You Can Call Angela Merkel Whatever You Want–Just Call When You Said You Would

Today in Slate, I delight in recent events in Milan, where Vladimir Putin was late to a meeting with Angela Merkel so she fucking bailed on him, because Angela Merkel is a goddamned baller.

Last week, when pocket-sized despot and notorious tiger-misplacer Vladimir Putin was late to a meeting with Merkel in Milan, she straight-up bailed on him, because Angela Merkel, not unlike the immaculate Berlin-to-Frankfurt InterCity Express, operates on a tight schedule.

The piece then digresses into a fun brief lesson on the wonders of German Pünktlickheit, including what the Deutsche Bahn fleet will be doing this Sunday at 3 a.m. (You’ll NEVER BELIEVE WHAT IT IS, so CLICK HERE! Ha.)

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10 thoughts on “You Can Call Angela Merkel Whatever You Want–Just Call When You Said You Would

  1. Learning that “um” does not mean “around” when used with time is a lesson in more than prepositions. If you mean around and not exactly on the dot, use “gegen” … and be prepared for looks of disapproval.

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  2. It never ceases to amaze me how cranky ze Germans get about a 4 minute train delay, or god forbid, the currently popular one day strikes, where you still have 4 OTHER types of public transport to get around Berlin / the country.

    Apparently the DB was always on time in the 1980s & 1990s (says everyone on the Bahnsteig ever while you wait an addition 24 seconds) and clearly everything has gone downhill since then, so how will civilization survive ?!

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    1. LOL, yeah to me the DB is still punctual as hell. Their “unacceptable” delays are like 10 minutes. If anything in the US arrived or departed with in 10 minutes of when it should it would be a goddamned miracle.

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  3. You may have picked a suboptimal week to post this article, as last week, the DB train engineers went on two separate strikes, and the Lufthansa pilots on one.

    Meanwhile, in Swiss train stations, there are ACTUAL announcements “Train XXX will be delayed approximately 4 minutes. We apologize for the delay”.

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  4. Can’t believe I’m defending Amtrak, but the shorter-range lines actually run pretty close (<15 minutes late) the great majority of the time. But it's still a rail system that the Bulgarians would be embarrassed by, to quote James Kunstler.

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    1. Maybe on the coasts, but here in the middle, there are no dedicated passenger tracks, so Amtrak leases from freight tracks and must defer to freight trains. Which means you pull off and let freight trains pass no less than three times an hour. And even if you’re only going a short distance, one of the two sad trains a day that goes to your destination will be a long-haul train, the aforementioned 7 hours late, so it sucks to be you. Also a three-day journey on a night train on Amtrak on anything that resembles a bed is $2000 ONE WAY, whereas the same albeit arduous journey on Eurail would be like $150 with a couchette supplement.

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