Same reason we stare at car crashes I guess.

Posted by: Ugly American at November 02, 2004 04:30 PM (hHdwk)

16 Um...did it occur to you that the kids might not speak English? You know, being young and having lived their entire lives in Germany speaking German and all that.

Posted by: Jack of None at November 02, 2004 07:43 PM (BybzU)

17 Oda, so the laws of the post are the German laws ("first bite") and Sarah was wrong? And was she also wrong on the whole post is not a piece of German soil point? "Much like Sarah, who is probably better traveled, more cultured and more fluent in other languages than anyone who posted here." Wow, Sarah knows and is FLUENT in more than 7 (that's my number) languages? Wow, Sarah, why aren't you applying to the CIA translating job? The security of the country is at stake here, after all.

Posted by: Sen at November 02, 2004 09:59 PM (UGEqL)

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