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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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Hurray!  I have just received the good news!  My blog has been included the the top blogs in Germany.  I was delighted to receive an email from "Go! Overseas," informing me that my blog, "Expats Again," was read by their staff and definitely deserved to be included in their list of top blogs in Germany.  

You can see it here: http://gooverseas.com/germany-blogs

While there, I hope you take some time to become acquainted with the other top blogs in Germany.  There are 15 blogs listed that will delight you.  Thank you for being a supportive reader and giving my postings an audience.  I enjoy learning about life in Germany, and traveling the world and sharing our experiences with my readers.  It is an honor to be included in the top blogs of Germany and I will continue to work hard to bring quality photos and text.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I am headed back to the states this week and will be fortunate enough to be there in time for Halloween. It will be great fun to see the little ones in their costumes and enjoying themselves outdoors trick-or-treating.

But there is one little trick-or-treater who has been on my mind all week.  Meet little "Raggedy Andy," circa 1964.  No, not the child, the costume!!  

Can you believe it?  My aunt made this adorable little costume for my cousin, her son,  when he was just a toddler.  That was 46 years ago!  It looks as though it was made yesterday to me in this photo. 

In 1984, my cousins' nephew also wore it for his Halloween costume.  Today, he is  graduated from college and too old to trick-or-treat (or at least I would assume so.)

This year, the baby above, who is the baby of the family, will wear the homemade Raggedy Andy costume that his great-grandmother made back way back in 1964.  How she would have loved to know that this beautiful great-grandchild of hers was wearing her handiwork.  

Who knows, there may be a few more "Raggedy Andy's" in the family's future.  The costume appears to be holding up well and is in excellent condition.  It touched my heart to hear that my aunt actually made a costume that extends four generations of boys in their family.

Does your family have a costume that has been handed down from one generation to another?  If so, I would love to hear about it.  Or, better yet, send a photo!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Kräutergarten, is a herb garden.  The one pictured above, is in a wheelbarrow outside of a traditional German restaurant in Munich, Zum Brunnwart Müchner Wirtshaus.  The restaurant was the site of the 20th Anniversary of the Munich International Women's Club that now claims over 200 members.  Twenty years ago, at its inception, the organization started with three women, all of British descent.

The luncheon began with a cocktail hour with red and white wine served on silver trays by waitress' in their dirndyls.  The actual meal consisted of typical German dishes.  A Karotten-Ingwer-Cremesuppe, or Carrot and Lemon Cream Soup.  It was delicious with both a sweet and sour flavor that was wrapped in a creamy base.  Next, we were served the main course; Semmel-oder Kartoffelknödle.  That would be a dumpling type of dish made out of flour, or one made out of potatoes.  These were served with a dark beer sauce, or in German, a Dunklebiersauce.  I much preferred the Krtoffelknödle mit Dunklebiersauce than the Semmel.

The purple dish on the left is called "Blaukraut," and is a sweet and sour red cabbage.  The Germans use bay leaf and whole peppercorns when making this dish.  It is quite different from the Polish or Hungarian sweet and sour cabbage that I have had in the states.  Included in the meal was roast pork, or roast duck; Schweinebraten oder Entenbraten.  I chose the Schweinebraten and it was very tasty on a chilly fall afternoon.

Below are some more of the autumn planters and garden decorations around the building.

For dessert, we were served a very traditional German "Kaiserschmarren," with applesauce.  But another way to enjoy it is with a raspberry puree.  In either case, it is a filling, warm dessert that would be mostly enjoyed during the fall and winter months.

Recipe for Kaiserschmarren from www.topdessertrecipes.com

All purpose flour (1c), salt (1pinch), white sugar (1/2c), milk (1/2c), eggs, separated (4), applesauce (2c optional), raisins (2/3c optional), confectioner sugar (2tbsp), butter (1tbsp).

Method of preparation:-
Take a bowl, beat egg whites in it until the soft peaks get form. The egg whites form soft mounds rather than sharp peaks. Take separate bowl, beat egg yolks in it until they becomes smooth. Mix flour, milk, salt, sugar and raisins in it until the mixture becomes moistened. Then add egg whites in it. Take a large frying pan, place it over medium heat. Melt butter in it and then pour batter in the pan. Cook it until it becomes golden brown. Then turn the side and cook it from other side. Then tear the kaiserschmarren into small pieces with forks and cook them for about 2 minutes until they become golden brown. Now decorate with confectioner sugar and serve with applesauce.

Number of servings – 4

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Germany has an East Bavarian Beard Club and this year they hosted the European Beard and Mustache Championships in the Austrian Alps on October 2, 2010.  There were 150 entrants from eight countries.  It was held in the town of Leogang, close to Salzburg.  Now, we plan on going to Salzburg for the Chris Kindle markets in December, but if I had known that this event was taking place somewhere so close, I sure would have been there.  Since I wasn't. I went to someone who was and here is what I found.  Aren't they amazing?

