Breaking: Luxembourg suffers massive worker shortage as five citizens drink beer with me in Berlin
November 1, 2011 2 Comments
I just had a beer with half the population of Luxembourg. No, that’s not quite accurate. I just had a beer with .000977% of the population of Luxembourg. .000977% of the population of the United States would be over three thousand people. But .000977% of the population of Luxembourg was just five lonely souls.
Still, that’s five more Luxembourgers than I can recall ever meeting in my life prior to this eventful evening. And I learned some interesting things about their diminutive country:
1. They speak a language called Luxembourgish. It sounds like 70% German and 30% French, with sort of a Dutch intonation.
2. There are at least eight distinct dialects of Luxembourgish. To the city slickers of the country’s south, the northern dialects can be nearly unintelligible, according to my sources. “This one guy, from waaaaay in the north of the country, he spoke I dialect I could barely understand,” one of my new friends told me. “How far away could he really be?” I asked. “Oh, quite far,” was the reply. “About an hour from the city.”
3. Granted, my sample size was small, but Luxembourgers appear to be a friendly and outgoing people.
4. You can’t come up with a Luxembourg joke they haven’t heard before.
I think I’m supposed to visit Luxembourg with the Fulbright program in March. If so, I’ll report back in greater detail. Stay tuned…