It's the general election today - and as can be read everywhere, it's going to be a close call. My friends have invited themselves over for dinner on the occasion: they took care of the food etc and all I have to do is to provide the rooms. Then we're going to watch the preliminary results and see just how depressing the next four years are going to get.
Yesterday's Guardian had a review of The Eagle's Shadow which elaborates on why many people are both happy and unhappy with the USA at the same time. In particular it's mostly US business and increasingly incosiderate politics that people are upset about while on a personal level everybody seems to appreciate friends from the US, likes going there etc. Although this seems quite obvious it never occured to me that clearly. While disagreeing with many US policies and business' behaviour, I've found my visits pleasant and people very friendly (I've only been at the west coast and in New York, though).
Taking this thought a bit further, you seem to run into quite ironic observations - people tend to be sympathetic towards many, say, poor countries - still they are more reserved towards people from those countries than towards US citizens. Ultimately I'd even say that I like many things about Germany per se, but once I'm back in the country and I actually have to deal with Germans, I am reminded that most of them are quite unfriendly.
Also, Germans are strange. Probably everybody knows, that they are the people who - as pedestrians - will wait at red traffic lights in the middle of the night when there's no-one around for miles. I witnessed another peculiar behaviour yesterday on the train: A passenger had booked a seat and couldn't find it. The train was about 20% full, so there were plenty of free and unreserved seats. Still she would insist on finding and using the seat she had booked - bizarre.
Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.