You know you’re from Luxembourg…

Posted on February 16th, 2008 @ 01:07 in Uncategorized

I’m procrastinating. (should be tidying up cuz Kate’s coming tmw) My cousin joined this group on Facebook and they have this long list of things about Lux (it’s pretty student-abroad-centric). Anyway it’s quite interesting / fun / weird. Some points I totally know / identify with, some are part of the many reasons I ran away from Lux, and some mean nothing at all to me (I’m getting old, me). So here’s a shortened and commented version. ๐Ÿ˜€

1) you absolutely hate the Germans, although you constantly watch German TV, read German newspapers, listen to German music and know more about what’s going on in Germany than in your home country. – OMG yes! That’s so typically Lux, and it took me such a long time to get over that. (this is still largely rooted in WW2, and maybe also some kind of “bigger, more interesting neighbour that we are very similar to” jealousy similar to how the Canadian feel towards the US)

2) you call lasagne & spaghetti meatballs “Pastaschutta”. – lol!!! It’s actually spelled “pasta asciutta” and just means “dry pasta.” I had totally forgotten about that!!! I think what I would call pasta asciutta doesn’t contain anything lasagne-like tho. Just spaghetti, meatballs, and some sort of tomato sauce.

3) your national football team makes it to the front page of your newspapers after they’ve won a game. Once every twelve years. – =)) well yeah they’re shit.

5) you love your Prime Minister, although you didn’t vote for him. – :)) I don’t love him but I do think he’s doing a pretty good job representing our mini-country in the EU. I would get totally excited if he was made EU president. Go Jean-Claude!!!

6) you use articles with given names. – lol yeah Lux does that. You’d say “the Tom said…” etc. It’s very peculiar isn’t it, since none of the other Germanic languages do it (as far as I’m aware).

12) you constantly joke about government employees, but eventually end up being one. – thankfully I didn’t (well only for a year) but yes, this is so very true. The government is the biggest employer in Lux. One day that country’s going to implode.

14) you have to drive at 180 km/h as soon as you cross the German border. – :wh Well come on!!! Besides they’re getting rid of their “no speed limit” soon anyway so it will all be over. :((

18) you worship “Krรฉckel Nรฉckel”, “De Bip bei de Wiichtelcher” and “Tatta Dillendapp”. – just leaving this in to illustrate the “I’m getting old” point. I have no fucking clue what they’re on about!!!!

19) you like the band Placebo, although you know that Brian Molko hates you. He does. – =)) Yeah he hates Lux but he doesn’t hate me cuz I fled, for many of the reasons he also hates it. ๐Ÿ˜€ So I’m almost like him. :wh Besides if he hated it so much they wouldn’t do shows there. =;

23) you’ll NEVER leave your home country for good. – I’m not sure how to take this one. Is it like a “you can take me out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of me” thing? In that case I might agree (since I’m actually commenting on this list). If it’s to be taken literally… well actually, quite a few Luxembourgers leave (they usually stay in the country where they’ve studied). Brain drain haha.

24) you go abroad and you have to tell people your mother tongue is neither French nor German, but Luxembourgish. And NO it’s not Dutch either. – OMG yes. Tho I don’t mind explaining so much anymore.

26) you use two different words fir “2”. – this one intrigues me. Yeah there’s a male and female version of “two” but so there is for “one”. Oh yeah I guess it makes sense if you’re less anglocentric. In both German and French there are gender variations for “one” but not “two”.

30) you use the same words to say ‘I like you’ and ‘I love you’. – yes and OMG it’s so annoying!! I wonder how people in Lux deal!! (I never had to tell anyone “I love you” in Lux, thankfully) How can there not be a word for “love” in Lux!??!?   I wonder what it says about our country. ๐Ÿ˜

34) you know that it will take you 30 mins max to drive to either France, Belgium or Germany. – yeah how cool was that??!? That’s one thing I still miss. A lot. The UK is so… isolated!!! Of course that’s part of the reason the people here are the way they are, but I do miss just jumping in your car and being in Mainz or Paris within a few hours. No far-ahead booking of planes etc… *sigh*

36) you go shopping in Trier and curse about the far too many Luxembourgers in the city. – so do the people of Trier. Yet what would they do without Luxies? *lol* (Trier is the 1st big German town across the border, easily accessible by motorway, so Luxies go there for shopping. A lot.)

