Vorhang auf ! German Theater Group of San Diego invites to “That’s Life”

How about some German Cabaret? If you are living in or near San Diego you are in luck, because San Diego’s German Theater Group just announced its new show for April. Running only for two days you want to plan on getting your tickets early!

So ist das Leben! (That’s Life) promises an evening of laughter with humorous and thought-provoking skits, poems and musical numbers from classic German artists including Heinz Erhardt, Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Kaestner, Marlene Dietrich, Comedian Harmonists, to Otto, Loriot, Ruediger Hoffmann, Anke Engelke, Annett Louisan, Roger Cicero and more.

The show will be performed in German but an English summary of each skit will be provided in the playbill.

Dates: April 21, 2018, at 7:30 pm and April 22, 2018, at 2:00 pm
Price: General Admission $12, Students (with ID) $9
Place: German American Societies, 1017 S. Molison Ave., El Cajon, CA 92020

Get Your TICKETS Here !

The German Theater Group San Diego was founded in October 2016 by Astrid Ronke and is part of the German Amercian Societies in San Diego. The group consists of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, whose mission is to bring quality German Theater to San Diego and neighboring areas.

On Saturday, March 18, 2017, “Ein Abend mit Loriot” premiered to a packed house at the OB Playhouse in San Diego.

Find out more about the German Theater Group San Diego here.

Images ©German Theater Group San Diego



You Know You Live Close to Hollywood When…



… You run into famous celebrities from time to time.  I have always been fascinated with the film and television industry, and it was like a dream come true when my parents took me to visit Hollywood for the first time during a vacation back in 1998.

While the Hollywood Walk of Fame may not be the prettiest and cleanest attraction on the planet, during our trip I was fascinated by it.  I loved seeing the names of famous people from various fields of the entertainment industry framed in pink stars scattered along the streets.  Little did I know that I was actually going to see an actual celebrity just the next day.

We had tickets for the Universal Studios Hollywood. It was a warm summer day, and the park was packed.  While we were waiting in line for the Jurassic Park ride, my mom was looking around and faced the back side, where the actual film studios are located. She suddenly let out a gasp and announced that Mr. Pretty Woman aka Richard Gere just drove by on the studio lot.

I quickly turned around, and there it was, my first major celebrity sighting. Even though I just caught a very short glimpse of Richard scooting in a golf cart in between the sets, it was still something I was very looking forward to telling my High School friends back in Germany.

My next major sighting occurred a couple years ago at LAX airport, also known as “celebrity central” (nah, I just made that up, but it suits the location.)  I was on my way to visit my best friend in Dallas and was hanging out at the departure gate for my flight.

As it was getting closer to boarding time, I stood up and walked closer towards the boarding area.  While I was standing close to a pole and checked my phone, I noticed two women standing close to me, one of them looking very familiar.  I took a longer peek over, and then it dawned on me: There, only a few inches away from me stood Kirsten Dunst.

She seemed so normal and no one was bothering her that you wouldn’t have noticed her. She and her girlfriend were just standing there talking to each other.  I kept glimpsing over, but since I am generally not the type that walks over to ask for autographs or pictures, I didn’t want to bother her.

What a fun coincidence it was that she was on the same flight as me.  But what stood out to me the most was that, instead of sitting in first class and participating in priority boarding, she actually joined the “normal” crowd and sat in Economy Class. This was by far my favorite celebrity moment and showed me again that, at the end of the day, Hollywood stars are just like us.

My latest celebrity experience occurred in 2014 in Laguna Beach.  It was on a Sunday, and a couple of friends and I had just finished a hike around the Laguna Canyons when we decided to grab some food.  We went to a burger place close to the beach.

I didn’t even notice it at first when we entered the restaurant since all I could focus on at that point was food, but two of my girlfriends started whispering to each other.  All I heard them saying was, “there is Batman.” I had no clue what they were talking about and just raised my brows, then put my attention back on the host who was guiding us to our table.

When we all set down, my friends kept peeking over towards the entrance of the restaurant.  Since I still hadn’t figured out what was going on, I leaned back in my chair so I could glimpse past them and then realized why they were so excited.  There, at one of the tables on the other end of the restaurant, sat Christian Bale with his family.

I was a huge fan of The Dark Knight Rises, and so were my friends.  While I was just enjoying being in the same restaurant as the latest Batman actor, my two girlfriends were arguing to go over and ask for a picture with him or not.  I was totally not up for it, obviously because I am always too shy to ask and second because he was there with his kids and wife.

My friends eventually decided against it and we just indulged our food until it was time to pay.  Christian Bale and his family had already left, but our waiter was pretty excited about the whole situation as well.  When he came to give us the check he blurted out, “Did you guys just see that Christian Bale was here?!” We all started laughing and then asked him a million questions about how it was to serve such a famous actor.

So whenever you are going on with your life in Southern California, be aware that around every corner a celebrity could be awaiting you.


Images: pixabay.com

Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.


