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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Saturday, January 30, 2010


On Sunday, January 24 at Lake Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps. 

We visited this hotel and it's gourmet restaurant.  The chef has been awarded  two Michelin stars and is working very hard for a third.
Uber, roughly translates into "the best or the highest quality," and "fahrt" translates into a "journey." 
A 2-star Michelin ranking is exceedingly rare.  Only 26,  2-star restaurants exist in France and only 91 exist in the world!
Hence, our experience at the "Uberfahrt at Tegernsee," will go down as one of those,
 "Once in a Lifetime" experiences.
The hotel is a 5-star hotel that claims, "To leave nothing to be desired," and it fully lived up to it's reputation as you will soon see.

The menu, by Chef Christian Juergens.

Course One, Appetizer
It looked like small pebbles, but when you bit into it, it was like a warm brie that simply
melted in your mouth.

Course One, meant wine One.  We chose Champagne.  Two amazing bread appetizers and butter completed the Course.

Course Two, carmelized onion in foam.

Course Three, fresh salmon sashimi with caviar served on an ice cold rock! There is a white creme fraische that tasted like it had been subjected to cryogenics or fast frozen.  The exterior was cold and crunchy, but the interior was s - m -o -o -t- h- e!

Course Four, a creation of veal head and rucola sauce.

Course Five,  beetroot sauce and medalians of duck breast.

A Chardonay

Course Six,  an encrusted Rainbow Trout with a subtle leek sauce.

Course Seven, was declared a "Milestone," by the Swedish photographer and his dining companion, a Swedish restaurant critic, seated at the table next to us..  "The dish took ten years to create!" they exclaimed while raising their wine glasses to the Chef! 
  It is a potato puree in a potato cube that is crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside.  The sauce is an amazing au jus with strong undertones of celery.  Everyone declare this course AMAZING!

Course Eight, scallops with a mango, lemmongrass, and coconut sauce--very Asian.

Course Nine, a melt-in-your-mouth sparerib with a singular extremely  large french fry.  The barbeque sauce was out of this world!

Course Ten, venison with roasted chicory and aubergine.

Course Eleven, filet with silver and gold coated vegetablle.

Course Twelve, a stilton cheese and a pear mousse. I love this combination with a strong white wine, so another glass was poured.

My husband, a very plain eater, leans back for a gastronomic rest--but wait,.....! A la mah! There is more yet to come.

Course Thirteen, is with out a doubt, the single most fascinating dish to ever hit MY tastebuds.  This lemon, the Chef assured me, has been soaking in water for 10 days so that the peel is now fully edible.  What is inside is a crisp, cold, lemon sorbet and it is covered with a Champagne sauce.  A shortbread cookie accompanies this spectacular dish. 
 If you go to the Uberfahrt for this dish only, you will NOT be disappointed!

Chef Christian Juergens visits our table before the dessert courses begin.  His rise to fame has put this establishment on the culinary map and foodies the world over have come to experience what can only be said to be the very finest of Bavarian fare.
Bring on the desserts, Chef!

These are small, hand made leaves so that each leaf has a different fruit flavor; strawberry, orange, .  The bark is sinfully dark chocolate.

This dessert is truly Bavarian in it's presentation-- designed to look like the two most popular biergarten accompanyments--sausage and chees.  It is served on a wooden plank on a bed of grass.   But au contrair, mon frere.  The sausage is really a walnut chocolate brownie that is so rich, a small slice is all one can manage to eat especially after what came before.  The blue cheese?  It was a light and airy chiffon cream .  Delicious!

I surrendered well before this creation. So, from this point on,  I think I'll just let the photos do the talking.  Since I could not eat another bite ( I know!  Who knew?), I cannot comment on the taste, nor the ingredients of the following creations.  But take my word for it...they were divine!  After all, pictures don't lie, do they?


I don't know about you, all of these photos I took of food that day has me hungry.  I'm headed to the kitchen for some fat-free, sugar-free, no carb tonic water with a splash of lemon and a jigger of Gin!


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Borrowed quote posted from fellow Blogger (Honeypiehorse,of Our Feet are the Same.  Thank you!)

Whatever you give a woman she will make it greater. If you give her sperm she will make a baby. If you give her a house she will give you a home. Give her groceries she will give you a meal. Give her a smile and she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges whatever she is given. So, if you give her crap.........

Friday, January 22, 2010


"Mother and Child" poster for charit...Image via Wikipedia
Just finished an article in the "International Herald Tribune" that makes me realize just how a country's notions and traditions can influence their well-being. The article, written by Katrin Bennhold, is one in a yearlong look at where women stand across the world.

The series began with how a changing Germany is trying to blend family, careers, and schooling.

At the root of the problem is a 250 year old tradition that began when children were needed to help work and has continued to the present time.  What hasn't changed is that that schools in Germany, because of this practice, still      end at lunchtime.  Exacerbating the issue is the notion amongst today's women that was prescribed by their great-grandmothers, "Kinder, Kuech, Kirsch --Children, Kitchen, Church." 

