Theo Rebergen: Make me a German

DID somone see the programme “Make me a German” on BBC 2 a few weeks ago? A real eye-opener!

An English family had to live in Nürnberg/Germany for 2 weeks like a typical German family.

The average German family has two kids, live in a rented house or apartment; 60% of the Germans live in rental accommodation for all their life. You need to save 30% for the down payment on a house and only get a mortgage if you have a job that guarantees that you can pay the monthly rates.

The most common name in Germany is Thomas Müller, the average wage is €2000 clean; this is less than the average credit card bill of my English friends.

They drive a small German car and are members of a club or society. Choirs are in, but tennis is also very popular.

The English dad was given a job in a pencil factory called Faber Castell. One of the most modern productions I have ever seen making 10.000nds of pencils a day and owning 80% of the world market. Arriving punctual at work at 07:30 was crucial, keep your work space clean and the use of mobile phones during work hours was forbidden.

And surfing social media on the office pc is a no-no; however Facebook is not very popular in Germany as it only works in English.

Surprisingly the Germans work less hours than the English but according to the English dad much more efficient.

The mum (like 70% of German mums) stayed at home and looked after the kids. She is expected to do 4 hrs of house cleaning, a shocker for the UK mum. The five-year-old went to a kindergarden in the middle of the woods were they learn about nature and simple live. English health and safety would have gone berserk. German kids start school, like in Holland at 6. It was hilarious to see the English couple jodling on a mountain side wearing Bavarian costumes. I thought I knew a lot about Germany, but I was stunned how a little bit of seawater, a piece of Belgium or France in between, can make such a difference.

I became aware that spending 5 years most of my time in England, has changed my perspective very much.

Nevertheless I can’t stand that people that are slagging England without bringing constructive ideas. The Mail reported that many UK sea sides are deteriorated; we recently visited Ramsgate and indeed it was a shocker.

I had not heard from Clacton which according to The Mail is a slum and I know that Hastings could do with a large make-over. I feel lucky to have Eastbourne as my second home; great beaches and an immaculate boulevard.

However, it is to the English people to kick ass with their MP’s so they spend money for the future. If you clean up your sea sides and make them as attractive as many rural areas in England, you will have millions of Germans coming on holidays.

Ho-ho-ho, I know what you are thinking, they might bring the odd plastic toy gun made in china but they are good spenders and love England.

A good example to get out of the mess is Scheveningen in Holland. Once the worst seaside dump you could think of, worse than any town on the whole English coast. But with a massive 5-year restructure plan the Dutch have turned it around.

Modern, clean boulevards, big musical theatres and a brand new pier. (not seen it yet) The temporary restaurants on the beach had to upgrade their act and the old Kurhaus looks like its best as in1885 when it was built.

I don’t know where they got the cash from, maybe borrowed it from the Germans. So send your clever MP dicks to Holland to learn and on the way back they can go to Helga in Berlin and ask for the money she refuses to send to Greece.

Let me end on a high note; the UK economy is aiming for a boom again. Bale to Madrid for 90 Million, Rooney anywhere for 50 and a UK company got a licence fracking for gas in Holland. Brings a load of extra cash for the treasurer, with this money he could upgrade a lot of seaside places. Wonder what Labour would offer for Boris Johnson? As he is a bike freak, the Dutch might bid for him.

Views from across the Channel on Europe and England. You can read more about me on