38) you know that the University of Luxembourg is merely a joke. – it is? My main beef with it is that now you can do a full degree there it’s gonna encourage even more people to “stay home with mummy” instead of experiencing a different country, seeing some of the world, and taking some of it back to Lux to make sure it doesn’t become all too self-centred, backward, and even worse than it is now. (but why should they care? they have the highest fucking GDP per capita in the world! oh but it ain’t gonna last…)

43) you are unable to pronounce the following sounds: the German ‘ch’, the English ‘th’. Furthermore you can’t tell the difference between the letters ‘w’ and ‘r’ in English. – luckily I am able to do all of the above. But yeah they’re (some of) the main pronounciation issues of the typical Luxembourger. Add to that the “on” vs “an” in French which they also can’t handle. But hey at least we learn the languages, which still makes us better than most of the fucking rest of you suckers.

47) you call the Portuguese ‘Guallen’, Italians ‘Biren’, Germans ‘Preisen’ and the French ‘Heckefransousen’. – I’d forgotten about some of these. Ah national stereotypes, gotta love ’em! *lol*
“Gual” – I have no idea what the origin of this is, maybe just a sound that’s meant to imitate the Portuguese language.
“Biren” – “bears” in English. I’m pretty sure I knew the origin of this once – the obvious explanation is “Italians are hairy like bears” but for some reason I think there was sth more subtle behind it…. sth like “there was a threat of bears from the Piemont at that time so the first wave of Italian immigrants was likened to it.” But I might just be making that up.
Preisen – ok this is sth I still cannot shed  personally and probably never will. “Preis” is derived from “Preussen(Prussia). I have some vague recollection why… aah Wikipedia to the rescue (translated from Lux, hehe):
There was a prussian garrison stationed within the fortress of Lux between 1815 and 1867. This, along with the fact that the territories east of Lux belonged to Prussia from 1815 til the end of WW2, explains why to this day the term “Preisen” is being used for “Germans” in general. After the experiences of WW2 it is not surprising that this term often has a negative connotation. For that reason it is currently no longer considered “politically correct” to use that term.
So apparently I am not politically correct. :)) Yet I can’t get myself to say anything but “Preisen” in Lux. The “correct” term “Daitscher” just sounds clumsy and wrong to me.
Heckefransous – ok what they say is incorrect. A “Heckefransous” is a French person who lives just across the border – on the other side of the (garden?) hedge. Fransous = Frenchman, Heck = hedge. But it is a typically Lux term. ๐Ÿ˜›

51) you know at least four languages, but can’t write in your mother tongue. – hehe, this is indeed very true since Lux grammar and spelling (which does exist these days, by decree of… sth some time in the late 70es) is not actually properly taught (come on, who cares??). But we manage to communicate in writing anyway. ๐Ÿ˜›

59) you hear the sentence ‘Tell me something in your mother tongue’ once a week.UGH!!! I mean I don’t anymore since I don’t meet new people so much, but isn’t that one of the most annoying things ever?!?!?! “oh say something in Lux!!” – “ugh ok, I hate being put on the spot, tell me what to say” – “oh I don’t know, anything!” – FOR FUCK’S SAKE, IF YOU CAN’T EVEN BE BOTHERED TO COME UP WITH A SENTENCE FOR ME TO SAY YOU CAN’T BE THAT INTERESTED!!! I AM NOT YOUR FUCKING CIRCUS FREAK!!!!!!!!!!

