Thursday, July 23, 2009

Funny Foto Freitag

We were innocently wandering through the Englisher Garten in München on a peaceful bridge when we heard a commotion.

When what to our wondering eyes should appear but four bobbing heads in the water, so near!

I spared you the nekkid photos wasn't pretty!

If you have a funny photo and want to play along, please put leave a comment in this post.

Happy Funny Foto Freitag!

80's beware: LASRS!

Anyone remember these?

Of course, I have a few moments to spare while Baby Bird naps and instead of being productive, I am on the Internet. I found this website where lasered photos have taken their rightful place on the Internet for all to see.

Was this only an American thing? What were we thinking?

Go now my minions and submit brother's/sister's your photo!

Home from München

Home from München...I didn't eat doughy Pretzels, obatzda, Weißwurst (take the skin off!) and 1L beer for breakfast this morning but I am still glad to be home.

We saw the "Tower of Dancing Robots" (according to BB) aka Glockenspiel.

Drank beer at the Chineschiser Turm (well, the better question is "Where didn't we drink beer?)

The wedding was wonderful and beautiful albeit a little rainy.

Baby Bird wore Tracht for the wedding.

There will be more blogging to be done but I will have to stay awake longer than 21:00 to get it done! (That is 9pm for you US people!)

Baby Bird's kita is closed for 2 weeks right now (no blogging during the day for me!) and we leave on Saturday to meet my parents in the UK with no Internet access so I will otherwise will see you in August!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eine Deutsche Hochzeit

Not me of course! I just celebrated 5 years with my favorite Scientist. However, we are flying to München on Thursday to celebrate my friend V's wedding!

V is a good (German) friend of mine who I met while doing an exchange outside of München in the 11th grade. We have kept in touch (albeit barely) over the years but now that I am in Germany, we have seen each other twice!

I was so honored that she invited me to her wedding. However, that happiness soon changed into anxiety!

What will I wear? What to expect? What is an appropriate gift? How will I understand anything in Bayerisch (the local southern German dialect)? Do I really have to wear Tracht? (Tracht is dirndl & lederhosen)

I am very excited about experiencing more German culture. I have asked around and been told that Germans play a lot of games at their weddings. The games seemed similar to games played at wedding showers in the States.

I have also heard German couples saw wood together. I don't know anything about this and the only thing I could find was this picture on Google Picture Search.

If you have any tips for me, please leave them in the comments. I won't be back until next Tuesday but will be excited to report back what I saw!

Until then, Pfiati!

To condiments...

I am sure you thought I would blog about this but I have nothing to say. The economy is rough out there-what else could they do?

I found this article about mayonnaise vs Miracle Whip to be very curious. I have not seen Miracle Whip yet in Germany. I stand corrected! Miracel Whip (not a spelling error) is everywhere! I am not sure why I didn't notice it. (thanks to Regensblog and Snooker for pointing this out) This is a good thing. Miracle Whip is perhaps the most atrocious food product ever invented. (not to be confused with the stupidest 9 inventions ever made including the Tiddy Bear)

It got me thinking about mayonnaise here. As a condiment, mayonnaise is the perfect companion to my perfect sandwich - avocado slices, roasted red peppers, roasted turkey pieces, tomatoes...(can you tell I am hungry?) In fact, it is hard to imagine a sandwich without it.

Here, they put it on fries. I have heard of strange things on fries (Canadians-I am talking to you here) like poutine but mayonnaise? The Scientist is a convert (he also eats poutine) but I am slow to change my ways. (in other words: YUK!)

We have bought plenty of sandwiches here on the go. Usually they come with no condiments (not even mustard) but some occasionally have a butter schmear.

Even though they have Subways (turn your volume down if you click on the link unless you want a heart attack) & even a Schlotzsky's Deli here in Berlin, mayonnaise and sandwiches don't seem to be a part of the culture here.

I have even had trouble finding mayonnaise here. The mayonnaise I have tasted is often sweet which I then classify as "something other than mayonnaise." I have seen it in these tubes but for reasons unclear to me, I can not bring myself to buy them.

Does mayonnaise taste the same in a tube?

Other than one brand of tube mayonnaise, there is this French brand which I found on Christina's post about German/American food substitutes.

This is a suitable substitute but the taste of Dijon is not particularly appealing to me every-time I want mayonnaise.