A Friendship For A Lifetime




Recently, I have talked about a friendship that unfortunately didn’t survive the long distance between Germany and the US.   Luckily though, I was able to maintain the majority of my relationships, even though it is sometimes really hard to stay in touch.  One friendship I have been very blessed with is the one with my best friend.

Let me tell you, my best friend and I had quite a few bumps on the road that we had to overcome, but nothing was able to destroy our bond (even if it might have seemed that way in those particular moments).  We have been through many, many ups and downs together, including losses of family members, severe illnesses, broken relationships, and pregnancies. But let’s circle back to where it all began.

We were four years old when we met in a German kindergarten in the town we both grew up.  We also were in the same class during elementary school.  Throughout these two stages of our life, we were friends, but not BFFs. We had occasional play dates, but especially during the later stages of elementary school, we had one particular “friend” interfering with us.

What basically happened was that this one girl was pretty jealous whenever my best friend and I were hanging out. Eileen (name changed due to privacy) could not stand it if she wasn’t involved, and she became mad and mean.

I remember one specific time, when I was about to have a sleepover at my best friend’s house, and Eileen called and told me that if I would go over there, she would stop being friends with me. Gosh, we were seven, eight years old at that time, but she acted like a jealous boyfriend.  With her behavior, she drove a wedge between my best friend and me.

When we graduated elementary school, my best friend and I went on to different schools, while Eileen and I continued our path together.  But her behavior didn’t change.  I remember one time when we were changing after P.E. class, and she asked me who my parents had voted for in the recent election.  I told her that that information was discrete and I wasn’t going to disclose it.

Instead of accepting my response, she threatened me that she would not give me back my stuffed animal horse I had borrowed her.  When I think about this now I start laughing, but back in the days, I didn’t think it was funny at all. It is probably not a big surprise when I tell you that we are not friends anymore.

So, to make a long story short, throughout High School, my best friend and I kept in touch but we weren’t that close at the time.  Some friendships will take their time to grow into a strong relationship, which is how it was with us.

After finishing High School, we continued on to different schools to finish our education.  Luckily, I lost touch with Eileen and didn’t have to deal with her mean ways anymore. During that time, my best friend had her first boyfriend.  I was there for her when the two of them broke up, one of the major milestones our friendship has been through.

Unfortunately though, shortly afterward, I messed up with my best friend’s trust big time. No, I didn’t get involved with her ex, but I disclosed a piece of information to him that was very private and brought her into trouble.

I wasn’t sure if our then-damaged friendship would survive this.  She was very mad at me, and she had every right to be.  I don’t remember exactly how we overcame this, but we did.  It took a while for her to forgive me and to rebuild trust, but we were able to move on.

A couple of years later, we were faced with the next challenge. She landed a job in eastern Leipzig, while I was living with my sister in Olsberg, a small town in the Sauerland region, about two hours away from Dusseldorf, where we grew up.  Again, we stayed in touch but didn’t see each other often.

At the age of 25, I made the move to the United States as an au pair.  When I was living in Brooklyn close to the end of my cultural exchange, my best friend had a business trip to New York.  We were so excited to be reunited at the other side of the pond, especially me since I was going through a really tough time.  We had a blast together in Manhattan and spent some great quality time.  Our friendship was still going strong even though we hadn’t seen each other in so long.

A month after our reunion in New York I moved back to Germany.  The following year, both my best friend and I met our “American men” in the same month.  She met hers at a work event in Leipzig, while I met mine at an Irish pub in Dusseldorf. She got engaged and moved to Charlotte, North Caroline the following April while I moved to Huntington Beach to start college the following July.

I swear to God, we didn’t plan any of this together and had no clue that we would both saying goodbye to live in Germany at almost the same time.  I do believe though that everything in life happens for a reason, and that this coincidence was fate.  While my best friend started out in Charlotte and then moved to Dallas for a couple years, I was always rooted on the west coast.

We kept visiting each other, and it was so amazing to have someone you have known forever be “close by” in a different country.  We could relate to the cultural differences and how hard some adjustments to the U.S. were (and still are). Then, in October of 2015, my best friend moved to Redondo Beach because she got a job in LA.  I was over the moon to have her so close to me.

Having to go through all these stages of our life, our friendship has never been closer.  At his point, we consider each other family.  And I strongly believe that nothing will be able to destroy the bond we have.  We will be those grannies you see in videos and memes that are rocking the dance floor with huge Sombreros on their heads and wine glasses in hand.


Images: pixabay.com

Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.



Meet Josie Pepper at the Munich International Airport

FMG,Pepper Roboter,Flughafen München

Embracing the future at Munich International Airport

Should you be on your way to Munich by plane and end up in Terminal 2,  you will meet Lufthansa’s and Munich Airport’s new attraction: Josie Pepper!

Who is Josie Pepper?