Credit Amazing Planet

Credit Amazing Planet

Credit Amazing Planet

Credit Amazing Planet

Question:  Do you like a mustache or beard on a man?

Monday, October 11, 2010


Before I begin today's post, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for visiting my blog. I really mean it when I say that your taking the time to come to my blog is very valuable to me.  It is good to know that my invisible electronic ions floating about in our atmosphere are actually making their way to readers.  It also pleases me to hear from you so please feel free to leave a comment anytime.

I would also like to invite you to become a follower this blog.  It only takes a second to scroll down to the bottom of this page where there is a list of  "Followers."  There is a modest list of people, who I assume read this on a pretty regular basis, bless their souls.  If you would like to follow this blog and get notified as to when a new post is published, then please give the little button below a tiny click. 

I am enjoying the feedback from my readers and if they own a blog, I follow them as well. So, thank you for stopping by, having a look, and I welcome you to follow along as we continue to live in Munich, Germany while experiencing Europe and the rest of the world on our travels.  We are always learning new things about our new country and about ourselves -- which is what this blog celebrates!

Now, on with the post!

Aren't the children in my photo above just adorable?  

Well, here is the most surprising fact about this photo; they were not posing!  They did not dress up in period costume for any particular reason.  Seen here, they are investigating a tool used to sharpen knives and axes. What is especially endearing to me about this photo is that this is the way children in Bavaria sometimes dress, albeit mostly on weekends, when they are out in the countryside, for example, with their family.   It is so.....charming!

After 18 months in this country, I now hardly even take notice of children dressed this way. I still smile and comment how cute the children are when I see them dressed this way, but it has occurred to me that I am quite accustomed to seeing them in their lederhosen and dirndls whereas, when we first moved here, it was a real spectacle.  I didn't understand. at that time, that it was completely normal for parents to dress their children in the traditional clothing of Bavaria and that they didn't need an excuse or a holiday to do so.  As I said, little by little, after seeing children in their customary dress (I would not call it a costume), I just began to accept that this is the way it is here.  

I used to describe Germany to my friends and family back in the states as the land of "Currier and Ives," after the homespun, idyllic and pastoral scenes depicted in their greeting cards. I know of no better way to convey what I see on nearly a daily basis.  Bavaria is very family oriented and you see evidence of this all around you.  Hardly a neighborhood exists in Bavaria that doesn't have at least one park, playground, or recreational facility.  In reality, there are more than likely a half a dozen or more filled with moms, dads, sisters and brothers, all enjoying time with the family.

Maybe I've just grown up in the wrong neighborhoods in the states, but I don't think I ever saw children swimming in a creek or a stream in my city, Toledo, Ohio.  I used to believe it was because the water was probably polluted, but whether or not that was the case, I doubt if many kids there ever swam in anything other than a lake, a swimming pool, or perhaps a quarry.  In Munich, I observe people wading in rivers and streams all over the city.  In fact, there is a small river, literally right in front of our house, where bathers test the waters during hot and humid days.  Additionally, a much larger river that dissects the city of Munich, the Isar, is teeming with swimmers and waders all summer long.  Families, in the hundreds, can be seen on the banks of the Isar with a picnic or a barbecue on any given weekend.

Above is a photo of a horse and rider in Munich.  Say what??  A cosmopolitan city has people on horses riding through it? 

Here are the stats about Munich:

City population: 1,249,176 (2006),  1 225 810 (1998) 
City Area: 310.5 sq. km. 119.9 sq. mi.
City density: 4 023 inh./sq. km. 10 415 inh./sq. mi.

I've already written, many times, about the number of people and families on bicycles throughout Munich and the fact that for every road constructed in Germany, they construct a corresponding bike path.  But I didn't know that I would be on a bike path and come face-to-nose with a horse! The paths horses take are not on the city streets. But, they abound all throughout the city and it is perfectly acceptable to find a horse and rider from one of the liveries out and about on a shared pathway.  I just love it!

In many ways it is like time has stood still in Germany.  It is a country, like many others, that is proud of its customs and traditions.  It doesn't tear buildings and houses down when they are old.  Instead, it restores them to their former glory.  So, instead of a city filled with the tall concrete towers of a modern city, its appearance greatly resembles a large, yet quaint, village. 

Recently, in Der Spiegle Online, I came across some photos of East Germany by photographer Stefan Koppelkamm .  These photos were taken of the buildings as they appeared in 1990 after war and the ill-fated construction attempts of the East German authorities.  Then, ten years later, he returned and photographed the same buildings again.  Here are some of the before and after photos that prove my point about how the Germans restore and renovate rather than replace.