     Traditionally, in Germany, mothers are held responsible for rounding out the child's' education and making sure their homework is done, piano lessons are practiced, and the child is carted off to play soccer games.

    According to Ms. Bennhold, women in the developed world now match or overtake men in the workforce and in education.  Meanwhile, in Germany which is considered a modern society, customs are trapping women who either need to work, or desire to work, into staying at home.  If they do choose to work, especially in the villages, they are subject to ridicule by their stay-at-home counterparts. 
Children in a Primary Education School in ParisImage via Wikipedia

      It was interesting to learn that the half-day school schedule survived feudalism, Hitler's rise to power, the women's movement of the 1970's, and the reunification with Eastern Germany.  Even more fascinating was to learn that of the highly qualified women, who Bennhold says are more than ever, many will choose to work over having children.  By mid-40's, one in three working women are childless.  Angela Merkle, Chancellor of Germany, is herself, childless.

     Increasingly, the women who do stay at home to raise their children, are the less educated or immigrant mothers whose children would surely benefit from a day care facility--if for language development if nothing else.

     Germans were shocked in 2001 to learn from an O.E.C.D. study of literacy skills that they ranked 21st out of 27 and among the last in social mobility. Largely as a result of this study, the government provided $5.7 billion to introduce all-day daycare programs to 10,000 schools.  By the end of last year (8 years later), only 7,200 schools took part.  
     The pressure is on, though, most likely as a result of the poor economic factors in Germany in 2010.  Just as recent as 5 years ago, all-day day care facilities seemed unthinkable, but mothers, and more importantly single mothers, are finding it increasingly more difficult to have the make ends meet.  A solution they find will still hold stigma in German society. 

     A most fascinating aspect of this dilemma is when it is compared to East Germans who for forty years after WWII were divided from the West.  

{{BArch-description |comment= |biased= |headli...Image via Wikipedia

Women in East Germany under Communist rule and who had lost male labor to the West, set up free day care centers and all-day schools.  They performed factory work and studied in universities.  I had to laugh when I read that Western German women, by comparison, had to get their husband's permission!    By 1977, women in the East had already achieved a year of paid maternity leave!

Huisvrouw met mattenklopper / Housewife with c...Image by Nationaal Archief via Flickr

     In 1989 the female employment figure in the East was near 90% and in the West, 55%.
Today, because of the progress of the East with attitudes towards all-day day care and after school programs,  Western families are moving to cities like Berlin and finding it a perfect solution to the problem of how to work and not be ostracized for doing so.

     One thing is for certain, Germany is finding that it can no longer afford to see this tradition continue and attitudes have to change in order to take advantage of having women, now more than half of German graduates, join the work force.  The article mentions that by 2017, there will be a shortfall of 200,000 engineers!

mad scientist engineer designs a brain surgery...Image by sean dreilinger via Flickr

      So, will women in Germany be
able to contribute towards their family's expenses, pursue their educational goals, find their life's fulfillment in a dream career, or in many increasing cases, be able to support their children as single mothers?  Some companies are doing much to attract women for employment, such as Siemens, by providing day care centers near their work sites and offering "fathering months." They offer high school science camps for bright female math and physics students and mentorship programs. Time will tell as only 13% of professors in Germany are women.  The sole woman on Siemens board, Barbara Kux, 55, is unmarried and childless.  There are only 30 companies countrywide that have a woman on their board and only 2% of those running Fortune 500 companies are women.

Letting go of tradition is difficult, but in this case, necessary for Germany to continue to provide one of Europe's largest economies.  If  I were a betting woman, I would predict that our German sisters will one day follow their American sisters and learn the art of being "Superwoman."  I say this with trepidation as I recall the words of my mother during the 1970's Woman's Revolution, "Be careful what you wish for!"

     Mom liked having doors opened for her, her chair at the dinner table pulled out for her by my father.  A stay-at-home mom who relished in her femininity, she foresaw trouble ahead when, one day, women learned that these advantages would disappear.  She worried that women would lose their mystique and power to attract men if they were really equal.  See, in mom's view, women were not only equal, but in many ways superior--just that their men were meant to be clueless and subsequently held their wives in high esteem.  She would chide my sister and me that one day we would be sorry that we weren't elevated and pampered by our husbands as she was by our father.  I know she saw trouble ahead, but had she lived long enough, her fears would have been allayed.  I worked for 30 years at my profession, married, divorced, became a single mother, and remarried;  yet, my very adored and loving husband is the happiest when he can make me happy and likewise for me.  It seems that mom had nothing to fear when it came to the dynamics of men and women.

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Lois Lane's first appearance as Superwoman. Ar...

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Here is a great way to donate to Haiti relief.  I viewed it on CNN just this morning.  May God bless the Haitian nation.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Hilton gazeboImage by Mister V via Flickr

Look out ORLANDO--here we come! 

I am so excited!  

My son has just agreed to bring the family down to Orlando in April so we can all visit Disney, Universal Studios, and Sea World together! 

As could be expected, I have never heard my grandchildren so excited.  According to their parents, they are practically jumping out of their skin with anticipation. 