60) you put a conditionnel after ‘si’ in French. – I’m only including this because this is like one of the only things I took away from my father… my brother and I always made this mistake and he’d always correct us. By the time I learnt this rule in school it was already soooo ingrained in me I never made the mistake. :))

65) you study abroad and speak more in your mother tongue than in the foreign language. – OMG this is one of the things that used to annoy me to death about Lux students!!!!!!!!!!!! They basically all go to the same typical unis – Strasbourg, Nancy, Paris, Trier, Bonn, whatever, and they all hang out together – they might as well have stayed at home!!!!!! Which obviously they are doing now that the Lux Uni does complete degrees. (|

67) you know the police officer who arrests you and the judge who judges you. – Yeah. Lux is a small fucking annoying country. Most ironically, my parents definitely would have known/had influence on either (had I ever been in trouble) but they would’ve told me “tough shit, you got yourself into this kerfuffle, live with the consequences.” AS ONE SHOULD DO!!!! But that infected, incestuous, corrupted little piece of land… UGH!!!!
The other side of this is that everyone who matters in Lux has heard of my father. Which is amusing. “Oooh him…? Oh God!” *lol* And yet he lives. *sigh* *forces self to shut up*

68) you always meet somebody you know when you go out. – yeah and that’s one of the reasons that made me run. “Oh let us go to that place cuz that’s where I will see people I know!” Oh piss the fuck off.

72) you think it is normal that 50% of the cars on the streets have foreign number plates. – yes, and to expand on that, you’re also used to getting aaaall sorts of different Euro coins! I was soooo surprised to hear from K&T that they really only get German ones. And to go back to number plates, I always find it fascinating when people in this country are all amazed I can identify pretty much every European number plate just from the formats/colours/style etc. They’re soooo underexposed to foreign number plates!

79) you think it’s normal that teachers and social workers can afford fancy cars and houses. – no I think it’s a fucking outrage cuz it means that utterly unmotivated people stick with the job just for the money!!!!!!! They’re miserable, they hate it, they’re doing a shit job, kids & families are neglected as a result, the country goes down the drain… I could go on for ages. ๐Ÿ˜

80) you care about what your neighbours will think.way up in the Top5 reasons I fled.

81) you use ‘d’Sau’ to refer to other people. – LMAO I’m glad to hear that’s still in use. “d’Sau” is equivalent to “the pig” and for some obscure reason it became part of youth speak and you’d use it to refer to just about anyone!!! As in… “you know [friend] – the pig has a new mobile with such a cool cam” or “Woah did you see [singer] at [club] last night? The pig was awesome!!” I used to use it excessively and I remember my mum getting exasperated. :))

84) you study about 200km away from Luxembourg and go home every single weekend. – *cough* Well I did that when I studied 400km away (Paris), but my excuse was I was in love with a horse. ๐Ÿ˜€

90) you refuse to use public transport on principle. *cough again* Yeah I was totally like that. Now I appreciate the advantages of public transport not being stuck in fucking traffic jams all the time. That said, public transport in Lux does suck. Or maybe I only think it does cuz of the above categorical refusal to give it a try? :))

94) you say “I’m going to the city” and everyone knows exactly which city you’re talking about. *teehee* Yeah but tbh you use that elsewhere too. If I say here “I’m going into town” people know it means I am crossing the scary thing that is the Old Steine and venturing into Central Brighton (eek!).

95) you remember Sam & Tam. – no I don’t! Who are they!?! :))

97) you know that the Luxembourgish flag is soooo different from the Dutch. – Well the blue is obviously considerably lighter!!!! How can people not get that!?!? 8-|

98) you don’t like to bump into Luxembourgish people when you’re on holiday. – jaja but that’s a stereotype we share with other nations (Germans et al. Wonder how the ubiquitous Dutch feel?).

