EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



My photo
Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I've Graduated From Work!

I retired yesterday, Friday, March 20th, 2009 after nearly 30 years in education. Linda, my supervisor, had this photo taken. Linda is on the far left. Rose, our school librarian is between her and myself. Heather, the GED teacher before me, is pictured to my right. Our counselor, Darrel, is at the far right. We all celebrated my final day at Tango's Mexican Cantina down at the docks. It was a good time and I will miss all of these folks more than I realize. The camaraderie is especially significant when you work in a prison setting such as we do. These are the people who you rely on, who look out for you, and who make going to work in such a depressing place worthwhile. Thanks, Linda, Rose, Heather, and Darrel. I will never forget you. (Pssst! Nice tan, Darrel, :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Balkan Bankya and Mojitos!

This is Sofia, Bulgaria where Steve and I are going in April for a conference. I happen to know very little about Bulgaria or the Balkans at the moment, but I'm doing some investigative research and I hope to have a list of sights I'd like to see while Steve is immersed in the glass business.
In my limited research, I found a blog entry titled:

Sites, sun and mojitos Sep 16, 2007

I have to say that it was the "mojitos" that caught my eye. I happen to know that any destination that serves great mojitos is one I will thoroughly enjoy!

Bacardi Mojito (say 'mohito,' and enjoy!)
An easy mojito recipe to liven up your evening

1.5 oz BACARDI Rum12 fresh spearmint leaves

1/2 lime

7 oz club soda

2 tbsp. simple syrup(or 4 tsp. sugar)

For the smoothest summer cocktails, gently crush mint leaves and lightly squeeze lime in a cool tall glass. Pour sweet syrup to cover and fill glass with ice. Add Bacardi Rum, club soda, and stir your emerging mojito well. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint.

Next to a good mojito, I'd rate a good spa as the runner-up. I found http://www.discoverbulgaria.com/ and a photo of this idyllic spot:

Here is what www.discoverbulgaria.com has to say about Bankya (above):

"Bankya is situated 17 km away from Sofia. Its mineral waters are suitable for treatment of cardio-vascular diseases, nervous system disturbances and metabolic disturbances. It offers an excellent infrastructure for tourism, recreation and treatment. There are 2 medical centers, hydrothermal pools located in large picturesque park, policlinics with specialized diagnostic equipment, modern sanatoriums, sport terrains, many rest houses and hotels, as well as private lodgings. The beautiful nature, the curative mineral waters, the excellent location and infrastructure make Bankya is a prestigious national and international resort."
Now, that's what I'm talkin' about!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Fresh Linen"

Today, in Toledo, it reached 70 degrees! March 17th (St. Patrick's Day) and it felt like the first day of Spring! Although I spent most of the early part of the day in a courthouse on jury duty, I found myself daydreaming and gazing longingly out of the large windows to the glorious weather outside. People were in shirt sleeves rather than down-filled parkas. Strolling peacefully, no one seemed in a hurry to get to their destination. Then, I thought of Germany and wondered what the weather was like there. The last time I had been in Germany (1990), I recalled how the housewives would take their eiderdown duvets and place them over the windowsills to meet the sun's warmth. Airing out their linen was practical, I'm sure, but it was also charming. Each household had their bedding folded neatly on the window frame. Just another custom I will gladly adopt in my new country. How charming indeed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

German Law Requires it.

"In the city center of Munich, Germany, there are bike parking lots used by thousands of workers each day."
"Germany also offers subway and train cars, as well as discount fares, designed to encourage bicyclists. Finally, a German law requires that for every new road, a bicycle path is also created
I'm thrilled about the prospect of biking everywhere in Germany. My cousin, Bonnie, passed on these tidbits of information and I find them fascinating. Why can't we encourage bicycling here in America also? The real question is, "Why haven't we already done this?"
It appears that we lag behind many European countries (Belgium, Switzerland, and Holland all come to mind) as well as Australia when it comes to making bike paths readily available. I'm hoping that with the downturn in the economy, many more Americans rely on cars and gas less and begin to bike more. Not only will it save money, but will offer a host of positive health benefits as well. Perhaps we should insist that Obama's recovery and infrastructure rebuilding imitate the Germans. Heck, make it a law here too! I'm quite certain that many people who struggle with the cost of transportation would welcome the discounted fares.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Strolling With Steve

This is the ancient summer residence of royalty in Bavaria called the Nymphenburg Palace. According to my husband, it is also within walking distance of our new home in Munich. Out today for a brisk stroll, Steve happened upon this landmark palace just a bit over a mile from our residence. Our place has a walking path next to it and it follows the river Wurm. Steve decided to see where it led and was overjoyed to find such a marvelous and historical destination.
Aside from his stroll, he researched washer and dryers for me and emailed me the specs of two popular models. As our washer and dryer must go in the bathroom, I'm thinking of getting one machine like we had in Shanghai that both washes & dries. There's no room for a side by side and stackables would take up too much space.
Steve has also done some preliminary looks at a few cars. So far he hasn't mentioned any specific model. I only have one request when it comes to autos; it must have GPS. As all of the German street names are about five syllables long, I can't imagine making my way through the city without it.
Steve's off to Milan this week to work at a factory there. Thank goodness we can Skype because this is week five that he has been gone and I am missing him terribly. In just a few weeks we can make that stroll down the path to Nymphenburg Palace together. Now that is worth waiting for!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

VERSTEHEN SIE DAS? (Do you understand?)

Here you have it! A guaranteed quick and easy way to learn German in just 4 ways! I'm either going to learn German fast, or speak German fast. I thought I'd give it a try at $29.99 rather than dish out a lot of cash for the "Rosetta Stone" DVD's. I'll let you know how it works.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Auf Wiedersehen meine süße Familie, verfehle ich Sie!

If you can't read the title, try copying it with your cursor and pasting it into the translation box on the site called Babel Fish. Remember to pick, "From English to German" on the pull down menu and then click on translate.
The link is below:

Yahoo! Babel Fish - Text Translation and Web Page Translation

Tonight I got to meet with my dear Aunt Inez and my cousins at Sundown Cantina, www.sundowncantina.com, a Mexican restaurant nearby at Mayberry in Sylvania, OH. Inez is pictured in the front row and far right. Her daughters, DeLynn and Debbie, are to her left. My cousin, Bonnie, is next to me at the top row, wearing a white sweater over a blue turtleneck. We all look so beautiful...must be the great genes! We had the best time (as we always do) tonight. It will be hard leaving my family, but with the Internet and http://www.skype.com/ we should be able to keep in touch regularly. These women have been my support here in Toledo while Steve has been traveling for his job. I will miss them terribly. I had tears running down my eyes as I drove out of the parking lot. I couldn't wait to upload this photo and I was really pleased to see how well it turned out. There is nothing like family and I love you all! Please, please, plan to make it to "Munchkin Land." You are welcome anytime!