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December 1996

A 1996 Munich Found Alphabet

A run down of the 1996 events

A is America Haus, which for 50 years stands To promote understanding between the two lands. The events are american, but - there'e the crux - Employees are German, and you can't checkout books. B is Ballroom Dancing, though at fifteen uncool It sends fiftyish men to learn steps at dance school. What begins as remedial work for missed years Can lead to addiction and entering Turniers. C is for Compuserve, whose child porn scandal Was more than some on-line consumers could handle; But to switch E-mail systems, the actual goad Was the number of hours it takes to download. D is for Dynasty, here in Bavaria The Wittelsbach rulers marked many an era. Some were greedy, some mad, yet these eminent peers Did keep up family feeling for 800 years. E is for Eisenbahn, mass-transit mode In 1839 with the first "iron road"; But in ICE's age, steam trains are now diversion For a handful of hobbyists on weekend excursions. F is for Freelancer, time-honored trade For many expats who are literally self-made. But it also has moments which test your endurance: Filling out applications for artists' insurance. G is Graffiti, which is trying to prove That staid Munich has subculture and even groove- Though today, motivation for many a scrawl Are the huge sums collectors paid for Berlin Wall. H is for Hallen, the closure of Riem As a rock concert venue was a crisis for teens. Though the city is trying to see it endures, Muffathalle alone don't make Hallenkultur. I is Ian McMaster, whose Red Tape Unwound Has run without pause since the first MUNICH FOUND: Here's to his longevity, lack of hypocrisy And unique comprehension of German bureaucracy. J is for Juggling, which is just one form of Diversion that's offered by town street performers. From clowns to magicians, they're from many lands Including those ubiquitous Peruvian bands. K are Kleingärten, those trim little shacks You see throughout Germany next to train tracks. Here, aspiring gardeners, for not too much Geld Erect orderly altars to bourgeois heiler Welt. L is for Leap Year, that one extra day Which calendar makers may view with dismay; But we'd do worse without it-our calendar weeks Would then fail to add up, just like those of the Greeks. M is Mad Cow Disease, Rinderwahnsinn, Which of all the year's illnesses was clearly most "in": All over Europe, people boycotted beef, This is what happens if you feed your cows sheep. N is for Nuremberg, site of the trials, And distanced from Munich by some hundred miles, And this year, 51 from the death of the Führer, Remembered more for its Nazi past than for its Dürer. O is for Open Air, for even if most of Us don't know what played there, we all saw the posters. Poor Carmina Burana has proved itself ripe To be victim of another O: Over-hype. P is Prinzregent, whose own epochal theater Is elegant, though small (it's a one-thousand seater), And promises great things-though everyone's hoping That after this season it will finally stop reop'ning. Q in Altschwabing, once province of students And nightlife, high rents have made dwellers more prudent: In a neighborhood where living costs are sky-high, it Makes sense to demand that the boheme keep quiet. R is Rechtschreibreform, a new act that's compelling The country of Germany to change all its spelling. With confusion about double-s or ß, What you learned in your Deutsch class, you can now forget. S are Sex Pistols, -it was quite a mystery How this band, which seemed part of past rock music history Could resurrect in their forties: without "God Save the Queen" And the deified Sid Vicious, they seem like has-beens. T is for Tunnel, which some CSUs Want to build to cut down on Ring's rush-hour use: Though this project, which keeps legion citizens active, Might not reduce smog, it would look more attractive. U is UNICEF, which marked Year of the Child Sending off aid to youngsters in regions less mild Than wealthy Europa, where the greatest move towards Helping out hard-up kids is to buy Christmas cards. V is for Vary, in Czech, it means "bath" And Europe's elite have long beaten a path To Karlsbad and others, whose leading allure Used to be "being seen" rather than "getting cured." W, tap Water, -so many here think it Is bad for the health that they hardly will drink it. Bottled may not be better-but its minerals don't settle In those hard white deposits inside my tea kettle. X is X-Rated, the estival bower That graced our June cover caused some folk to glower. And yet, one reflects, though it may be a quibble- Is it really soft porn if it doesn't show nipple? Y is for Yeti, a new Alpine club Whose members brave winter and snow in the sub- Zero temperatures of the Austrian peaks Learning igloo construction and survival techniques. Z is for Zimbabwe, whose capital became Munich's first sister city of African fame: Harare was feted with African art, Concerts, dance, and discussion-the World Bank took part.

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