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, May 30, 2010

Oliver Pocher - Wir gehen nur zurück, um Anlauf zu nehmen WM 2010

The WORLD, ok, not America, but EVERYONE else is gearing up for the 2010 World Cup Soccer (Football) Games beginning Friday, June 11th in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Here is one of the funniest videos I've seen about the upcoming games.  Even if you know nothing about soccer, it will put a huge smile on your face. 

Have a look. 

Oh, and Americans who don't usually follow the sport might want to keep their eyes on Spain, Brazil, Italy, and Germany as possible winners.  I think you can guess who I'll be routing for, except for June 13th when Australia plays Germany....then I'll have to go with the Socceroos--seriously, that's their nickname!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Getting excited about the World Cup in South Africa--yeah, and I'm a yank (American).  How about you?  Are you going to follow world cup soccer? 

Thursday, May 27, 2010


                                                               Bakery in Munich

Did I ever tell you about how much the Germans love their baked goods?  I might have mentioned it in a previous post, but let me refine that notion.  They don't just love their baked goods, they are downright fussy about them.  So much so that they go into great discussions with the bakery clerk about the ingredients, the proper texture, the amount of nuts or fruit, etc. while you are waiting for your turn.  They watch your purchases and will comment to you about  how delicious the cake or bread you bought is, in their opinion.   

But of all of the baked goods they offer at these German bakeries, their breads are their pride and joy.  Bread you see, must be made and bought fresh daily.  This is possible because bakeries exist on nearly every major street corner.  On Sundays and holidays you will find all of the stores closed in Germany, but the bakeries will remain open.  Seriously!

I am not complaining, mind you.  I find any obsession with carbohydrates entirely understandable.  I just don't come from a country that takes its' bread, rolls, and pretzels so seriously.  Most Americans were raised on white Wonder Bread and despite its' lack of nutritional value, it certainly didn't do  any of us  any harm.  It was tasteless, generic, and could stay in the breadbox for months on end it contained so many preservatives.    There were the occassional cake bakeries that sold doughnuts, pies, and cookies, perhaps.  Each town might have one or if your town was fortunate, maybe two such bakeries. 

But the Germans have taken their love for baked goods to  nearly a spiritual experience.  You see them munching on croissants on the trains, tearing away at pretzels at the street crossing, and chewing on a crusty roll while trying to manuever a bicycle along the bike path.

Yes, Germans love their bread and baked goods and you know what?  So do we!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Before I begin pouring my heart out for the second time, I would like to invite you to click on the "Follow" button on this blog.  You should find it towards the bottom of the blog on the left hand side.  When you follow a blog you are notified of new posts and you can decide whether or not you want to make a return visit.  Welcome to Expatsagain, a blog of our journey to a new land, a new life, and all that comes with it.
Each Wednesday I "Pour My Heart Out" about something that has been on my mind.  Last week I discussed how seven year-old girls did a dance routine to Beyonce's "Single Ladies."  Many of my readers were of like mind when they commented that it was very sad that these talented young ladies had inappropriate costumes for their age and inappropriate dance moves, they really didn't need it. Their talent speaks for itself.  Thank you for all of your comments and lively discussion about this topic.

This week, I'm going to discuss the tensions between the two Korea's because of an international crisis by the sinking in March 2010 of a South Korean warship after an explosion that killed 46 sailors.  Seoul claims that it has overwhelming evidence to prove that Pyongyang sank one of it's navy ships. 
 North Korea denies involvement in the sinking of the warship and says the findings were a "fabrication." (Telegraph.co.uk)
Today things are beginning to escalate and retaliatory sanctions are beginning to be raise their ugly heads. 
I may be very naive about international politics, but it looks like it's the world v.s. North Korea and it's only ally, China.
Again, being a bit naive, it has occurred to me that it is incumbent upon South Korea and the U.N. to make their evidence public for all to see.  They really need to publish their findings in every major newspaper and news program so that there is absolutely no question that North Korea is guilty as charged.  To me, this is the only way to make the world aware of what has happened.  Then, the Chinese will have to choose the best action to take. Side with the world or support North Korea and face condemnation from the rest of the world.  It seems quite simple--to me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I don't understand the physics of it, do you?

Sunday, May 23, 2010


The Moselle River Valley is a region in north-eastern France, south-western Germany, and eastern Luxembourg, centered on the river valley formed by the Moselle. The Moselle is a quality white wine-producing region and has been so since the nineteenth century. It is also becoming a strong tourist destination due to its' reputation as a ruryl idyll with quaint, cobbled towns and storybook castles. I think some of the photos I took will show you why people travel to the Moselle Valley. We were fortunate to go there last week and avoid the large crowds during the summer when the area reaches its' peak season. But should you arrive in summer, you will be treated to oom-pah bands, dancing, festivals, and lots of colorful costumes. Oh, and plenty of delicious wine anytime of year!

There are no large towns in the part of the Moselle that we travelled to which is on the Luxembourg and German border. The castle above was taken in the small town of Cochem. You can't tell from my shot, but it sits on the top of a steep hill right on the edge of the Moselle River.

