Sunday, May 30, 2010

In which Naria becomes a complete cat

I looked into the mirror this morning and something struck me as incredibly odd: I suddenly had slit pupils! It was really weird and freaky! I think it had to do with the light, but I took a picture anyway: how often do you get slit-pupils without wearing contact lenses? I think this proves it: I am a total cat-girl. No one can deny my cat genetics now! Miaw... lol
I even took a picture to prove it. I will post it here once it is uploaded.

Speaking of pictures: I am very, VERY frustrated by facebook. I have tried to upload my pics from Germany five times and it failed each and every time! I cannot explain why: it only ever fails at the very last minute!... not fair! As soon as I find a way to put them up though, they will be posted here too.

Other than that, not much. Loads of unpacking... I am quite tired by it too... I have loads of new sewing projects I want to start on, new books to read and job hunting to do (I HATE being broke!)... it is all fun for me, but really dull to write about, which is why I will not give much information about that here.

However, one strange thing DID occur to me on the metro yesterday, and that is worth mentionning on this lovely page (or maybe not - but I do not feel like describing my unpacking routine to you, so I will just write about other stuff...)

To begin with, I had the most unpleasant sensory experience on the subway. I was sitting on a bench, waiting for the subway, when a homeless person decided to sit on the same bench. Luckily, the person sat at the other end of the sitting area entirely (which is about 2 meters away), but every time that person moved, I got this overwhelming smell of urine. It was horrible! How can someone smell like that! Anyways, before I keeled over with nausea, a lady came and sat right beside me. This one smelled of overwhelming flowery perfume! It was disgusting! I thought I would pass out! Do people not know how to apply a fragrance?

Luckily, the subway showed up soon and I went into the farthest car possible from either of these individuals. However, on the subway, I saw two asian girls (I believe they were Japanese, judging by the scraps of language I could catch), who were pushing the "twin look" waaaay too far! They were not twins, judging by their different heights and facial features (they did not look related), however, everything else was identical! They wore the same, sleeveless, two collared white-with-red-polka-dotted muslin shirt that had a weird zipper contraption at the back. They wore the same denim skirt with the same embroidery on the back pockets. They carried the same white handbag with the chain handles and the red ribbon... They even had the same hair dye! (How many asians have hazel brown hair, really?) The only differences were the hair style (not the length: same length, but one had tied her hair in a ponytail), their facial features, and their shoes (one wore clogs, the other flip-flops)... It looked like a moving "can you spot the differences" picture! Eerie... I did not think "twin-look" was THAT popular!

Oh. And something just came to mind about the moving and unpacking. We've successfully reassembled the Ikea wardrobe without any deaths ensuing! Yay! However, putting up the ceiling fan was a bloody nightmare! No offence to Michael (I hope he does not read this: Michael, if you are reading this, stop now. There is nothing for you in this post as of this line: quit now! NOW!)... but he is not exactly the best handyman. He dropped a screw into the ceiling fan when it was almost up and we had to take the thing back down and unscrew the whole thing to find the screw... I was not very pleased, but with my help, Michael finally got the fan to work... although it took a short-circuit and the light-switch no longer works (which I cannot explain, as the light works perfectly...)

I am sorry about this Michael (knowing you, you HAVE read all this, haven't you? Cheater!) I love you!

Oh, and my futon frame lost a screw and it is nowhere to be found... not even in the old apartment. It is driving me up the wall... *deep breaths*

Anyways - so those were my strange adventures of moving and metro... and I have slit pupils. Now I am off for a cat-nap! =^.^=

Friday, May 28, 2010

In which the story of the second mouse is told

You've read this well. Your reader's eyes are not mistaken...

Second apartment, new mouse. This one was so insanely cute! I would not have the heart to kill it too!

