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



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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.

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Friday, February 26, 2010


Thanks to Kelly Griego, guest post on "Inside the Loop," I have found myself spending way too much time discovering the excitement associated with Spherical Panoramas, or 360 degree imagery.  My favorite panorama was the Vatican.  You could save yourself thousands of dollars in airline and hotel fees and see the Vatican through this technology up close and personal.  Try it!  Just click on the link below the photo.


As exciting as this technology is, it barely touches the surface of what can be done now a days.  Here is where we are headed.  Watch Blaise Aguera y Arcas, the architect of Bing Maps at Microsoft, at the recent TED Conference.  The possibilities are endless! 


Sunday, February 21, 2010


I've taught art for many years and recall many different assignments designed to inspire my students.  But the one going around Youtube right now, by Jamie Bell, a seventeen year old student from the UK is one I wish I would have assigned.

Enjoy it, it will amaze you.

Friday, February 19, 2010


During the winter months it is too cold for outside activities and yet, the perfect time to expand your horizons. Yesterday was one such day.  Fortunately,  I was priviledged to attend Alex Koch's gallery tour of the Neue Pinakothek in Munich.  This museum, founded by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, contains major works of European art from classicism to art nouveau.  

Our tour was of German art throughout the ages.  Because of this, an understanding of Johann Georg von Dillis was needed to fully understand this great collection.

For most of Dillis' life, a trained painter, he was appointed as a curator for the Bavarian court.  Close to Ludwig I, he traveled throughout Germany, France, and Italy advising the crown prince on collecting and other matters for most of his life.  It is largely due to him that this collection has been available to us today.

Pastoral scenes painted by Dillis depict landscapes such as this one of the Tegensee in its' original state, before Ludwig's plan to build and establish his kingdom.  Today, this same location would include churches, storefronts, homes, and other buildings.  It was interesting to see the landscape in it's primary state.

The Neue Pinakothek was originally built in 1853 but after the destruction of WWII a new building was built and opened in 1981.  Today, it stands as the most important museum
of the nineteeth century art in the world. 

Here is how it would have appeared in the 1800's.  Notice the colorful artwork on the facade.  Sadly, rather than rebuild after most of it was turned to rubble, the new building was built.  Beautiful in its own right, the first building has been lost forever.

One of the most beloved painting, by Munchener's, is the one below called, "Seni vor der Leiche Wallensteins" (Seni before the body of Wallenstein, 1855). 

Jacques-Louis David painted "Anne-Marie-Louise Thelusson, Comtesse de Sorcy", below.

Thomas Gainsbourough painted "Mrs. Thomas Hibbert," below.

One of my personal favorites is this one by Max Liebermann, "Boys Bathing."

There are Gauguins, "ti tamari no atua."

Van Gogh's, "Sunflowers."

And a spectacular Edouard Manet, "Luncheon in the Studio," 1868, that is also beloved by Munich, just to name a few.

You could spend a week in this museum and never see all that you would like to see. If its' art didn't capture your imagination, you could simply go across the street and visit the Alte Pinakothek's collection of 700 painting schosen from the 14th to the 18th centrury.

I believe that there are some 148 attractions, including museums, to visit in Munich.  Plenty to keep me occupied on a cold winters' day.  A person can tour alone, with headphones, or be very fortunate as we were with Alex Koch who offers these tours for the International Women's Club.  

Thank you, Alex.  It was delightful.  I look forward to
the next exhibit in March!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


It is our first "Fasching" in Munich, but I hear that it is much closer to the Venetian Carnivale than to Germany's Cologne Fasching.  Today, Shrove Tuesday, has people all over the city in elaborate costumes.  Think Mardi Gras and you have an idea of what is happening here.  There are any number of festivities happening in the city building up to this evening which marks the end of the festivities.  Thousands will be in the Viktualienmarkt in the city centre to join with the market women singing and dancing among the fruit and vegetable stands.  Other places Munchener's can go to "party" are listed here:

