Roland Dürre
Wednesday August 31st, 2011

UTB Greece 2011 #5 (Vacation Diary)

Last Saturday morning, when we were riding up the incline towards the “Vasily” (another restaurant where you can eat well and enjoy the beautiful scenery) on our bikes, we saw how the tables were being ceremonially decorated on the hotel patio of the “Beautiful Helen”. This kind of thing usually means a noisy night. So this Saturday was another one of those days.

The Beautiful Helen is a small hotel. It only has three storeys, one sweet-water pool, a few sunshades and a small bar on the beach. You only have to go a few hundred metres from our tent, it is on the same beach. Just a truly Porto Ageranos hotel. In fact, it is a rare thing around this region.

mehr »

Roland Dürre
Tuesday August 30th, 2011

Children&Money and SoftResearch

My vacation reading material tells me that, once again, the Berlin coalition seems not to be agreeing with each other. This time, it is about whether or not child benefits should continue to be paid. After all, it seems obvious that it had no effect, because compared with the rest of Europe, Germany is still close to the bottom with its birth rate.

Being the father of seven, I probably have earned the right to an opinion on this one. Our children are now aged between 31 and 15. When they introduced the child benefits, most of our children had already been born.

Consequently, you can see that the child benefits had no influence on our ”family planning“. However, the little bonus was not a bad thing. Even though Barbara always managed to spend a lot of time with the children, we were able to afford help. First, it was a governess, then we had au-pairs for more than a decade.

When we had the governess, the legislation for child benefits had not yet been introduced. To make up for it, the money we had to pay for the governess (including taxes and social insurance) ate up Barbara’s net income (she is a Mathematics Graduate, Univ., working part-time).

Then we had au-pairs from France, diverse Eastern-European countries, but also from South Africa. Au-pairs are not inexpensive. If I need an extra bedroom for an au-pair in a house in Riemerling, the cost of the house is easily 100,000 Euros more than without. Then you have to give them pocket money, an allowance for culture and necessities and once in a while for their travel home. Even with quite a lavish child benefit legislation, you will quickly reach the end of your teethers.


mehr »

Roland Dürre
Monday August 29th, 2011

UTB Greece 2011 #4 (Travel Journal)

What  really makes me feel well about being here …

Every morning, I take a lonely one-hour swim through the beautiful bay right in front of our campground. I swim in a line parallel to the beach, towards a still invisible buoy.

The horizon looms large, slowly my destination, the buoy, comes within sight. I swim around it and then start on my way back. All leisure and without any kind of hectic. There is neither beach police nor pool attendant. What a free life.

I am all by myself in the water. On my way, I always meet one or two other early swimmers in the water. They are the same every morning, so we wish each other a friendly good morning.

mehr »

I am more than 60 years old and was always a rather active person. Consequently, I know quite a few retired managers. You can divide them in two groups: I will call them the ego-centered ones and the altero-cenetred ones in this example and introduce one model of each sort.

Mr. Ego-Centered has excellent skills and superb competence. He does, however, often feel uncomfortable with his environment. Only very few friends have earned his trust. I often find him a little lonely and a little bitter.

As a general rule, he always had attractive women by his side through his entire life. The relationships with those sometimes worked shortly and sometimes over a longer period of time. Like most of his significant others, he has no children. To make up for it, he is a man of the world. He knows all continents and every mega city of this world.

In his professional life, he never managed to be quite at the top. On the second level, he was always extremely important to the huge concern. Through all his (professional) life, he had a personal assistant. His budget for expenses and travels was dizzyingly high and, of course, he always had an upper class business car.

He pointedly nourishes his intellectual cynicism. Emotinons are something that would only stand in his way, rationality is his credo. Both in business and private life, everything is always sweet and dandy. He thinks in straight lines and knows exactly what something is all about. And he also knows how people are supposed to function.

Mr. Altero-Centered is a totally different type of person. He, too, has excellent competence. His destiny, however, seems to be something he has made his peace with. Being a good listener, he also often gives prudent advice. He has many friends who like spending time with him. In old age, too, he is still prepared to make new experiences and learn. To me, he looks like someone who, even in retirement, is quite happy with his life.

In his life, his wife plays a significant role. They brought up their children together. His grand-children see to it that he is once more really active. With them, he was able to make up for all the things he missed out on with his own children because there was no time while he was in the middle of his professional career.

Because he was at the top of the concern. He travelled a lot all over the world. His big limousine, however, was driven by a chauffeur. Like all the other employees in his concern, said chauffeur loved and admired him very much.