Aren't these buildings grand?  Cities today cannot afford to make buildings such as these and it amazes me to be surrounded by so much elegant architecture. But as much as I admire it, I am no longer starstruck by the enormity of it as I once was.  As the months of our stay have increased, so is the fact that I have gradually become acclimated to my surroundings.  Walking past buildings such as these have become a part of my everyday life and in some respects, I take no more notice of them now a days than most native Germans do.  It is what I've come to know as normal, rather than exceptional, which is a pity really, because these buildings command our respect and to be noticed, don't you think?

I am sure there is more to say on this topic and you can rest assured that I will address it in the future on this blog. It astounds me how in the process of living day to day in a foreign country, you wake up one day and it no longer seems so foreign.  It's like it kinda grows on you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


When I lived in the states, just about 18 months ago, I didn't realize that my hometown, Toledo, could have been so newsworthy.  However, since we have been living in Munich, we have become aware of more than a couple of stories coming out of our hometown.  First, let me say that nothing very newsworthy ever comes from Toledo, unless you want to count Jamie Farr, Klinger from MASH, the tv show fame, who is our native son. And then there are the Tony Packo Hungarian hot dogs he raved about on the show. They are pretty famous also.   Oh, I guess one might add the Toledo Mudhens baseball cap that he wore on the show too.  But other than that, Toledo is just not a memorable place for anyone or anything famous.  

But I think that is beginning to change.  Our first overseas news event from Toledo was when we caught a glimpse of our hometown on the German tv newscast here in Munich.  It was about a woman who got angry at a McDonald's drive-thru clerk because she wouldn't sell her a cheeseburger at 8:00 am. ( Who eats cheeseburgers at eight in the morning anyway?) The customer's anger led her to begin bashing in the drive-thru window and then hurling a drink at the clerk.  

Great stuff coming out of Toledo....

Months later, there was news of the mother who stepped outside of the Cheap Cuts hair salon (or something like that) while her daughter was waiting for a haircut.  When she returned back inside of the salon, her daughter was crying because a beautician cut her hair in a way she didn't like.  As any loving mom would, she attacked the hairdresser only to receive cuts and wounds from the hairdresser's shears that landed her in the hospital.

What in the world is going on in Toledo?

But the most recent international news event coming out of dear old Toledo is about  Rich Iott, a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives, who was photographed in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform all over the internet.   According to  "The Atlantic," Iott is involved with a group whose members are devoted to re-enacting the exploits of an actual Nazi division, the  55th Panzer Wiking, which fought mainly on the Eastern Front during World War II.

Photo from "Atlantic,"  Rich Iott second from right.

Well,  Mr. Iott, all I can say is that if you tried that uniform on and marched your stuff around here in Germany, you wouldn't just be getting heat from your possible constituents, ....No sir, you'd be in jail!

In Germany, it is illegal to wear an SS uniform.  

Just how do you explain to the Jewish community of Toledo (or anywhere for that matter), why you would want to glorify a unit that was formed to help exterminate millions of Jews? 

In the "Atlantic" article, according to a World War II expert, Eleonore Lappin, a noted Austrian historian: "The actual Wiking unit has a history as grisly as that of other Nazi divisions. In her book The Death Marches of Hungarian Jews Through Austria in the Spring of 1945, Eleonore writes that soldiers from the Wiking division were involved in the killing of Hungarian Jews in March and April 1945, before surrendering to American forces in Austria."

Well, it just goes to show you that when it comes to the absurd, the wild and the wacky, well....Toledo ranks right up there at the top!  Why, you can be living clear across the pond and still get the Toledo news in your living room! 

Now, how many cities can boast that claim to fame?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


It is officially over!  Oktoberfest, that is.  Yesterday was the final day of the 17 day celebration of 200 years of Oktoberfests.  We were there on Saturday and it was fantastic.  The weather was beautiful, the people were festive in the traditional trocken, and the beer was delicious!  Above is a photo I took of our waitress.  Can you imagine carrying all of these beers in one trip!  Actually, they can carry more!!

I took these photos with my i-phone rather than toting my Cannon around.  This one turned out rather well, but I apologize for the quality of some of the others.  You really aren't experiencing true Bavarian life unless you make the pilgrimage to Oktoberfest.  I was hesitant expecting it to be a free-for-all, all out drunk fest, but I was pleased to find out that over the last 200 years, Munich has the organization of this event down to an art.  With a ticket to one of the many beer halls or tents (think gigantic circus type tents), you have no queues, two large beers (Mass), and a chicken dinner with all of the entertainment you would expect.  

Oh, and the hats!  The ridiculous hats.

Credit to "Weird Planet."

Credit to "Weird Planet."

Credit to "Weird Planet"

Well, now that you've seen all of the "pretty people,"  here is our motley crew.  A good time was  had by all.