Carnival calendar: Parties and balls at a glance

White festivals

  • Celebrate brewery in white in the Max Emanuel. Up 16.2.
Kölsch meets Munich

  • Cologne Carnival party in the Schranne Hall. 11.2 16.2.
Munich Carnival

  • In the Freiheiz Carnival party is every night. 11. 16.2.
Olympic desire

  • Student Carnival in the Olympiadorf. 11.2 15.2.
Rose Ball

  • For a good cause in the Bavarian the Ball court. 11.2.
Radio Arabella monstrous Carnival

  • Carnival party in the Hofbräukeller. 11.2.
Amazon Carnival Feringa

  • Party of the Feringa Carnival society. 11.2.
Chrysanthemum Ball

  • Wohltätigkeitsball of higher society. Bayerischer Hof 12.2.
Radio Balls

  • Omitted celebrate Carnival in Bavarian broadcasting. 12.2 15.2.
Damischer the Turmfalken Knights Ball

  • Ritterspiel and vibrant music in the Löwenbräukeller. 12.2.
Rock that swing Jamboree

  • The 1950s come back in the German Theatre. 12.2.
Ball of the Nations

Standardtanz world meets the German Theatre. 13.2.

Ball Waschermadl and Kammerkätzchen

  • Munich Redoute in the old Rathaussaal. 13.2.
Laim Carnival activities

  • Colourful Street Festival at the Laimer anger. 13.2.
Gong 96,3 conf-30 Carnival

  • The monthly accommodation-30-party in Carnival mood. 13.2.
Cult party Heath Volm

  • For 21 years: Celebrations with the spider Murphy gang. 13.2.
Carnival in Rio

  • The Brazilian Kostümball in the Bavarian court. 13.2.
Munich närrisch

  • Carnival activities in the city. 14. 16.2.
Bal Classique

  • Gala with romantic Waltz sounds, Deutsches Theater, 14.2.

Fiesta Latina

  • Hot Latin American Rythmen in the Bavarian court. 14.2.

  • Carnival procession in John churches. 14.2.
Lilalu - Carnival for children

  • Fideler children Carnival in theatre factory. 14.2.

Brazilian Rosenmontag in the BMW world

  • 40 Musicians and dancers, colorful costumes, a thrilling choreography and joie de vivre pure when the Brazilian Carnival at the 15.2. Admission free.
Pogo in Togo fun party

  • 80's annual Carnival party in the theatre tent Castle. 15.2.
Carnival in the Cosimawellenbad

  • Large party Rosenmontag and Shrove Tuesday in the Cosimawellenbad: a närrischer fun awaits visitors with live DJ, games and competitions. 15. 16.2.
Rosenmontags party Feringa

  • Party of Carnival society Feringa in Unterföhring. 15.2.
Rosenmontag in the Park Café

  • Funky Carnival celebrations in the Park Café. 15.2.
Rosenmontags cellar Carnival

  • Carnival party in the Bieder hotels residence hall. 15.2.
Rosenmontags dance

  • Masked dance in the media culture places Youth Center. 15.2.
Sixties Carnival party with the hot cookies

  • Time travel in the golden age in Rohrer & Brammer. 15.2.
Traditional medicine ball

  • Celebrations with style: A rustling Ballnacht in the Bavarian court. 15.2.
Dance of the Marktweiber

  • The highlight of Munich Carnival. 16.2.
Carnival Corso Leopold

Carnival Straßenfest on the Leopoldstraße. 16.2.

Carnival in the P1

  • Colorful Carnival party with confetti in the P1. 16.2.
Kehraus Feringa
  • The Feringa Carnival society season final. 16.2.
Kehraus Muffathalle

  • Party on Shrove Tuesday in the Muffatwerk. 16.2.
Kehraus and Prince burial

  • Midnight is finally Heath Volm Kehraus party. 16.2.
Children's Carnival in the P1

  • Funny Kinderfaschingssause in the P1. 16.2.
Queeres Carnival Straßenfest

  • Before the German oak Hotel celebrates the scene. 16.2.
Mad Carnival in the Park Café

  • Fun with Gerry & Gary in the Park Café. 16.2.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Should we decide to remain in Germany at the end of 2010, we've finally decided to move towards the Alps.  At first it was an aestheitc decision, but after reading "The Local" on Feb. 12th, it is clear that I am destined to be an Alpine resident.