     Tiny villages tucked between steep vineyards dot the shores of the picturesque Moselle

      Medieval streets provide delightful scenes enjoyed from riverfront promenades.

We took our time driving along the river and whenever the scenery demanded we stopped, pulled off to the side or stopped at one of the many cafes along the way. To tell the truth, I recall stopping for a few glasses of white wine as well!
Castle upon a hill overlooking the village.

                  Promenades suitable for resting, biking, strolling, or photography.

                                          Bicyclist out for an afernoon ride

                              Small chapel along a bridge on the Moselle River

                                          Another castle along the valley.

This trip was a surprise from my husband over the past holiday week here in Germany. An added bonus was that we were able to escape the rainy weather back home in Munich. This is a part of Germany I never expected to see and after having been there, I can tell you that it is worth a return trip. My guess is during the grape harvest in the fall when all of the trees are turning golden yellow, orange and red. This time we plan to stay overnight at one of the small towns, preferrably Beilstein, the quaintest of Moselle towns, nicknamed the "Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle" because up until 1900 it was only accessable by boat. Today it is grape vines, charming inns, small alleys, and the beautiful reislings and chardonnays. In my opinion--heaven on earth

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


     It's my first, it's Wednesday, "Pour Your Heart Out" post, and we'll just have to see if I'm able to follow through each Wednesday.  My blog is mostly about our Expat experiences, our travels, our family, and every so often I comment on local (German) events or the events back home, in Ohio. Nothing too deep and nothing too controversial is my thinking.   Yet, like everyone, I from time to time have thoughts, feelings, and emotions, that need to be expressed.   I just don't think a public blog is the right place for that--(just my opinion).  However, I find it fascinating to read others' blogs who do just that--pour out their hearts. 
  Then, one day I came across the blog of a rally astute young gal and noticed her  button and her challenge.  Her blog, Things I Can't Say , is amazingly honest and forthright.  She is a young mother of three boys and still finds time to blog regularly, amongst her other activities.  After reading her entries in "Pour Your Heart Out" and her challenge for her readers to try it, I decided I'd give it a go.
     So, for this first entry, I've decided to pour my heart out about mothers and daughters.  Now, I'm no expert in parenting and, in fact, I'm not even the mother of a daughter.  But I have taught and observed the behavior of teenage girls for 30 years and I am also, afterall, my own mother's daughter.  So I'm inclined to think that these facts give me some credence when it comes to commenting on mothers and daughters.
     Today, let me say, I am pouring out that I am heartsick for daughters of mother's who want to promote their child at any cost.  I'm referring to those mothers who try to relive their lives through their daughters' lives. Believe me when I say that I have witnessed many such mothers throughout my teaching career. The scenario may change, the calendar may change, but the mothers truly are the same. 
     These are the  mothers who allow their daughters-- no.... allow is not the right verb--approve of their daughters' poor choices because they fear that should they disapprove, their daughter will not be liked, will be unpopular, or will not get the guy--(probably the one they never got in school, is my guess). All share the same quality, insecurity. 
     Oh, they will protest, justify, and even get angry at the thought that anyone could accuse them of such blatant daughter-promotion. They will insist that there is nothing wrong with the way they mother and argue that all of the girls that their daughter associates with are doing the same thing.  
      But let me tell you, it is denial, plain and simple. 
     Think I'm wrong?  Think I am just a member of the older generation who isn't as hip as I could be?  You might be right, but how could any mother condone this?  And for what reason have they allowed it to happen to their sweet innocent 7 year old daughter? 
     I am just heartsick after having viewed this and I hope you are too. 
     I would hate to believe that this is acceptable in any mother's world. 
     Oh, and please let me know if you share my sentiment or if this is totally acceptable in your opinion.  I would love to hear from you.

Vezi mai multe video din Sport

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Posted by PicasaSaturday found us wandering about Trier, Germany.  And wouldn't you know, much to my husband's dismay, there was another Flohmarkt in their Stadtzentrum (a flea market in their city center) .  I'm beginning to think this might be a regular thing in German cities as we saw one in Nurembourg last weekend and now this one in Trier this weekend.  However, hands down, the one in Trier was much more intriguing.  I had to all but bury my hands in my pockets to keep from snatching up the Patisserie platter and dome pictured above.  I've regretted it a couple of times since, so I know I will go looking for one soon.

The photo below is just incredible.  I love how all of the shapes, textures, and colors add interest to the collection.  My father smoked a pipe when I was a child and I have nothing but fond memories of both the smell and sight of a good pipe.  You don't see many men smoking a pipe nowadays; I wonder if it will make a comeback?  Look at these beauties, one is just more fascinating than the next.

Do you have a need for an antique ride-on child's pony?  I don't, but it is delightful.  It is on wheels (a precursor of the skateboard?) and the child can move forwards or backwards by pushing with his feet on the floor or cement.  What fun it would be to display this child's toy!