When I do buy it, I have found it selbstgemacht (homemade) at Rogacki in the back by the fish and vegetable salads.

For most Germans (although I think this is changing), lunch is their big hot meal. (Only 1 hot meal a day!) Breakfast & Dinner usually seem to be bread, meats and cheeses. Even though they have the same ingredients, the ingredients are not assembled together the same. (please correct me if I am wrong here folks).

Anyway, I have learned to live without mayonnaise on my sandwiches, but I am definitely NOT happy about it.

If you can't find it where you are, here's the recipe for basic mayonnaise:

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Cold eggs won't do the deal.
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 cup corn oil or olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp powdered mustard
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

Put everything but the oil in the blender. Whizz it all up for a minute. Then add the oil in a continuous stream until you can see the blender's not mixing anymore. This can easily take 20 minutes.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More science about Bilingual Children

I have always heard that bilingual children will be able to pick up additional languages when they are older but now there is more science to back this claim up.

Even though we both speak English at home, Baby Bird is learning & speaking exclusively German at his kita or preschool. So, while he in not a true bilingual kid, I am sure this somewhat still applies to him.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monkeying Around

I have been opening bananas the most ineffiecient way for most of my adult life! I should have looked to our nearest relatives for the answers. .

Someone told The Scientist that Americans are the only ones who open bananas the "wrong way." Can anyone confirm or deny this about other European countries?

I tried this and it actually works really well..

Monday, July 6, 2009

Give up your seat?

Your favorite cheap airline, with whom you know I love if you read my blog, (your sarcasm-o-meter should be going off right now), is now asking passengers to stand up while they fly, if you want to save even more that is...

Baby Bird and I SITTING DOWN on a long flight from the US to Berlin!

Because we all know faulty websites and paying to use the bathroom are not enough!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy 1 year as an Expat!

June 30th marks our official 1 year anniversary of becoming an Expat in Germany!!!!!

I can't even believe that we have been here for one year. It seems like just yesterday, I wondered why one had to pay for shopping carts here (answer: you don't have to pay) & the first item on the list of what to bring for preschool was Hausschuhe. Yet here we are, alive and well!

Baby Bird arriving at the Berlin airport

Signs I have integrated:
  • I actually find myself choosing mineral water over still water sometimes (Yikes! Never thought I would say that!)
  • I ride my bike with a skirt on. (I know but I have stopped worrying about it)
  • I don't switch my knife into the other hand when I eat anymore. In fact, this is a much more efficient way to eat and I am not sure I can ever switch again!
  • I try to go to the grocery store every Monday morning before all of the sale stuff is gone!
  • I don't translate the German into English in my head anymore.
Signs I have not Integrated
  • I still miss Gatorade (sigh)
  • The "dress code" at my son's preschool is still completely a mystery to me. Do the German parents get together and put a schedule together of how to dress their kid in the same type of clothing? i.e. Sandals, Snow pants, etc...This isn't just about the weather you skeptical folks out there...
  • I get goosebumps when I see an familiar product in a store i.e. Cheddar Cheese, Oreos (I didn't even really like Oreos before!) etc...(not Obama Fingers though!)
Some of my favorite posts from the past year:

I also wanted to thank those in the expat community around me for being so supportive & helpful. We have truly been moochers of hospitality this past year and without all of you, I would still be saying "Das ist alles" after giving tips to the servers and wondering where the cocoa powder is (next to the coffee). Your blogs and your comments are all much appreciated!

A few shout-outs:

Snooker in Berlin
- What can I say about every golden orb of wisdom that you have given me?

Cliff & Sarah - for teaching me what Schatten means. I can't believe how often it has come up in conversation! :)

Mausi - Your tips have helped me keep my sanity!

Christina at Amiexpat - Your ideas keep me going! Thank you so much for everything and the Scientist wants me to thank you for the yummy recipe translations!

CN Heidelberg- I scoured your website (and still do) for tips, interesting experiences and your witty humor.

- What would we have done without your my own city?!?!?!

Ian - we share more than just stolen bicycles and the few moments I talked to you at WeBUM last year stuck out in my mind.

Capn K, Mom, and family - We wouldn't be able to do this without your help and support.

To all of my readers, non-bloggy friends and all others that I am probably forgetting... Danke Schön!

June 2009 - in front of the Reichstag or German Parliament Building