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'Wundersocks' With Your Lederhosen: Oktoberfest Gift For Men With Scrawny Calves

Herbert Lipah, the quirky owner of the "Lederhosen Madness" Oktoberfest speciality store, features a unique product made for men with low self-esteem about skinny or saggy shanks.

Oooh: look at those calves! But are they real?
Oooh: look at those calves! But are they real?

Worldcrunch NEWSBITES

MOOSACH - Looking embarrassed, the customer pulls down his pants. Standing there in his underpants and shirt he tries to climb into a pair of Lederhosen as fast as he can. Welcome to "Lederhosenwahnsinn" – which translates into Lederhosen Madness -- Herbert Lipah's second-hand store. It doesn't have a changing room but does offer a selection of 2,500 pairs of vintage Lederhosen. In front of the store in Moosach, 8 km (5 mi) outside Munich, Germany, is a sign that reads: "Last Lederhosen store before the Autobahn."

Inside, thongs with smutty texts printed on them hang from the ceiling. A postcard selection containing more than a few naked women lines the walls. And in the middle of all this is Herbert Lipah himself, barefoot and shirtless, wearing Lederhosen of course and serving his many customers. "You should buy those, they look good," he calls to one customer. "I'll take your wife in exchange," he jokes. He gets another customer a cold beer from the fridge of the crowded small general store.

Some people call Lipah a nutter. Others (including the man himself) say he is simply an authentic Munich Original. Known for his snappy line of patter, Lipah claims he's done a lot for the area. "All the people walking around in traditional Bavarian clothes, that's down to me," he says.

When Lipah opened "Lederhosenwahnsinn" 17 years ago, locals were giving it three months before it went out of business. Now a lot of those skeptics have become customers. But Lipah couldn't survive on what locals bring in, and luckily he doesn't have to: the store has become a cult destination for the dramatically increasing numbers of fans of the traditional Bavarian leather shorts, gays, tourists. The lead-up to Oktoberfest is a peak time of year.

Lipah buys new, old, long, short, light and dark brown, mended and even very worn Lederhosen. Arranged on hangers by size, they are not price-tagged but he knows just by looking at a pair what he wants for them – between 200 and 2000 euros. The older they are, the higher the price. The oldest pair dates back to 1817. On sight, Lipah can tell you exactly where a pair of Lederhosen comes from, how old it is and what it's worth. Many people bring him old pairs hoping he'll buy – some are refused, others are real collectors' items dating back to grandparents and discovered in an attic somewhere.

But Lipah is not only a collector and store owner, he's an inventor: of the "First Royal Bavarian Calf Implants." The idea came to him because he says in his line of work he meets many men with serious self-esteem issues due to their skinny shanks.

Today, he exports what he calls his "kind of wonderbra for men" to far-away places – including Scotland – so men everywhere who lack the bulging calf muscles it takes to bring off a pair of Lederhosen (or a kilt) with full panache don't have to miss out. All they have to do is slip one of Lipah's foam rubber patented pads into each knee sock.

Read the full article in German by Lisa Sonnabend

Photo - holmanphoto

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The West Has An Answer To China's New Silk Road — With A Lift From The Gulf

The U.S. and Europe are seeking to rival China by launching a huge joint project. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will also play a key role – because the battle for world domination is not being fought on China’s doorstep, but in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden shaking hands during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Daniel-Dylan Böhmer


BERLIN — When world leaders are so keen to emphasize the importance of a project, we may well be skeptical. “This is a big deal, a really big deal,” declared U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month.

The "big deal" he's talking about is a new trade and infrastructure corridor planned to be built between India, the Middle East and Europe.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the project as a “beacon of cooperation, innovation and shared progress,” while President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called it a “green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations."

The corridor will consist of improved railway networks, shipping ports and submarine cables. It is not only India, the U.S. and Europe that are investing in it – they are also working together on the project with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia is planning to provide $20 billion in funding for the corridor, but aside from that, the sums involved are as yet unclear. The details will be hashed out over the next two months. But if the West and its allies truly want to compete with China's so-called New Silk Road, they will need a lot of money.

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