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Category Archives: Strange Happenings

Sweeeeet!

So…after arriving mid-day in Cologne yesterday, my new PM plunked down a huge bag of cherries in front of me and said “My mom’s tree – dig in.” I grabbed a handful, thanked her, munching away…and then remembered I’d seen (and saved) a super-simple recipe for chocolate covered cherries – suggested that she try it out with her huge harvest.Ā  It was mostly a practical guide to how to make the cherries without the chocolate getting funky or turning grey.
We all just got back from lunch a few minutes ago and lo-and-behold….do I not have the most awesome, talented, beautiful, smart, friendly….(ok, will stop now) PM? There was a small bucket of these to have for dessert…

Chocolate covered cherries

Chocolate covered cherries

I’m a little worried now about how many hours she is thinking I will work extra for them….;-)

PM Power

PM Power

Check out that devilish grin….

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Krampus – pre-Christian right of passage tale

 

Snow snow snow

Snow snow snow

I woke up to this this morning, which I admit is a lovely thing if you don’t have to drive or tramp around much in the slush that forms during the course of the day. I still insist on hating winter most of the time, but on days like today, when the world is muffled in white, it’s hard to hate.

I found out, meanwhile, what those monsters were all about from the weekend. Yes, wikipedia really has an article on everything. The creature is called a Krampus. And as I learned: “The history of the Krampus figure stretches back to pre-Christian Germanic traditions. It is believed that the tradition of donning the costume of Krampus came about as part of a coming of age ritual for young men.They would be sent off into the forest/mountains with not much more than a small sack of provisions – similar to many coming-to-manhood traditions still found in various iterations all over the world. He comes back down to the village after his time in the wild dressed as Krampus, embodying the wild spirit he took with him from this time living as a wild animal in the woods. Attempting to frighten young children was a test of the mettle of the children of the village, and also part of their coming-of-age process to demonstrate their bravery in front of the horned man from the mountains.”

And in fact this explains the whole parade of them and how they acted on Sunday afternoon – yelling and shouting and making a lot of noise. Apparently they have been celebrated a while now on December 6th – St. Nickolaus day.

My mother-in-law told me a story: when she was little there was a similar parade and one of the “bad” boys in the little town she lived in was in fact grabbed by one of the creatures and stuffed in a sack and carried away for some time. She admitted – not really great parenting there… – but apparently highly effective. šŸ™‚

I love some of the old images of the Krampus. Needless to say, looks quite like the creatures I saw on Sunday.

Nikolaus Krampus

Nikolaus Krampus

Old Krampus postcard (warning?)

Old Krampus postcard (warning?)

The message on the postcard above says “A greeting from Krampus.” Sheesh! What would you do if your parent sent you that?

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Strange Happenings

 

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The Report: “Special Meal” on Lufthansa

Vegetarian (Indian) Special Meal

Vegetarian (Indian) Special Meal

Ok, I admit, it doesn’t look all that appetizing. But if you think about what you normally get on an airplane – some soggy peas and carrots plotzing under a cardboard-dry grey piece of chicken with an unidentifiable lump of something (mashed potatoes?) next to it…you have to be fair with your comparison. Because after eating this vague mix of mashed up looking stuff (with some rice in the middle), I have to say that for all future cross-atlantic trips, I will never be eating the terrible Spaghetti Bolognese or Chicken Teriyaki again.

This here is the “Vegetarian (Indian) Meal” that I special ordered about 26 hours before I got on the flight home. And it was pretty good. Fairly standard stuff for Indian food – a Paneer Masala, some dal and some rice. A little bit of yogurt. A strange “salad” of chana (chickpeas) that was the only sort of odd dish because Indians would never eat chickpeas that way – with no spices, just plain. At least I don’t think they would. And contrary to predictions (take note, Dirk), there *was* a dessert – the orange stuff in the corner there was a reasonably tasty carrot halwa.

There seemed to be quite a few people ordering special meals on the flight – I was mostly surrounded by Italians, although I don’t know why, and some of them had ordered meals as well, although I didn’t get a good look at them. Two orthodox Jewish men sat one row ahead of me and they received a very carefully packaged Kosher meal. I tried craning my neck to see what they had in there (order kosher next time?), but no luck. Amusing was the fact that the meals seemed to come packaged with prayers or readings. I saw one of the men pull out the slip of paper from his tray and read it after the meal.

One other amusement on the flight. About half-way through I turned to see a DOG on the plane in the row a little further down. A little guy, he was sitting at that point between his owners on the seat – quite a surprise because I always thought they had to stay in their little cage under the seat for the whole flight. Later, when I snapped this shot, he was on the floor. He was quiet as a mouse, though. It was only chance that I even noticed him there.

Pooch in the plane

Pooch in the plane

 

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A Tranquil Scene Next to the Isar

Before I move onto Jodhpur for the next vacation blog…a quick aside.

Mallorie and I were biking home from work on Friday and I did a double take, and then actually turned my bike around, calling out to Mallorie to wait a moment and went back to confirm what I thought I had seen.

Here you go, take a look – this is what was painted on the beer garden wall (and it’s city sponsored/approved…i saw the guys painting it a few days earlier in broad daylight):

Look once, look twice

Look once, look twice

So…I have a sense of humor, and don’t have a big problem with this although I imagine some people would/will? If I am not mistaken, it is a scene of a flasher showing his goods to a kid. Some sort of adult figure next to the child looks disturbed…the fish seems oblivious.

Just…mostly surprised.

Mallorie suggested that it wasn’t what I thought it was – rather just a guy stretching out a towel about to relax next to the river. So maybe better to think of it like that. šŸ˜›

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2011 in Strange Happenings

 

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The White Sausage Bus

Really, I had no idea this thing existed. I wouldn’t have even known it does had I not gone out for a little walk run this evening. I went for a hop skip and a jump over to the English Garden just across the way to pick some ramps (baerlauch) to use in something this weekend. Actually, I was prompted to go ahead and do the little walk because I had just downloaded a new app (for me) that many people seem to be using – “RunKeeper” – really really nice. It tracks how fast you run/walk and maps out your route, and offers you coaching, etc. if you want it. I think I am going to use it steadily for a week – running, walking, biking – anything I am doing physically – just to see the benefits.

Anyway, getting off track.

Has anyone seen this thing before (sorry about the glare, the photo was the best I could do at that time of day…)?

WeiƟwurstexpress

The "WeiƟwurstexpress"

So just in case you can’t make out the idea yourself…every Saturday and Sunday, apparently this monstrosity drives around Munich between 10:30 and 1 pm. I guess I shouldn’t be so critical. And while you drive around, you get a city guide telling you what you’re looking at as well as a nice Weisswurst breakfast (I guess the standard sausage, pretzels and beer). In fact…I wonder if you can rent this thing out. Maybe it’s time for a tour of Munich finally….

 

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Greedy Gobbler

Outside the guest bedroom, my mother has set up a pretty little garden for her visitors to enjoy. English and French lavender, rosemary, pines, and more all cluster around the window. And she has set up some bird feeders as well to bring in the varied feather friends who flit around. This guy…wasn’t doing much flitting. Just some freeloading. I came back into the bedroom to find him munching away on the bird feed.

Freeloading Turkey

Freeloading Turkey

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Strange Happenings

 

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Fasching Dienstag

The Fasching Fur Hat

Today Carnival begins in Germany and we will be released from our duties at 15:00 to go eat jelly donuts at the Marienplatz. More photos and reporting from there later. (Carnival is called “Fasching” over here…)

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Strange Happenings

 

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