Friday, March 16, 2012

Rotten Blogger

Let's face it.
I am a rotten blogger. Truly rotten.
I have not been able to keep up with posting regularly on here.
But I am going to try. A comment from a friend, who wrote a letter, a real letter, received via US Mail and DeutschePost, made me realize that I need to keep up with this running commentary of my life here in Germany.

So here goes.

It's going well. I like living here. I like riding the trams and buses to get around, I like not needing a car. I like walking to the store to get what I need. I like living in my small little flat. I love this city.

Sometimes I get frustrated and right now I'm trying to think of the things that frustrate me. Right now I can't but when I think of them, I will mention them. Wait...I have one! Limited choice in the stores. I wanted plain potato chips the other day. Plain chips. There weren't any. There were flavored chips (and not many flavors) but no plain ones. I hardly buy chips anymore, but I really wanted some this particular day. Plain ones and none in sight. On the other hand, there are all kinds of cheese that we don't have back in the States. And I've learned how amazingly easy it is to make my own spaghetti sauce. And Alfredo sauce, which has to be an American thing, because it doesn't exist here and no one has ever heard of it. You know what else isn't here? Pepperoni! If you ask for pepperoni on a pizza, you will get banana peppers. You get sliced salami on pizzas instead of pepperoni. It's not bad and you get used to it, but when I get back for this summer, I'm hitting Joseph's for a pepperoni pizza. Of course, there are no döner shops in the States and I've gotten really used to those. It's a type of meat with a middle east background and the little shops are on every corner, served on a pita with shredded veggies and a choice of yogurt sauce, pepper sauce, garlic sauce or a couple of others. I love them. You can also get them with falafel or haloumi.

Water isn't free in restaurants. And unless you ask for still Wasser, you get spudel Wasser: carbonated water. I hated it at first, and now I am addicted to it. I will whine and fuss and moan for it when I am back home. I guess maybe it's what we call sparkling water? I hope so, because then I can have some.

Winter took it's time getting here and I felt cheated, that I came from Florida to Germany and it wasn't really terribly cold and there was no snow. Then it hit in January. Brrrr. Temps in the single digits and the teens at the warmest part of the days, and the snow. I learned to navigate icy sidewalks and bundle up. I got a hat that covered my ears. I bought Strumpfhosen, which are thick tights, and wore them under pants and with skirts, and put my socks on over them.

I've somehow managed to acquire a boyfriend, a German one, at that. Alex works at school. He's the computer guy there. Not a teacher, but the IT person. He's a sweetie and I'm crazy about him. That's him in the pictures.

We went to Garmisch Partenkirchen over winter break. I'm including some pictures from there. The Zugspitz is there, the tallest mountain in Germany. We took the rack train to the top and a cable car down. There was an awful lot of snow!
This is on the Zugspitz. The rack train drops folks off down near where those skiers are and that's where Alex and I got off. We walked, in the snow, to where we took this picture. It felt like we were on top of the world, and trust me, it's cold up there.
This is me, all bundled up. Hat, hood, long, wool coat, gloves and mittens, scarf, lined pants and strumpfhosen with wool socks. The works. And it was still cold.
This is Alex and me.
From where folks being their ski runs you can take a cable car to the very tip top. By the time we did that, fog, or maybe it was just clouds, came in and you couldn't see anything from up there, but we were there. We were standing on the top of Germany. That's what they call it: the Top of Germany.
There's another cable car you can take down and this shows part of it. It was a really neat ride and much quicker than the train.
And here I am in a failed attempt to make a snow angel. Maybe I'm just not angelic enough? I also discovered that I am no good at making snowballs. Mine kept falling apart, though I am blaming the material my mittens were made of. Alex, on the other hand, had no trouble with his snowballs, and was pretty good with his aim, too. Next time, I'll talk about my fall trip to Salzburg. Heck, if I'm going to have a blog, I may as well show off. I'll also talk about my gall bladder operation and German hospitals. (Don't worry...I'm fine.)