Trier isn't just about Flohmarkts, it is about much more.  It is considered the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC!  It lies in a valley between vine-covered hills on the German border with Luxembourg and within the important Mosel wine growing region.  A few of the most famous well-preserved Roman and Medieval buildings include:

Porta Nigra, the best preserved Roman city gate North of the Alps

The Baroque stucco-work in the vault of the west-end choir of the Cathedral

Amazing ornate organ pipes
But what we discovered at the Cathedral turned out to be one of most favorite sights.  There are times you visit a place and feel the history and the fact that it is a special place.  Such was the case when we entered the courtyard.  Unbelievable serenity surrounded us once we entered the courtyard.  I think you will agree that it is a very beautiful setting.


                                                 Cathedral Courtyard

Gothic vaulting surrounding the courtyard.

Back onto the streets of Trier, we were delighted to see the Gothic architecture so adored by Germans and visitors alike.

These two musicians serenaded us with the only polka I know, "Beer Barrel Polka."  But the Hungarians do it best.  Have a listen:

I will leave you with one of the most unique bicycles we have ever seen; a bike for 3!  (Pictured below, from Trier, Germany)

Monday, May 17, 2010


    There isn't any way to describe Luxembourg and give it it's fair due.It is one of those indescribable cities that you have to experience first hand in order to do it justice.  But be prepared to put on your walking shoes!  The photo I took above, is one of the valley below.  Walking is the only way to see Luxembourg and when I say walking, I mean going up steep hills, stairs, and walkways.  But you will be glad you did to explore this dynamic city.  Besides, traffic in Luxembourg is impossible and one more reason to hike it.

     Our day began early on a Saturday morning and people were scarce.  By noon, tourists were everywhere.  I was so glad that people are generally absent from my photos and I didn't have to fight crowds to find a good shot.

     Finding a lovely spot to savor in Luxembourg is amazingly easy.  The city is picturesque and for us, almost fairytale like in it's beauty and majesty.  Founded in 963, it became a grand duchy in 1815 and today remains the only grand duchy in the world. It also boasts the highest per capita income economy in the world.  It features solid growth, low inflation, and low unemployment.  It is a trilingual country.

     Much of the old city, or Aldstadt, remains intact and it is easy to see how the geography provided natural protection along with the mighty fortresses that were built throughout the ages.

     We spent two days in Luxembourg on our way through the wine vineyards of the Moselle Valley where they make the most inspirational Riesling you will ever taste.  The people of Luxembourg are gracious hosts and familiar with a host of international visitors each year.  Our hotel was very accommodating and was located in the center of the city with amazing views of the Aldstadt.


All one has to do while visiting Luxembourg is to bring your most comfortable walking shoes.  You will want a camera since the scenery is spectacular.  Luxembourg is one of the major cities of the world and provides a vast array of interesting restaurants and cafes.  A typical European city in that the outdoor cafe is critical.  It is a most easy city to fall in love with.

     No question in our minds, Luxembourg can easily be rated as one of the most romantic cities we have ever visited.  We highly recommend an evening stroll under the moonlight and a stop at one of the tiny Italian or French bistros for a sumptuous meal with an accompanying Moselle wine, but of course!

You will never forget Luxembourg long after you have departed!

Friday, May 14, 2010



One of the hobbies I most enjoy is painting. Watercolor, oil, acrylic, ink, gouache, tempera, you name the medium, I'm willing to give it a go.  I've finally set up my studio and have decided to jump in feet first.  It has been years since I have practiced the art that I was trained to do in college.  I've taught art and dabbled with some of the projects, but I've never found the time, nor the passion to take up art again; until now.

Recently, photography has consumed a large part of my spare time and I enjoy travel so it has become a natural outcome of being so blessed to be able to visit many countries.  I love it and I will always photograph my journeys.

A new love is knitting and crochet that has occupied a lot of my extra time.  Once I begin a project, I want to see it through to fruition.  I have made a conscious decision that once my latest project is done, however, I will give my painting the time and consideration it deserves.  Hopefully,  I will be able to share my successes with you on my blog.
Posted by Picasa
The weather in Munich is compatible with outdoor sketching and al fresco painting.  I have an easel and my sets of paint, so finding the right subject or landscape is the next step.  I don't have too far to go to find interesting scenery.  

The folks in my photos are artists from my hometown, Toledo, Ohio.  They are at the Botanical Gardens enjoying the most recent sunshine while practicing their craft.  Here are some of the sights that they were turning into art.

New Spring blossoms add color and depth to the small gazebo situated next to a pond.

Manicured hedges and tulip gardens surrounding a classical Greek statue.

A stunning and picturesque pond amply glorified with nature's abundance.

A bed of splendid tulips that shine in the sun's warm glow.

I can't imagine ever having a difficult time finding inspiration for my paintings.  All one has to do is to stop and observe all that is within your realm of vision.  Painters throughout the ages have produced fine works of art with a couple of simple oranges, a basket of bread, and a fish.  I should have very little problem producing paintings that may not qualify as fine art, but will fulfill the creative drive I have to perfect my craft. 

And you, dear reader, will be the one to judge!  I'm looking forward to sharing my work with all of you.