We'd just noticed the mousey, scampering over the tiled kitchen floor almost like it was gliding. It was about a third of the size of the first mouse. It was TINY! It would often pause in the middle of the kitchen floor, give us a frightened look and scamper under some low-standing furniture. Then, last night, as we were watching Shaun of the Dead, Vanessa pointed out that the mouse was in the kitchen. Michael got up and had a look. The mouse froze. Now this is surprising: it froze just long enough for Michael to get close with the first thing he could get his hands on (a large dinner plate) and covering the mouse with it. The mouse manage to squeeze out from beneath it (it was THAT tiny!) and so I got up and grabbed the broom and blocked the mouse's escape. The mouse was so terrified by the broom bristles that it stopped moving. Michael then grabbed a tupperware container with the lid and put it right where the mouse was. With the lid, he pushed the mouse into the container. The poor frightened little thing gave the cutest, but most frightened squeak ever! I've never heard anything like it! I was so pitiful and so cute all at once!! Anyways, the little thing then just curled up into a frightened little ball at the bottom of the tupperware and Michael took it away outside. It scampered away really quickly once released.
And that is the story of the second mouse, the mouse of the second apartment.

As for the report on the glasses, I've finally got new ones. No more taking off my glasses and half of it ending up in my hand and the rest staying on my face. I had to re-glue them three times already! It sucked! My new glasses are really pretty. The frames are a little smaller, but still plastic. They're a Polo Ralf Lauren frame, and the colour is a tortoise shell pattern with a thin layer of pale blue underneath... It looks gorgeous! Professional, yet young. Love 'em! There were other (gorgeous!) glasses by Chanel, which I would have LOVED but they were a little out of my price range (read here: "my dad would have skinned me alive and nailed me to his wall had I got the Chanel glasses") which is really too bad, as the glasses would have matched my favourite perfume (Chanel Chance, for those not already aware of it! ;-D ) But two other people bought them as I was in the store (the Chanel ones) and I do not want to know how many more people have been buying them, so I think I am more unique/original with my pick. Also, it brings out my eye colour. They had the model I am wearing in black too, but it looks more severe. Also, Michael loves my glasses, so everything's alright! Yay!

Anyways, tomorrow is a new day and we will be completing the moving. I am looking forward to that.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In which the chapters are given up

As you may have noticed, dear readers, I have given up on calling my posts "chapter -" with a number, because I've realized, if I keep this blog up at the rate that I am going, I will have reached "chapter 5103" before long. Therefore, before I lose the oversight of my posts, I will simply call my posts "In which" and remove the "chapter"s. But the "in which"s are here to stay. I promise...

We've moved! I cannot believe that we no longer live in my old apartment! We took over a friend's apartment and it's gorgeous! It has a brick wall and stuff. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and so we've only moved in the boxes. We will be furnitureless until Saturday. Despite that, Internet is installed and the fridge is full. But our room is all boxes and zero furniture. It sucks because I want to clean and organize our room, but without the furniture, that is simply not possible. *sigh*

And we're back in Montreal, Michael and I. There is sunlight. LOADS of sunlight. So much so that I miss the rainy German sky. I think that I lost ten pounds yesterday because I melted under the fierce 33 degrees Celsius of cloudless sky and still winds. I was worried that, in Germany, I would forget the look of sunlight... and now I think that, despite sun being pretty, the refreshing rain is much preferred. I mean, my bleeding sun allergy hit me again! I have a freakin' rash at the back of my neck, which only happens when I am overexposed to sunlight without sunscreen. grrr...

Anyways, I am looking forward to sewing again. Once I am all installed and have found a new job (in order to pay for fabric), I am going to sew some pillow cases for some small cushions. We have an awesome windowsill in our bedroom and I want to turn it into a cosy reading spot. It will only work with the right cushions though. Also, with regards to sewing, I would love to sew something Elizabethan for the Casa Loma Renaissance faire that is upcoming. However, I do not think that I will have the time to do a perfect job until then. So I will start on the project, but I will not be in a hurry to finish it. I can always wear it next year. Those who know me well are aware that I INSIST on historical accuracy and try to get all the details right. So I will make sure to create an un-anachronistic gown for next year. Historical accuracy matters and it takes quite a while... Also, should I wish to wear more than one costume for the Renaissance faire, I think I should wear my German Dirndl with a hoop skirt. It makes me look very wenchy, because it has a bodice-type of thing and an apron, etc. It actually dates back a few centuries, so the garb is actually quite historically accurate too. Women who worked at the market or on farms would have worn this kind of dress, so it works wonderfully for faires! Huzzah!