Josie Pepper speaks English and will “await passengers at the top of the ramp leading to the shuttle connecting the main terminal to the satellite building…” Nothing groundbreaking really about this news…

BUT, Josie Pepper is not your regular airport ground attendant. ‘She’ looks in fact like ‘she’ could be R2D2’s girlfriend. The innovative news about her is that ‘she’ is a humanoid robot about 42 inches tall. While no novelty in Japan and other countries, Josie represents the very first test of a humanoid robot equipped with artificial intelligence at a German airport!

FMG,Pepper Roboter,Flughafen München

Artificial Intelligence in a Testing Phase

When Josie speaks, ‘she’ does not just deliver pre-defined texts. The humanoid robot has the ability to learn and so it answers each question individually.

Josie Pepper’s “brain” contains a high-performance processor with a WLAN internet access. This creates a connection to a cloud service where speech is processed, interpreted and linked to the airport data. Just like a “real” brain, the system becomes steadily better at combining questions with the relevant information to provide more precise replies. (Deutsche Lufthansa AG)

Will we see more of Josie’s kind moving about the Munich Airport in the future? This seems to be up to the passengers. Munich Airport and Deutsche Lufthansa are testing how passengers react to having Josie around. So, be welcoming to Josie Pepper and treat her kindly!

Want to find out more about Josie Pepper and the technic behind ‘her’? Check out this link here.

Images and Information: ©Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Munich Airport


‘Frühlingserwachen’ – Von wegen “Stille der Natur”


(Eine Kurzgeschichte von Dieter Kermas)

Die warme Sonne lockt mich zu einem ersten Spaziergang in den Frühling.
Endlich die trüben Tage des nasskalten Winters hinter sich lassen und in der erwachenden Natur die Lebensgeister mit neuer Kraft stärken.
Doch, was ist das?

Die stille Natur empfängt mich mit einem Getöse, dass mir die Sinne schwinden.
Das lärmende Geläute der Schneeglöckchen reißt mich aus meinen tiefen Gedanken. Mit lautem Knall bersten die Knospen der Buche über mir, und ringsum schießen die Krokusse lautstark aus dem Boden. Erschrocken lehne ich mich an den Stamm einer Birke und erhalte einen mächtigen Tritt ins Kreuz. Ach so, ich vergaß, dass die Bäume im Frühling ausschlagen. Vom nahen Teich dringt nervtötendes Tröten des Froschblasorchesters in mein Ohr.

In diesem Moment steuert eine viermotorige Hummel mit ohrenbetäubendem Gebrumm auf meinen Kopf zu. Ich kann gerade noch den Kopf zu Seite nehmen, um einen Aufprall zu entgehen. Ich höre wie betäubt, die Vögel, ihre Liebeslieder in den blauen Himmel brüllen, da lässt mich ein Tackern, wie von einem Maschinengewehr in volle Deckung gehen. Gottlob ist es nur ein Specht, der eine Nisthöhle aushämmert. Ehe ich mich vom Boden aufraffe, höre ich dicht neben meinem Ohr ein verdächtiges Knistern, doch, es ist nur das Gras, das sich wachsend der Sonne entgegenreckt.  Ein Eichhörnchen hat eine Nuss seines Wintervorrates wiedergefunden und lässt sie in diesem Augenblick auf meinen Kopf fallen. Jetzt reicht es mir. Ich flüchte.

Ehe ich das schützende Heim erreiche, fegen mir heftige Windstöße Staubfahnen in die Augen. Halb blind übersehe ich die heranrasenden, tiefschwarzen Gewitterwolken, die ohne Vorwarnung ihre Frühlingswassermassen über mich ergießen. Ich vermeine sogar, einige Hagelkörner auf der Haut zu verspüren.

Tief gebeugt und schwankend patsche ich durch die knöcheltiefen Pfützen, um mich in Sicherheit zu bringen. Ein seitlich vor mir einschlagender Blitz erschreckt mich bis ins Mark und der nachfolgende Donner raubt mir vollends das Gehör.

So schwer gezeichnet, schleppe ich mich ins Haus, ziehe die Vorhänge zu und verstehe nach diesem Tag beim besten Willen nicht, wie Poeten liebliche, euphorische Frühlingsgedichte zu schreiben vermögen.

©Dieter Kermas

Image: Pixabay.com


Dieter Kermas, CaliforniaGermans Author and a true Berliner, turned to writing after he retired from his profession as an engineer. Family and friends urged him to document his many experiences during his childhood in wartime Germany. This made for a collection of various essays which have been published here at CaliforniaGermans. (You can find the stories here on CaliforniaGermans.com by putting “Dieter Kermas” into the Search Box.) Apart from his childhood memories, he is also sharing some of his short stories and poems on CaliforniaGermans. Dieter Kermas, who loves to write, has published his first novel “Kolja. Liebe im Feindesland” in 2016, available on Amazon.com. Some of his work has been included in anthologies.

To get in touch with Dieter Kermas, please send an email with subject line “Dieter Kermas” to californiagermans@gmail.com