Thursday, August 18, 2005

Full, satiated and on the burst with all the wurst

One full day here in this short visit to Munich and beyond. We took to the road and visited a number of places in the Bavarian region, so today should be called Bavarian Road Trip. It was my first long drive on the Autobahn and we hit 220 to 230, especially on the way home. There´s something thrilling beyond words about a fast ride on smooth roads, knowing it´s safe, but feeling the power of the drive. Why build cars that can go fast if you can´t find the time or the place to take it out and maximize its potential?

Food in Bavaria tends to be characterized by words like heavy, fried, meaty, and comfort food. I´d have to agree, especially tonight as I am writing this while waiting for my stomach to digest all that we ate today. Once I get to a spot where I can load my photos online, I´ll share some of the feast we had tonight, at the Benedictine Abbey Beer Garden. Truly a table load of calories.

We also took the time to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding countryside: the castles like Neuschwanstein (also known as the inspiration for Walt Disney´s Cinderella Castle) and Linderhof, the beautifully ornate baroque church in Wies, dipping our feet into the ubercold waters of the Plansee, and the pastoral hillsides of Bavaria in general. It was so picture-postcard like most of the day, the sun shown down on us and it kept that way all throughout. Long walks and climbs were more pleasurable than penance in these conditions. My only regret is that we didn´t have our swimsuits, a cold and quick swim in the lake would have been more fun than wading up to our shins.

Tomorrow will be a relaxed day, walking through the park, studying for exams next week, and enjoying the city with the other visitors. I´ll do one more museum and maybe a city tour before I leave Sunday. And of course, the wedding of S and J will be the highlight of this visit. Everything´s been so good so far that I can´t help but look forward to that.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

In 5 hours I'm off. Flying! I love flying, I like the feeling of going somewhere far, far away, seeing new places, eating new food, smelling new aromas, waking up to a new sound of daylight. Ok, I like the travelling part, and I'm not a frightened flyer. I don't like the waiting to get on the plane and the length of flights. And... I don't like returning after a trip. It's such a letdown and the fantasy of travel dissipates after coming home to find dirty laundry, dust, and no food in the refrigerator.
My biggest fear on this trip is running out of money. I'm on the tiniest budget ever, and I do worry that I won't be able to see anything on such a limited cashflow.
But having a minimalist budget will make me more creative and hopefully, more in tune with what's going on. Instead of zipping to the next event and next sight, I'll take things slow and savour the details. I'll buy the fruit in season, taste those for a new palate. I'll look for free or inexpensive day trips and learn as much about it instead of skimming over the stories.
I will write, read, study, and when I come home, know that I spent time with friends who mean a great deal, but who I don't see very often. That will be my gift to myself this trip. If only time would speed up just a bit so I could get going, then slow down when I'm there. 8 days is so short for a new country and city.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

6:20 at the office, avoiding the inevitable

I'm avoiding the pile. It's on the desk, standing tall, looking grim. I don't have to look far to see it, but I'd rather look at my monitor, surf through food blogs (I just found one that reviewed one of my favorite restaurants in NYC, Babbo's. The picture taken looked just like where my friend and I sat last year; plus the blogger also got a 10:30 pm. reservation.) and not do a peekytoe bit of work. Peekytoe's a kind of crab, nice sound to it, ja?
Ja's the only german I know, other than Ich sprechen nich deutsche, and a few mumbled things like kiese and schinken. Bier, and wasser or is it waser? Oh, and kuh (cow). Going to Munchen in a few days and I know I'll be so like my orange fish if I were to pull him out of his algae ridden glass home on top of my desk.
So back it is to the pile. Eegads, it looks like it's growing. But it's not, it's just a pile of paper, it needs to be read, understood, perused, analysed and eventually stored away for some other sap to read. I have until tomorrow night to read them all and yet I'm so not excited about doing so. I'd rather find more food blogs, like the one who ate at 5 different pizza places in one day, and a month later did a dessert tour. If I were to do something like that, I'd start with different kinds of wraps: burritos, lumpias, sushi, vietnamese spring rolls and the amoy lumpia kinds, cannolli, peking duck, and oh who knows how many kinds out there. Then I'd do a taste test of chocolate chip ice creams, followed by chocolate chip cookies. Then as many kinds of fried rice from different establishments. A selection of pasta from my favorite italian restuarants.
Just the idea makes me hungry. Where oh where is my delivery order?!

Pike Market Peonies

Pike Market Peonies