Oh, and I did miss Anime North. NOOOO! (sad face) But that's okay, as I did not manage to really start on the Erica Fontaine costume anyway. Oh well. Better luck next time. I HATE that this keeps happening though! Next year, nothing can happen on the days of Anime North. I will go! I swear. Maybe I should write an oath to God like the people of Oberammergau and see what comes out of it...?

... okay... and I no longer know what this post is about. I apologize for that. I guess I'll stop now. I promise the next post will me much (MUCH MUCH!!) better!


Monday, May 24, 2010

The Germany Chronicles 4 (Final Chapter) - In which a visit was paid to Wiesbaden

Sorry for the fact that this post did not come as soon as I had hoped (or expected it to). The reason is quite simple: after my last post, I did not get any more access to the Internet. My aunt Uli (short for Ulrike) did not have any Internet at home and I did not have time to go before leaving Bavaria... Yet, there is lots (lots and lots) to say. So be prepared for a very long post.

Before anything, you must know that I am back in Canada. *sigh* Yes, back already. It makes me a little sad to have left the peace, beauty and serenity of Germany (for once I actually felt stress-free!), but it is also good to be returning to sunshine (though it is a little too hot here in Montreal). I did miss the sun: of the 20 days we spent in Germany overall, only ONE day was sunny. ONE! It was not fair! I had wanted to show Michael so many things, but the stupid rain (literally) drowned my marvelous plans. But we had loads of fun anyway...

I need to get down to my adventures in Germany now, or you'll find yourself facing the never-ending post (as opposed to the story of the same type).

Since the last post, the rain only got worse in Germany and there was no hope at all of ever seeing our trip turn sunny. Though, fun fact, during the only day of sun, Michael actually caught a sunburn (tee hee!... no, that was not funny!). Anyhow, on the Thursday, it was Ascension. So we went to the Catholic Church (of beautiful baroque fashioning) and sat through an hour of service. The service was sung (gregorian-style, by the priest!) and they had a wonderful choir and an ORCHESTRA (on top of the organ) that played Mozart for the festivities of Ascension. Also, the hunters (Schuetzen) of the town came in full traditional garb to the Church in order to get a blessing for the start of the hunting season. It was interesting and wonderful... Though cold... Churches are not heated and they can be a little draughty... But it was great anyway... I believe that the service we saw is not that different from the services they had back when the Church was originally built. Oh, and allow me to mention that the people of Oberammergau are excessively Christian. Some go to church every day. I kid you not: there are two services a day, so if you feel REALLY pious, you can go TWICE! It boggled my mind: you do not ever see that here in Canada...

On the Friday, we went to see the Passion Play. This is very interesting: not only is pretty much all of Oberammergau involved in this event, but also it attracts thousands of tourists a day, mostly because they are doing a sort of pilgrimage to the small-town in order to view this religious event. There is a whole history behind the play: in 1633, the Black Plague hit the town of Oberammergau really hard. So, the people of town got together and wrote (and signed) an oath to God that, if the Plague would go and if there were no more victims of the illness, they would present a Passion Play in thanks every decade. When 1634 came about, there had been no more victims at all, and thus the first Passion Play tradition was presented and a whole tradition began. Michael and I went to the Oberammergau museum and had a look of the chronology of the events. They even still have the signed oath to God that they would present it. It was decided, though, that the play would be presented at the beginning of every decade, which is why in 2010 we were graced with a wonderful presentation. It was fabulous (though cold: I pitied the guy playing Jesus who had to hang on the cross half-naked for 20 minutes!). It was a great presentation and, to my delight, Michael loved it!

On Saturday, we went to visit castle Neuschwanstein, the famous castle built by Ludwig II of Bavaria that inspired the Disney aberration... Much better than Disney World any day, because this castle is the real deal! I could have strangled the stupid American tourist who stood beside me while looking up at the castle. He said: "It looks really fake, like it was built by Disney!" My head shot round at this and I had to tell him that Disney was inspired by this breathtaking castle for his own trademark castle. The guy replied: "It looks plasticky anyway," a comment which made me seethe because it is OBVIOUSLY stone! Michael sort of dragged me away before I killed anyone. It was super beautiful, awe-inspiring and amazing... as always... But, also, as always, it is crowded - no, flooded - by moronic tourists, which kind of ruins the beauty of it for you. The rain also put a bit of a damper on things. Anyways... my favourite part of the castle is the courtyard at the front. It has a fabulous design and Saint-George the Dragon Killer is painted on the main wall. It is absolutely wonderful - my kind of fairytale castle. Disney is worth nothing against it. ... Bloody tourist!

