Saturday, February 20, 2010

Aussies out on the town!

Last night we had dinner with two fellow Aussies from my German school- Daniel and Angelo- and their lovely German respective other halves- Susan and Anja.
We decided to meet up at the Australian Restaurant in downtown Stuttgart, called "Sydney's" (where else!!) and got a kick out of the "Australian" items on the menu. I had the Kangaroo Stir Fry (which was really tender and delicious!) and Zev had to have a glass of VB in honor of the occasion.
Ironically, at the train station on our way to downtown, we ran into yet ANOTHER Australian living in our very town! I didn't catch the guy's name, but as we were boarding our train, he turned to me on the platform and asked "Excuse me, but are you Australian?"!!! He said he was from Hobart and was working in Germany. How random!
I must say that living in Germany has made me appreciate even more the value of community and other cultures. I feel fortunate to have experienced the South American culture and language (and food and dancing!) whilst growing up in Australia. I am an Australian with an adopted American nationality topped off with an overlay of the South American culture. As a foreigner in Germany, I have a new found appreciation for the struggles and frustrations encountered when one is trying to learn the local language and trying to understand the nuances and traditions of another culture. I can appreciate what it is like to feel like the minority and to feel embarassed sometimes when ordering bread at the bakery in front of a bunch of people for example and knowing that you have a funny accent.  I understand how comforting it feels to catch up with people from your homeland and to relate anecdotes and experiences that we could all relate to. Just speaking "Australian" again was so much fun. I am grateful for these experiences and for the fact that in addition to learning a new language, living in Europe has been a perspective-broadening, enriching experience. Hope you have a great week. Fiona ;-))

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Part of the family

Our dear friend, Cisco, visited us this weekend from his current home in Abu Dhabi. Cisco and Fi have known each other since they were Air Force cadets at the Academy, and Cisco and Zev met shortly after Fi and Zev started dating. According to Cisco, Fi "gushed" about Zev from Day 1.

Fi: "There he is, Cisco, THAT'S ZEV!! What do you think of him!?"

Cisco: "He looks nice Fi, but I probably need to talk with him first to see what he is like as a person."

Luckily for Fi, Zev and Cisco get along very well and we always love it when Cisco pops over to visit us on one of his many exciting overseas destinations.
 And although we are sure he already knows this, we've got to say it again:

Cisco, you are part of the family!

Hope all our family and friends across the world are doing SPLENDIDLY! This is going to be a great week, I just know it!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Beautiful Bavaria

We went skiing in the Bavarian Alps this past weekend. The ski area (Haupsberg) is in the beautiful little Bavarian town of Garmisch, which is located in a valley of the Wetterstein Massif at the foot of Germany's highest peak, the Zugspitze (9,371 feet). The Zugspitze sits on the border between Germany and Austria, and in fact on our drive home, we had to go through Austria in order to get back home to Germany!
Garmisch and it's twin town, Partnerkirchen, gained international attention when they hosted the 1936 Winter Olympics.
We actually got to ski down one of the ski runs (No. 4) and it was a long downhill run, which Fiona found challenging and Zev found easy, but we both found enjoyable!
We actually visited the site of the olympic ski jump and just stared in awe as we imagined the skiiers coming down that enormous jump at a great rate of knots. I don't know how they do it.
We had a wonderful time skiing and enjoyed the great ski conditions (it pretty much snowed lightly the entire day).
The day after we skiied, we explored the local "Partnachklamm" or Partnach Gorge.
What an amazing work of nature that is. So serene and majestic.
After we explored the Gorge, we stopped for Kaffee und Kuchen (we feel SO GERMAN now!! Ha!) in a quaint little Gasthaus.
The Kuchen or cake part was this creation aptly named "The Puff."
It was probably not the wisest thing to eat before our drive home!
 We really love Germany and are so grateful for the experiences we are having.
Hope you are all safe, happy and healthy!
Love and hugs, Zev and Fifi xoxoxo