Now that the reservations have been secured, we are all busy making plans for our week at the Hilton Grand Vacations Resort near Sea World.  This is a dream come true for all of us!

Thank you, Papa, for making our dream come true!

While it will be "HOT NIGHTS" out for my son and his wife, I will be the happiest when I have my grandchildren to myself and can babysit until their parents decide to return. 

Being across the Atlantic for months on end is rough cruel and unusual punishment on their Mimi. 

I will be in heaven!

Image by N i c o_ via

Hard Rock Cafe Orlando

This will be a first for our family.  We decided to wait until the children were old enough to go on the rides and were out of their strollers. Now that they have reached this milestone, it's all systems GO!

It will be a welcome respite after the long, frigid Ohio winter and our icy winter pictured here in Munich.

Winter in Munich

While we are all looking forward to watching the bottlenose dolphins, Sea World Believe is the show we don't want to miss!

Sea World Believe

I imagine the boys will look forward to seeing Jurasic Park and some of the other testosterone loaded events.

Stan Winston's animatronic Tyrannosaurus, on W...

Image via Wikipedia

But the GIRLS will want to see the Magic Kingdom, and Cinderella, of course!

                                              Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt D...

Image via Wikipedia

After all, it was Walt Disney himself that had the idea to fashion the Magic Kingdom after Germany's very own Fairy Tale Castle,  Neuschweinstein Castle!
And aren't we glad he did!

Neuschweinstein Castle, Germany

Image by abhijeet.rane via Flickr

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oliworx via FlickrWikipedia

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Puffy Chocolate Chip CookiesImage by fritish via Flickr
I read a lot of blogs about life in Germany and one of the common threads among expats  here is that we can't get our favorite products. 

 For myself as well as others, no Crisco and no Nestle's chocolate chips mean no Tollhouse cookies and that, dear reader, is unpardonable in any country.

Nevertheless, Germany has just been ranked the world's fourth best place to live by the 2010 Quality of Life Index, compiled by travel magazine International Living. Most assuredly, it's ranking had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that you can't get  Nestle Tollhouse Cookie ingredients here easily.

Instead, Germany's ranking was based on such things as quality health insurance, high average wages, and quality infrastructure.  It also made note of the fact that sports and nature lovers are enthralled with the number of national parks and hiking trails. Affordable real estate, safety, environment, climate, cost of living, and plenty of theater, art, and clasical music concerts also made Germany irresistable for many people.  And just to add icing to the cake, the Christmas markets and fairy-tale towns appeal to all of the romantics among us.

But, can you get a good chocolate chip cookie in the land of beer and sausages?

While I'm still on the hunt for them, there are some excellent products that German markets offer.  While I'm still in the very experimental stages of product testing, here are my favorites..... so far (which, if included in the Quality of Living ranking, might have moved this fair country up a notch or two, in my humble opinion.)

Although not all German products, they can be  found in German markets.  
 In no particular ranking order ~~ drum roll please?

 1.  Persil Laundry Soap, unmatchable cleaning. If we ever move back to the states, I'm filling our moving container with a lifetime supply.

Persil SelectionImage by elmada via Flickr

2.  Berchesgardner Fresh Milch (milk), yum! (I like served cold from the glass bottles).

täglich ein Glas MilchImage by icatus via Flickr


3.  Belfrutta Diat Waldfruchte (Berry Jam), just bursting with flavor. Try it on buttered toast.

Strawberry jam.Image via Wikipedia

4. Emsal Boden-Pflege, granite and marble cleaner-- superb!  Our floors and countertops literally shine.

New CountertopsImage by shareski via Flickr

5.  Dallmayr Biscuits, all varieties, but especially the ginger biscuits with a hot cuppa, : ).

Biscuit PlateImage by Caro Wallis via Flickr

6.  Dallmayr meats, proscuitto in particular, preferrably wrapped around juicy cantalope

Meats At DallmayrImage by extraface via Flickr

7.  Hacker Pschorr Beer, hands down our most favorite, unbeatable on a hot day.

Hacker-Pschorr Edelhell

8. Alkmene Shampoo- Simply lovely
Alkmene German shampoo

9. Faber Castell, primo Art supplies and pastels extraordinare! (More about this undertaking in a later post.)

Faber-Castell Pastel Set - 48 Soft Pastels - O...Image by pigpogm via Flickr

10.  Cera-fix Glaskeromik-Reiniger, keeps our ceramic cooktop looking brand new.  (This product is perhaps my most favorite of all, to date.)  This stuff is amazing!!!!!

Cera-fix Glaskeramik Reiniger

11.  Illy Dark Roast Whole Bean Expresso,  from Trieste Italy, but available worldwide.  Once you go Illy, you never go back....just sayin'
Illy coffeeImage by cmozz via Flickr
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These are 11 of our favorite products found here in Munich markets. But remember, the test trials are just in the beginning stages.  It's possible that some of these products can be located in stores in the states or Great Britain.

I know my mother-in-law uses Persil in Australia.                      

These are our favorites, what are yours?

Guten-illy coffee

                              GUTEN ILLY COFFEE