How to become a Millionaire

I don’t know why so many people are obsessed with becoming millionaires – or of those who already are, with becoming billionaires. I don’t get the point of collecting more wealth than you can spend.

But oddly enough, without striving for it, I have developed a fool-proof plan to become a millionaire. As I am rather opposed to material wealth, I am not going to implement it myself, but I will generously share it with all of you. But be warned that becoming a millionaire will not make you happy! – I can see you don’t believe me…

So here’s the 5-step plan:

  1. You need an initial investment of around 999$(US). If you don’t have that, you’ll have to work for a month or sell your car.
  2. Buy a ticket to Vietnam. Depending from where you start, this will cost you between 100$ and 900$. 
  3. After you arrive, you buy a can of Coke or a banana and pay with a 50$-note.
  4. You will get a bit more than 1,000,000 Vietnamese dong in return. Plus the Coke or the banana, of course.
  5. Now you are happy because you are a millionaire.

Vietnamese Dong currency

In step 6, you will realize what a silly, shallow and pointless goal you had set yourself. Depending on your personal level of wisdom, the time between step 5 and step 6 may vary from 30 seconds to 30 years. The same applies to the time that is required to recognize the deeper meaning behind this article. Some will die without getting it.

Posted in Economics, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Paragliding above the Pyramid

paraglider chickPhotographed tonight in Targu Mures, Romania.

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Public Horses

In addition to the perfectly developed bus and train network in Romania, in the summer months you can also opt for public horses.


Right outside of most towns (in the photo: Targu Mures) grazing horses are on stand-by. If you need to go to the next town and you don’t want to walk the whole day, you take a blanket, pull it over the nag, ask a passing hobo to help you mount the horse, and off you go!

In the next town, you park the horse on a lush meadow where it will fill itself up and wait for the next passenger. If you want to experience the Wild West in Europe, you need to travel or ride east.

Posted in Photography, Romania, Travel | Tagged , | 5 Comments

When the Sun is Playing Moon

Yesterday in Targu Mures, Romania:


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Fan mail: Jealousy

Some people really take Facebook too seriously.

Facebook jealousyBecause I only check my messages once every few weeks, the guy had already deactivated his profile by the time I saw his threats, his change of heart and his apology. Maybe he got killed in a jealousy-related gunfight.

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A harmless church

When churches look like this, I like them.

Kirche kaputtNobody is being indoctrinated here anymore. Nobody is being preached hokum here anymore. No longer does a medieval organization attempt to influence life and politics from here. No longer is this a place where people waste their time every Sunday and leave with their pockets emptied.

But this is an exception in Romania. All over the country, bombastic and mostly Orthodox churches are being built. Even in the smallest villages, devoid of schools, doctors, streets and sometimes even a shop, churches the size of cathedrals are being erected. Reportedly, every three days a new church is completed. Among other sources, this is funded by taxpayers, including those with a different or no religion at all. Obviously, that money is missing somewhere else. – If you ask me, I would use the money to upgrade the Romanian railways instead.

(I took this photo during a hike from Targu Mures to Miercurea Nirajului in Romania. – Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Artikels.)

Posted in Photography, Politics, Religion, Romania, Travel | Tagged | 8 Comments

German Law on Having Babies

Last night, I received this e-mail:

pregnant affairA married but separated woman asked if German law allows her husband to have babies with another woman while they aren’t yet divorced.

Because this question comes up regularly, let me answer it once and for all:

1) German law doesn’t “allow” husbands to have babies because

(a) no one needs statutory permission, an official permit, a license, a certificate or anything else to have babies. It just happens when a man and a woman really, really like each other and begin to hold hands and do other naughty stuff (don’t ask for details because I am not an expert on reproduction);

(b) men can’t have babies (I know that much).

2) Therefore, your question really means either (a) Is there any punishment for your husband? (b) Is there any punishment for the other woman? (c) Will the court try to abort the pregnancy? (d) Do you have any other legal remedy that a court could impose on any of the other three persons involved (husband, other woman, child)?

3) Regarding your husband and the other woman, German law has in § 60 of the Criminal Code incorporated the old Roman law concept of poena naturalis. This means that a culprit does not deserve punishment by a court if he/she already heaped enough punishment or negative consequences on him/her through the deed that he/she committed.

Leaving aside the fact that no crime has been committed at all because your husband and the other woman are free people in a free country, they might end up having a baby. I would argue that this is not only punishment enough, but indeed a much more severe and long-term punishment than any court could mete out. Their lives will be ruined for the next 20 years. You may gain satisfaction from this.

4) You could try to ask the court to force the other woman to have an abortion, but I don’t think this would be successful, for the following reasons:

(a) I am afraid it might be considered a bit cruel and a violation of the other woman’s right to bodily integrity, a family life and human dignity, all protected under the German Constitution.

(b) It would in a way also be a punishment of the (unborn) child, although none of this is his/her fault.

(c) It’s not the Middle Ages anymore, but 2015.

(d) Why would it be any of your business if two other human beings have a baby together?

5) Similar arguments would apply if you were to seek a court order for the killing of the baby after it will have been born.

6) If you are harboring thoughts of requesting the court to order your husband to abandon the other woman, any potential child, to return to you and to love you again and/or to apologize to you, I refer you to a similar case and my answer thereto.

(By the way, if you are contemplating contacting me for legal advice, don’t be put off by me publishing some of these e-mails from time to time. You can easily avoid this fate by paying me for giving advice instead of expecting me to spend my weekend dishing out free advice. Weird concept, I know.)

Posted in Family Law, German Law, Germany, Law | Tagged | 18 Comments