Why are we applauding ourselves for borrowing to live like Germans?
THE "red eye" flight, 7am Dublin to Dusseldorf, is half-empty. You can sense from the resigned, matter-of-fact way most of the passengers behave, that the people -- mainly men -- are veterans of this route. However, Irish business people in Germany are still a rare enough breed.
Like many German cities, Dusseldorf has plenty of hidden gems but, like much of Germany, it is an undiscovered part of the world for most Irish people. Indeed, the blind spot towards Germany is odd, given our politicians put so much faith in the political class of the Federal Republic.
Few Irish people visit Germany each year. Fewer than 7,000 students learn German in school and beyond Bayern Munich, Mercedes and a few other car brands, not many of us could name many modern German institutions.