Researchers from Ludwig Maximilian University, here in Munich, recently completed a study that found that individuals living in the Alps at an elevation of about 2,600 meters near the top of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain,  for one week, led to an average weight loss of 1.5 kg for all 20 participants.

But the BEST news is that they kept the weight off when they were measured FOUR WEEKS after coming down from the mountain.

It appears that the thinner air on the mountain top increased their metabolic rate.  That means they burned energy faster.  But even BETTER was that their appetites were suppressed so that they ate less.

No need to look any further.  I'm SOLD!

Friday, February 12, 2010


     I can't get over the fact that people in Germany ride their bikes in the snow. All kinds of snow and all ages of people.  Even people in their 60's and 70's! 

      But watching the mail carriers here in Munich, all on bicycle, has really amazed me.  I wonder if their U.S. counterparts would be so willing to brave the elements on two wheels?  Something tells me that their must be a law that protects them from such working conditions.  Ya think?

Monday, February 8, 2010


 Peace and rest at length have come. All the days long toil is past, And each heart is whispering, Home, Home...  Thomas Hood. 1799-1845.

     It was a splendid weekend.  The words cozy, rest, contentment, peace, and joy all come to mind when reflecting the past two days.  With nothing special on the agenda, we donned our fleece and slippers,

boiled the kettle,

and let the day while away as it would.
      Sudoko for him, crochet for me, and a bit of an online bridge lesson for us both.  Inclement weather had us debating the wisdom of venturing out into the cold.  With nothing special to do, we decided to do just that--nothing special.

     I made a quiche with carmelized onions for a late brunch, which did us just fine.  Warm from the oven, it was the perfect accompaniment for our lazy day at home.

     We are both reading the same novel, "The Good German," by Joseph Kanon which makes for interesting discussion.

     The day simply melted away.....carefree and timeless.  We both languished in the luxury and warmth of our home until the last few rays of sunlight fell below the horizon. 

     Taking it's cue, we both decided to finish our delightful day at home with a nightcap.

Ahhh...the simple pleasures of life....

Friday, February 5, 2010


field of dreamsImage by Darwin Bell via Flickr
Spring is sure to come soon, at least I'm crossing my fingers!

I love Bavaria in the snow, but now the beauty of it has given way to its'  impracticality.  The snow has melted and  the diving temperatures have left sheets of ice on the roads and sidewalks making navigating in the city very dangerous.  The slushy re-frozen residue is ugly and the wind is bitter. 

 I'm afraid the fairy tale Bavarian Winter has run it course....at least for me.

My mind is months ahead.  Since we have lots on the agenda, I find that it is difficult to be in the "here and now."  I am dreaming of the months ahead and the events that will take us to the warm sunshine. 

Snow Road
Image by quinet via Flickr

I just want to escape the cold! 

I am looking at returning to the U.S. in late March to take the family to Disney World.  The warm temperatures of Florida are tempting me so much that it is all I can do not to book an earlier flight.

ORLANDO - MAY 29: In this handout photo provid...

So many times I wish I could be in two places at one time.  I know I will return to Munich by May-- in time for my mother-in-law to arrive from Australia.   But,  in July, we have dear friends whose daughter is getting married back in the states.   The wedding, in the plans now, will be in Harbor Springs, Michigan where the bride has always dreamed it would be.

Mysterious bride
Image by sparktography via Flickr

In September, hubby has been invited to be a guest speaker at a conference in, YA HOO--  Brazil!  This will be our first first trip to South America where the temperatures are beckoning me now, as I blog.  Beaches, sun, warmth-- instead of -2 degrees and freezing. 

Bring it on!

Praia do Cachorro

Finally, in  October, we are planning to take a Mediterranean Cruise with our Shanghai Expat Friends Couples group.  Each year we plan a reunion and this year it will be on a cruise ship while exploring the Greek islands.

Meanwhile, I have to find a way to enjoy the present.

MS Majesty of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean...Image via Wikipedia

But as the map below shows, I'm hardly alone here in the Northern Hemisphere.
So, I will stop dreaming of the future and like millions of others braving the cold temperatures, I'll zip up my parka and don my ski cap and pray that Jack Frost is kind and spring isn't far behind.. 

An animation (satellite images) showing season...

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Thursday, February 4, 2010