Michael and I spent the Sunday traveling up to Wiesbaden. Now, Wiesbaden is a city much farther to the north than Bavaria, not so far away from Frankfurt. We went there because that is where my aunt lives (in the most gorgeous apartment I have EVER seen! It would make even the gods jealous! I kid you not!). We got up at 5 a.m. (German time) to take a train (and switch trains a couple of time) and we basically were on a five and a half hour train trip to the north. It was a fun trip, though our compartment was PACKED with Chinese people. I do not know for sure, but I think they were a whole family or something traveling together, because they all seemed to know each other. My issue with them was that they were being very loud and eating smelly foods (the lady behind me was feasting on a box of hard-boiled eggs! eeek!)

Wiesbaden was beautiful! It is a gorgeous city with a Roman wall that dates back to the 4th Century A.D. It was impressive! So many vestiges left by the Romans! Also, Wiesbaden is on top of a great number of hot springs, so you can smell the sulfur in the hot water. They have fabulous healing baths there. The hot springs are naturally 66 degrees (Celsius)... which is really, REALLY hot if you put your hand beneath it. We also went on to the Neroberg (a pretty mountain with a vineyard and a Russian Orthodox Church (also a tomb)). There was an amphitheater up there and Michael took the occasion to serenade me in Italian from the bottom of the amphitheater... His voice rose up so beautifully, he even got applause from the people around. Michael also found himself a new girlfriend: a blood-hound named Berta. She was super cute, but I was getting jealous of all the attention Michael was giving her. We also went along the Rhine a little, Michael enjoyed skipping stones there and I enjoyed the solitary swan swimming on the river. We finished off our evening around a bottle of wine at an Italian restaurant with my aunt, my dad, and my uncle. It was very enjoyable. I ended up with a flush to my cheeks caused by the wine and stories were told around the table that I hope will only come up again when I get married. I will say no more about these.

Also, I have determined I would live in Wiesbaden later... Not only is is a drop-dead gorgeous city, but I gave me the biggest squee of all. They had a store there, called the Korsetterie!!! *Insert biggest fangirlish squee you can imagine here* I could not buy any corsets because they were too expensive, but they were also GORGEOUS. Some were designs by Bibian Blue, my favourite corset designer. I could live anywhere with such a store...

And that's how the trip concluded. Wonderful nights eating Italian... My dad and my uncle brought us back to Canada on Thursday the 20th. It was good to be back in the sun, but I could have stayed longer. Now I need to stress out about work and about moving and stuff... Not looking forward to the move at all actually - I do not feel like dismantling my Ikea wardrobe AGAIN!

Also, I went up North to my dad's cottage upon my return to Canada. My father promptly stepped on my glasses which have faithfully served me for five years. Catastrophe appalling! It was not a great start to my day, if I may put it that way. So now I'll be moving using crazy-glued glasses and I am going out to buy new ones next week... I hope they'll have nice ones.

I'm looking forward to the move being over. Now that I am back in Canada, you can expect more frequent posts. Also, I shall be posting pictures very VERY soon. I still have to sort through them though: I have about 2200 of them! I cannot wait to show them off!

And for now, my faithful readers, that is it. I hope this has put at least a glimpse of a smile on your lips. I am, alas, exhausted: the jet-lag has not been merciful to me. Blog you later!

P.S. Michael and I just finished Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones and it was AWESOME! You should read it; it's loads of fun!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Germany Chronicles 3 - In which the hills are alive

Hi from Germany to you all!
I am happy to announce to all (because I only wrote it in the comments so far) that I successfully passed my Japanese class! And with a B- at that! And here I thought I'd get a C... *sigh of relief* I won't have to retake it after all... I am never taking another language class again!