99) you can’t get to know anyone you don’t share at least one friend with. Thankfully no longer. ๐Ÿ˜€

– The End –


Michelle said on Feb 16, 2008 at 3:49 am

I’d like to know more about Lux, too, but there aren’t many reasons why anyone would care enough to talk about it unfortunately. At least due to my European Law studies I have reasons to regularly remember Lux.

Very funny entry! ๐Ÿ˜€

Clarissa said on Feb 16, 2008 at 8:51 am

Thanks ๐Ÿ˜€
I think there’s quite a bit of info about Lux on the web. It’s a pretty interesting country in its own fucked up way. Historically also. And linguistically.
We’re weird LOL.

Michelle said on Feb 16, 2008 at 9:22 am

Aaaah, but I mean regularly know more, on the news and such. But you seem to not even have outstanding politicians that matter enough to be mentioned, people like Sarkozy and the likes. LOL

Clarissa said on Feb 16, 2008 at 9:53 am

But we have Schang-Klot!!! (as Kohl used to say)
Aaaand Robert Schuman was of Lux origin. And don’t forget Viviane Reding! Er… that’s it. (I think)
I don’t think Lux politics is that interesting cuz it has little influence on the world at large. But if you want Sarkozy-style news you can always buy Bild der Frau or Frau im Spiegel, I believe the Lux monarchy is regularly discussed in there, esp. Maria Teresa and her latest escapades.

Michelle said on Feb 16, 2008 at 9:57 am

Hmmmmmm no, not enough to me to raise my interest. And I’m not really interested a lot in monarchies usually. Sarkozy, besides his private business, is at least still active as a politician, sort of.

Clarissa said on Feb 16, 2008 at 10:39 am

:)) Ja well I doubt a tiny country is going to offer enough to raise your interest. ๐Ÿ˜›

Michelle said on Feb 16, 2008 at 10:59 am

Ooooooh, but it still does! There are way bigger countries that raise less of my interest. :))

Katja said on Feb 16, 2008 at 11:38 am

“Youโ€™d say โ€œthe Tom saidโ€ฆโ€ etc. Itโ€™s very peculiar isnโ€™t it, since none of the other Germanic languages do it (as far as Iโ€™m aware).”

Many German dialects use articles with names, especially those in the south-west (in Mainz they say “der Tobias” or “die Katja” – in Saxony too, btw). And Luxemburgish is actually a German dialect.

“In both German and French there are gender variations for โ€œoneโ€ but not โ€œtwoโ€.”

In Russian there are three words for “one”: neuter, male and female gender. They also got two words for “two”, one being male (and neuter) and one being female.

Michelle said on Feb 16, 2008 at 11:44 am

Though in German, if you use articles with names, people think you’re retarded. It’s not really considered okay.

Katja said on Feb 16, 2008 at 12:00 pm

In the south-west of Germany it’s totally normal if you use articles with names. Nobody here will think you’re retarded. Even graduates do it.

Michelle said on Feb 16, 2008 at 1:49 pm

I originally come from Rhineland-Palatinate, and they considered it retarded at the Gymnasium.

Vega said on Feb 16, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Interesting, all of this. Fun read!

(I see Old Steine AND Kemp Town as central Brighton! But then I live in MILE OAK when Im visiting, so anything between the Marina and Hove is central to me, lol)

Clarissa said on Feb 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Yeah but Milke Oak isn’t Brighton. It isn’t even Hove!!! :))

Jajaja @ German dialect. *lol* I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist pointing it out. :9

Vega said on Feb 16, 2008 at 7:21 pm

It is too! Its Brighton post code so it is Brighton, mmmkay? :p

Clarissa said on Feb 16, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Lewes has BN postcodes too. ๐Ÿ˜

BML said on Feb 18, 2008 at 1:32 am

*lol* I wondered if Placebo would be up there!

PS. Hope you got my (pointless) email about all the places with your name!

Clarissa said on Feb 18, 2008 at 7:45 am

I did, didn’t I reply? ๐Ÿ˜•


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