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 July 2010 - Nr. 7
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

Even without the soccer fever this city is red hot. Tempers have been flaring ever since the G8/G20 summit was about to come to town. The huge bill upset us greatly. When it actually came upon us we were reeling despite our best efforts to be cool about it. As typical Canadians we arranged ourselves, changed our plans, stayed away and were content to watch from afar. Besides, we had soccer to divert our attention.

But when we heard about that many arrests, about 1000 people, after anarchist were spotted causing havoc, it hit us hard. Memories of the past play a big role in response to police aggression. It is a sensitive subject with most people that come from countries were authorities had too much power over individuals.

We still ask ourselves where the benefits to the citizens are coming in having the summits here, at our expense, an expense of an exorbitant amount. Business came to a standstill. Not only that, there was damage done to some businesses. Downtown did not benefit from foreign shoppers; those were spotted in Yorkdale Plaza, far away from the troublesome, unattractive and dead downtown core.

Equally disturbing of course are the actions committed by the troublemakers themselves. What they hoped to accomplish is the opposite of what is desirable. The by and large peaceful protesters had the bad image rub off on them simply by trying to get their message across alongside those anarchistic pea brains that believe that causing chaos solves anything; it never has and it never will. Any good will anyone has is destroyed, and when there is no good will there is nothing.

I personally marveled at the rich pallet of foreign traditional dress I saw at Yorkdale. The ladies that I spotted shopping there with ample security in tow, (man in black with sunglasses - all over the world they look the same) wore the most divine and colourful outfits, often with headdress that was equally interesting. I did take the opportunity to welcome them to Canada, which apparently pleased them. Their solemn faces lit up in big smiles.

Meeting old friends at the World Soccer Cup: the Treue Husaren Toronto
Meeting old friends at the World Soccer Cup: the Treue Husaren Toronto

What did make all this bearable are of course the soccer games, especially for us the games with the German team. Whereas we at first were a bit concerned about the cohesiveness of the team, we soon were convinced that this is one of Germany’s finest efforts in recent times. Especially the game against Argentina showed that even individual superstars can pull together in a common effort, become a team and win the day.

As I write this the game against Spain is only 2 days away and then we shall know how it will continue, with or without our boys. Undoubtedly the German team is favored to win that game and perhaps even the coveted cup! We hope Fortuna remains our friend.

As an aside: A few of you have commented that you wonder what will bloom in your garden since the hot weather forced everything nearly a month earlier than usual to bloom. I asked a horticulturalist who advises that some flowers that tend to branch, such as the big Daisy, Asters or Summer Phlox can be cut down by one third and then will bloom again if enough time remains to form new stems and buds. This can be done until early July.

I will give it a try on some of my garden, just to see how it works out.

Until after the games and well into the hot summer I wish you a wonderful time outdoors.

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.

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