In other news, I went to visit Linderhof palace with Michael on Saturday. I decided to wear my gorgeous new dirndl for the occasion. In other words, I was dressed in a way that would have honoured our dear King Ludwig II if he were still alive (I want to say he would have "liked" what I was wearing, but seeing as he was allegedly gay, I highly doubt that a low-cut bodice would have attracted his eye at all...) Anyways, I was dressed in the whole and complete outfit and I looked absolutely awesome! I promise some good pictures. On the palace grounds (gorgeous gardens!) Michael and I became a photo opp for several tourists. Notably a French guy and an English one decided to take a picture of us because we looked "so traditionally Bavarian" and two people from Nürenberg also spoke to me about my outfit and how wonderfully traditional it was... I got a LOT of comments and it was great fun! The palace was a really nice visit. My mum and aunt used to be tour guides in there. Linderhof is the palace in which Ludwig II spent the last eight years of his life (until his very mysterious death) and it was allegedly his favourite palace. I understand why: STUNNING VIEW! And a beautiful place at that. It's actually a very small palace... just a cottage to a king, but I'd like to live in it nonetheless. Michael mentioned that he'd like to sleep in the king's bed: it seems to be the first that is long enough for his feet! XD

I also must mention the single, most terrifying experience of my life so far. As you all know, I have a frightfully vivid imagination and it tends to run away with me at the most inopportune times... I mean, I can get lost in the woods because I spent too many hours staring at a tree stump and picturing fairies living in it... *sigh* anyways...
So, after going to this cool restaurant in Oberammergau, where a family friend (and the owner of the place) does cool magic tricks at your table, Mike and I walked home in the dark (it was 9:30 at night). We were not scared when we were walking until we reached the church. Curious (as I always am), I decided to have a look into the churchyard. In Germany (and I suppose most of Europe), the cemetery is located in the churchyards and laid out all around the church. Which means that Michael and I walked into a dark church ground with very little light and some candles lit on a grave here and there. It was super creepy! There was also some slight haze from the rain and the paving sort of glittered in the faint light of a streetlamp. Neither Mike nor I could get ourselves to move further into the graveyard, as the dark shapes of tombstones were terrifying and foreboding. My imagination made me see figures lurking behind the stones... And Oberammergau is famous for the plague epidemic that hit it in 1633... which suggest many angry ghosts from centuries passed... The headstones closest to us stated years of death from 1908 to 1932... so right during the period of the first World War as well... But that's not the creepy bit yet. As Mike and I are standing there, shivering with fright at the thought of the many souls lying beneath our feet, the church bell starts ringing the bloody three-quarter of an hour!!! That meant three blood-chilling rings of a low-tone bell. It sounded like a warning or a death omen or something. Mike and I screamed and bolted. My heart did not stop pounding until we were safe inside with lots of light!

Oh, and the weather improved somewhat the next day. We went hiking. Michael said it was his very first hike! That made me very happy!! We hiked three mountains and back! A grand total of a seven hour walk!! My arse hurts a lot today. We hiked the Kofel, including the rocky tip of it, which consists of some rudimentary climbing: the rocky path is so steep and narrow (and rather dangerous) that there is some thick cable bolted along the path and you have to pull yourself up to the top, where the cross stands (because we are good Catholics here in Bavaria). We got great pictures from the top and Michael bolted a sandwich right beneath the cross. There were also HUGE raven-type birds up on that mountain. I swear, they were the size of a slender hen, but they looked like ravens: completely black and ominous looking! And then we walked through Bavarian woods (real fairy tale forest!) across two mountains! At the top of the last one was an inn where we had some soup and Michael had a beer. We reached that third mountain just in time because it started to pour and to hail down (yup, chunks of ice falling from the sky!). We waited out the rain at the inn and then went back out. When we finally came back down into Oberammergau, great thunder rolls could be heard behind us... so we were REALLY lucky with the weather! We did not get hit by lighting, though we saw ominous storm clouds pulling in... (Sorry, gotta finish this quickly!) It was a great (long!) hike and we had loads of fun! We also have many great pictures of it! And the hills WERE alive with the sound of music (Michael sang loudly on the mountain: the sound echoes beautifully up there!) It was AWESOME! I promise pictures soon!

For those wondering about the pictures, I cannot send them from the internet cafe, so it'll have to wait until we're back in Canada. I promise I'll put them up though!
Tomorrow: Munich!

