Stories From California

Sometimes I want to write more than just journalistically about my experiences as a reporter. That is why I started to write down my thoughts, observations and emotions beyond scripts for radio, print and TV. This experiment is a lot of fun and scary at the same time. But, as they say, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

The Human Cost of War

Growing up in Germany in the 60s and 70s I saw a lot of documentaries about the Nazi-regime in school. Since then, the sight of German soldiers in uniform always generates mixed feelings. I had come to the conclusion that our military should only be involved in humanitarian actions and never again in war. I was not alone. Most of my friends chose alternative services over the military service. In the 1990s Germany’s highest court ruled that armed deployment of the military was in conformity with the constitution which created heated discussions regarding the morality, pros and cons of that decision. 

Cappuccino ohne WLan

Cafes in den USA sind selten Treffpunkte für Kaffeeklatsch. An den Tischen sitzen einsame Menschen, ihre Gesichter erleuchtet vom blauen Schimmer aus dem Bildschirm ihres Laptops. Das Cafe ist für Freiberufler Büroersatz. Bevor sie einen Cappuccino bestellen, suchen sie eine Steckdose und nehmen die Verbindung auf zum Internet. Für Cafes von Starbucks bis zum Indi-Treff galt deshalb: alle müssen kostenlosen WLan-Anschluss haben, sonst kommt keine Kundschaft. Denkste! Der Trend geht in eine andere Richtung - U.S.-Cafes kappen die WiFi-Verbindung.

Who is Oprah?

“What exactly does she do?” “Didn’t Tom Cruise go crazy on her sofa?” “Doesn’t she give away cars every week?” “Isn’t she one of the richest women in America?” “Didn’t she run for president once?” Germans ask these kind of questions when the conversation turns to Oprah. Most Germans would not recognize the world’s most popular and influential talk-show-star if she were drinking a beer next to them at the Oktoberfest. The Oprah show has been broadcast in almost 150 countries worldwide; Germany isn’t one of them. Unless you count a small selection of her shows on a very obscure network.

Erdnußbutter und Entenfett - Gourmetimbiss für Hunde

Der butterkeksfarbene Kleinlaster, der durch Los Angeles fährt ist beklebt mit einer bunten Speisekarte, die für Kekse und Speiseeis wirbt:

Joghurt-Eisbecher Hamilton, Geschmacksrichtung Erbsen, Erdnussbutter und Speck. Für den Truman wird Erdnussbutter-Eis mit Johannisbrotstrudel gemischt.

No-Frills Mindfulness

First I thought I had written down the wrong address. Looking for the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, I was certain I was going to see lush gardens, floating lotus-flowers on a lake and at least one Buddha-Statue. But no--as it turns out, there were no such things at this center. It is on the second floor of one of the nondescript office-buildings you can find anywhere in the United States. The practice room is a converted conference room; the huge flat screen television still hangs on the front wall and mercilessly shines light on meditating students.