Not to forget:
The story describes in a very rough and generalized way how I sometimes see people. I am, however, absolutely aware of the fact that there are no “black” or “white” categories. Consequently, the figures are totally fictional. Similarities with living or dead persons are not intentional. I know, esteem and like people of both categories. And I accept advice from persons of both categories. I believe both can be happy. But I think the ”altero-centered“ type is probably a little more content with his lot.

(Translated by EG)

🙂 While I wrote this article, I realized that I do not know a single (!) retired female top manager! Those few that I know are all still active. But they are all more the altero-centered type.

P.S. 1
For more entrepreneur’s diary articles, click here: Drehscheibe!

Roland Dürre
Saturday August 27th, 2011

What Annoys Me … #12 Plastic Waste Wherever You Look!

Whenever I ride my bike through the small forest near the Ottobrunn “Crema Gelato” on my way to the former airport, I see plastic containers from the café scattered all over the ground. When I ride to Unterhaching, the plastic waste lies between the cyclist’s path and the street.

Now I am on vacation in a beautiful Mediterranean country. And here in Greece, it is even worse than at home. Last year, I wrote about the waste (Vermüllung) on the Peloponnes. And we now make the same experience on our bike tours. Every few metres, you see excess amounts of waste – and always it also means heaps of plastic.
mehr »

Roland Dürre
Friday August 26th, 2011

(Deutsch) Post von Ulf Posé!

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday August 25th, 2011

Charming White Lies at the New Wine Tavern …

Carl and Gerlinde (XIII)

„ Dearest Carl – I am afraid today we are out of luck with our New Wine! The Kronen Newspaper sang such high praises on it that all of Vienna seems to have decided to go and taste it! “ said  an annoyed Ferdinand Nowotny to his friend …

Damnation! Carl had imagined to end his Vienna vacation with Gerlinde and his friends in a different way! Indeed, he would certainly have liked to sit in this antique inner courtyard in the middle of the beautiful village of Perchtoldsdorf! Laughter  and song could be heard from all the tables, where people were drinking and eating to their heart’s content. Wonderful! He would also have liked to relish the taste of a few quarts of ‘Zweigelt’ or ‘Blue Portuguesian’ with Gerlinde. And certainly three or four half-quarts of ‘Green Veltliner’ would have been welcome to top it all!

“Didn’t I say from the start that we would definitely have to make a reservation, my dear Ferdi“ – lamented Nowotny’s colourfully made-up Berta in her sandpaper smoker’s voice. “But my golden Ferdinand always knows better“ – looking for allies, Berta looked towards Gerlinde and Hannelore. Both of them disappointedly shrugged their shoulders and barely managed a forced smile.

“My dearest Bertissima, I know“, interrupted Ferdinand, ”whatever I do, it is always the wrong thing!  But that is exactly why the two of us have now been married happily for twenty year, isn’t it?“

“Ha, ha, ha. Just keep talking this kind of nonsense, you joker“, groaned Berta while she opened her hand-bag in order to start a hectic search for her lipstick.…

“Ferdinand, wouldn’t it be a better idea to just leave“, this was Carl in an attempt at de-escalating the situation. “I am sure there are other pubs nearby, aren’t there?“

mehr »

Here are my tweets of last week on
Blogging and Twitter, Wisdoms and Rules:

110908 To live and let live – that is how things should also be when you are twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

110909 Empty buckets will sound hollow – also true for twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

110910 Passion will bring misery – I also know the symptom from twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

110911 Love breeds love – good advice for twitterers and bloggers! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

110912 Bending is better than breaking – also true for twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

110913 It is better to be discourteous than a nuisance – that might easily be a issue for twitteres and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

110914 Love beats beauty – that is what twitteres and bloggers should keep in mind. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See Twitter and “follow” RolandDuerre!

(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday August 24th, 2011

UTB Greece 2011 #3


Our paradize is not perfect. Suddenly, on Monday morning, people gather at the beach. They gesticulate wildly and keep pointing in one particular direction. From far away, we hear the sound of sirens.

There is a simple explanation. The forest is on fire. This time, it is rather close to where we stay.

We, too, go to the beach. And indeed, not far away, we can see the flames marching up the hill. The speed is enormous. There is a steep wind – inbound. It pushes the flames further on.

With great speed, the fires spread.
mehr »

Roland Dürre
Tuesday August 23rd, 2011

UTB Greece 2011 #2

It took no more than two days for me to feel really comfortable and at home in Porto Ageranos. There are not many places where I ever felt better.

As to latitude, you could not get further south anywhere in Europe. That is why “the planet” burns on us and it is really hot. Our tent is directly next to a wonderful bay. And there is always a pleasantly fresh breeze providing a little cooling.

The meals “Chez Maria” are simple but honest. Tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and grapes are not the only things that still taste like they should. The same is true for the local meat and fish.
mehr »