I wish you all the best! Tscüß!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Germany Chronicles 2 - In which a pigeon nearly causes Michael's death and a crow freaks him out...

Okay, so you are now probably wondering what this cryptic title to the post means...
Unfortunately, there is no hidden message, no clue to something else that might lead you to discover an amazing treasure. It's just a description of what happened yesterday. I am not joking.

Yesterday, Michael and I went to Munich. We decided that, as the bad weather was not improving, we should do an inside activity: i.e. two hour train ride followed by a day at the "Deutsche Museum", in other words, the German Museum of Science and Technology. I figured that, Michael and I love our Mythbusters and How It's Made enough to find that interesting! ;-D It was great fun and we thoroughly enjoyed it... (I'm keeping the museum visit bit short, as I only have 30 minutes to write this... again!) Michael and I strolled through aviation, navigation, mining, and electricity (and watched the electrical power "show" in which they show different cool and dangerous things high voltage can do to wood, metal, houses, people, etc. lots of loud bangs and electrical fires!). We spent a total of four hours in the museum, until closing time, actually. In the last half-hour, we discovered that there was a hidden musical instruments section and rushed to see that... it was extremely well hidden... For a minute I thought I was going to find Narnia rather than another lesser known and visited section of the museum. Anyways, it was great fun...

We left the museum at five to get something to eat and stroll around Munich a bit, as it had stopped raining. We went all the way to the Marienplatz, which is a beautiful pedestrian zone with great buildings and church towers surrounding it... and also really nice stores to shop in! ^_^ On our way to the Marienplatz, a pigeon that was hobbling about on the sidewalk decided to take off, nearly hitting Michael in the face with its wing! I am not kidding: it nearly hit me too and I am a head shorter than he is!! The pigeon missed his face by a hair - not an inch: a HAIR! It was a really close call - I think the pigeon nearly gave the two of us a heart attack! So yeah... a pigeon did nearly kill Mike... see why I said the title was not cryptic after all?

And then, still while walking in Munich, as I was trying to figure out where we were (I was left to my own means and my mediocre sense of direction in a big city I barely knew and without a map... I kept telling Michael "I think I know where we are... let's go this way!" and basically went exploring... It went well though: we ended up where I had planned to! I was very impressed with myself.) So, I was trying to figure out where to go by memory and Michael started giving a weird look. He said: "Judith... there is a bum... a homeless man... riding a bike... and he has a PET CROW on his shoulder!!" He insisted that I tell whoever reads my blog about this too. I never saw the guy... but Michael was so freaked out by it that I do believe it was true... So there is part two of the title.

Other than that, the food is still as yummy as ever! On Wednesday, we went to visit some fabulous baroque churches. They were gorgeous! However, it was so bloody foggy we could not see a single scrap of landscape! The mountains had been swallowed up by mist completely! It looked like someone had erased them! It looked like a canvas for someone to paint on, not like an actual, tangible landscape... And things kept popping out of the fog, cars, signs, trees... it was weird and freaky...

Okay... in other, quickly given news, I have a new dirndl. For those not in the know about what that is, it is the traditional Bavarian garb. It is basically a dress made of a low-cut bodice and skirt (which can be worn with petticoats underneath) and an apron. A blouse is worn beneath the bodice as well. It is basically elegant farmer's wife clothing. The fun bit is that it looks very 17th-18th century wenchy!! That's how awesome we are here in Bavaria! Our outfits have not changed since back in the old days! XD The reason why I bought a new one (because I already had one at home in Canada) was that I needed one that was more "my age"... the one at home was a little on the small side and made me look fourteen when I wore it... My new one is light green with a pink apron and it's GORGEOUS! Michael loves it! I look really fabulous in it! And, to match it, I bought a new, stunning feathered hat! It has the longest, most beautiful pheasant feathers I have ever seen!! And it's also very traditional... It is also the perfect hat to wear to Renaissance faires... simply a breathtaking piece!
We also got Michael a nice Bavarian hat. This is because real-deal Lederhosen are just too expensive for our budget right now (one pair of pants is more expensive than the whole dirndl set!) and I decided that I would not let Michael leave Germany until he looked at least somewhat Bavarian... So we got him a hat. It's nice and forest green and has a small Gamsbart on it... I cannot translate that, so do not ask. You can look it up on google though, I am sure. Anyways, he looks really cute in this hat. And, to his big surprise, his head fits really easily into hats here... The big-headedness must be a German thing then, I guess... XD

Darn, I have to go again... sorry. Tomorrow, we are visiting castles. Specifically Schloss Linderhof. If the weather is nice, I'll wear my dirndl, so I'll have nice pictures to upload when I get back!

