My sister coined the expression this week – Luxus-Jammern. Jammern is a beautiful German word whose normal translation is to whine, but I’m wondering whether whinging or yammering expresses the tone better.

The trigger for the coinage of the new term was our father, who, behold, is 83 years old, super healthy and currently on 4 (in words “four”) weeks of ski (again “ski”) holidays in the Austrian Alps. And it’s not as if dad was creeping over flat land in snail speed with cross-country skis, no, 83-year-old dad is plunging down steep powder snow slopes in breakneck speeds… Despite that, dad is constantly bitching about the weather on the phone, he would like to have blue sky and sunshine for his four weeks of ski holidays.

Both, my sister and I, and I bet many other people, would LOVE to have dad’s problems at the age of 83! That is why my sister coined the term luxury-whining, because she is tired of hearing him complain about the weather.

Yeah, it made me think that we all better do some appreciating of our easy and nice lives. I don’t even want to compare us – who are lucky to live in western or eastern highly industrialized democratic nations – with people a few hundred years ago or in the depths of poverty and famine today in not so lucky countries. Most of us have never been hungry, cold, homeless or anything similar ever. But wait, my dad has been… he was a kid during WW2 and he has gone to bed hungry and cold… Now in Europe or at its borders many many refugees are sleeping at the side of the road hungry and cold, fleeing from the insanity of war in Syria for example.

I recently watched “Torn Curtain” by Alfred Hitchcock with Paul Newman that was shot during and deals with cold war East Germany in the 60ties. At the end of the movie they flee with a boat to Sweden and have to swim the last few meters. A Swedish guy at the harbor gives them blankets, saying “oh we always have a few blankets here for defectors/refugees”. The nationalities of the refugees has changed, but the rest?

I’m donating to UNICEF for some ten years or more already, guess I should increase the monthly donations and do some more appreciating of the salary I get and the freedom I have and all the little luxuries I can afford and even the heating on/off game I’m playing with a colleague in the office. Hey, at least we have heating! And I hope my dad will be able to enjoy the rest of his four week ski holidays 😉

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