Day of German Unity

Today is the Day of German Unity, the day on which the Germans celebrate that 26 years ago, their country was reunited. It is the only holiday that is organised by federal law, and luckily for the Germans this means that everyone has a day off. Unfortunately enough, I wasn’t aware of this. This morning, at 8.00 sharp, I stood before the closed gates of the federal archive. When I asked the guard kindly if he could open it for me (I thought he simply was a little late since they usually open at 8.00), he looked at me with this mixture of disbelief and pity in his face, and he told me that ‘of course’ he couldn’t open the gate, since the archive was closed today. Didn’t I know that it was the Day of German Unity? Yes, I know, but I didn’t know that the archive was closed as well. Alles ist zu, he replied, since it’s a richtigen Feiertag.

To my defense, there was no notice on the archive’s website and also there was no note or anything in the archive itself. Still, I could have known. Germans take their holidays seriously. The streets were so calm and quiet this morning and most shops were still closed – I just never linked this to the holiday.

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So, off I was again, back to my appartment in Friedenau. Luckily, it’s a beautiful day and my bike ride home along the banks of the Teltowkanal was nice. I guess I’ll reunite myself with my paper on the council concept that I still have to finish.

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