My best to all! I miss my Canadian friends, but, even in foul weather, the landscape here is absolutely breathtaking, so please don't blame me for loving it here!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Germany Chronicles 1 - In which everything is bigger

Grüß Gott aus Bayern! (Hello from Oberammergau, Bavaria, in Germany)

Sorry, no pictures up yet. I can't upload my photo card at the internet cafe. However, I can tell you that the trip so far is going well and that we already have loads of pictures. I promise I will post them eventually.

The flight was good, though I was sitting beside a really skeezy and unpleasant guy who did not speak any language I recognized on the plane. He creeped me out: he kept shooting me these death glares as if I was doing something wrong despite the fact that I sat straight and unmoving, watching inflight films the whole time...

Anyways. Trip is starting out well, Michael is loving it and it's making me really happy to see how much he loves Germany so far! The countryside is beautiful and the mountains are breathtaking. Some still have snow on them!! It is absolutely beautiful... and very inspiring. Michael says the countryside is inspiring him to sing and that makes me feel great! I am happy to know that he is happy and that singing comes easily to him in this inspiring setting. I have high hopes for him for Weimar in August (where he will play in Cosi Fan Tutte).

Unfortunately, so far, we've had no luck whatsoever with the weather. It's cold and it's very rainy. It's only faint drizzles and Michael loves it, he says it's his kind of rain. However, it's also rather chilly for someone like me, who cannot provide her own body heat and needs to sunbathe like a snake to warm up her blood. I need sun, else I will turn into a living icicle soon... Despite that, I am eating some gelato of the best ice-cream parlour in the world, located here in Oberammergau, called Eis Cafe Paradiso. Yummy...

We've already visited Ettal with Michael, which is a beautiful monastery that was built 700 years ago. Loads of history and beauty. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, as we've landed on the 1st of May, we got the honour of seeing the erection of the May poles all throughout the small towns of Bavaria. It was wonderful. In Altenau, where I spent much of my childhood, they erected the tallest May Pole around. It was 45 meters high and dwarfed the poles from the other towns. Not bad for a small town nestled in the middle of nowhere in the mountains! We only saw the end of them bringing it up, but it was great. Michael also had his first German beer there.

The May Pole brings me to the title. Michael pointed out that everything is bigger here. He is quite correct. I cannot believe I had never noticed that before! From the electrical outlets (and the plugs that fit into them), to the light switches, to the toilet flushes; everything is HUGE! Where, in Canada, you'll have a tiny switch, in Germany, it will be three times the size at least. I think that the light switches average three square inches or something. I cannot believe I never noticed that in all the years I have been visiting!

But the biggest thing here (and this I knew, but I must point it out anyway): THE FOOD PORTIONS! I think I already gained 10 pounds and I'm not joking. The food is absolutely to die for! My grandmother has not lost her touch and everything she makes is still delicious! She greeted us with wonderful homemade strawberry cake! Yummy!! But, yeah... everything is huge. And, if you are eating at my grandmother's, you are expected to eat seconds. If you do not, she worries that the food is not good. She is very concerned that Michael does not like her food because he has not been eating as much as she expected from him, but that is because even HE, who usually eats a ton, gets full quickly on this amazing German food. He's had to convince my grandmother a few times already that he loves her food, tee hee!

The mountains here are also very big, especially in comparison to Montreal and, according to Michael, Ontario landscapes. The mountain air here is amazing and wonderfully refreshing. I would advise people to come and visit if they could.

Darn... I have so much more to write and so little time left... (stupid internet cafes!)

I guess I just have to conclude by saying that I am still jet-lagged, but life here is good. I am thoroughly enjoying my time here. I am just hoping the weather will improve a little so that I can actually go hiking with Mike!

That'll have to be it for today... I hope I can update again as soon as possible!