Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll

(the title is only funny if you are Australian)

I went to a party last night.

As it was a party consisting of my language course friends, we each brought along a 'traditional' dish from our respective homelands. After much gnashing of teeth and wishing I was from somewhere that had a readily identifiable national dish, I got down to thinking about what would qualify as traditional Australian cuisine.

Our hosts did not have a BBQ, so my initial instinct for incinerated lamb chops was quickly thwarted.

I weighed my options carefully and tried my very best to channel the spirit of Margaret Fulton circa 1972 (devils on horseback or pigs in a blanket anyone?).

So I made a list of possibilities:

  • Vegemite sandwiches - quickly dismissed as lazy, and let's face it, if you weren't raised on the stuff, it really isn't an appetising prospect.
  • ANZAC biscuits - already made these for this group and while they were a good option for a day time party, not appropriate for a soiree.
  • Lamingtons - lead time too long and I'm likely to eat them all before the party. Also, do not go well with wine.
  • Pavlova - don't have a mix-master, also too hard to transport on the tram.
  • Fairy bread - come on now, that's just being silly.
Leaving me with the time honoured option of party pies and sausage rolls. Brilliant.

Prepared a batch of mini sausage rolls and took them along to the party and heated them up in the oven.

One thing I did fail to take into account - most people at the party were vegetarians.

(Yes, I know, like most iconic Australian things, most of these were probably invented in New Zealand).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I met a real live person from the internets

And I didn't even end up locked in a cellar. Bonus.

For the last little while, I've been helping jb with the Mainz Daily Photo blog while he either flitted around the world, or lay in a hospital bed recovering from surgery. He managed to escape the asylum for the weekend and he and the lovely Mrs jb met me at the market for coffee.

Such excellent fun! It is always great to meet new people, especially when they are as easy to chat with as these two. So, thanks Mr & Mrs jb for being excellent!

Of course, I didn't have the wherewithal to take a picture of them, so the lovely roses that they bought for me with have to suffice (and they smell fab too).

So, without further ado, in the words of the master himself, Herr Udo Jürgens, Vielen Dank für die Blumen!

(As an aside, my favourite bit in the video is the orderly formation of the 'mosh pit'). Also, the video may need a bit of time to buffer, otherwise it is annoyingly pausey.

1 year...and counting

This post has been languishing in draft form for 3 or so months, mainly because on reflection the original post seemed mostly negative and that is not a true representation of our experience.

Sure, there were days when I desperately wanted to take my bat and ball and go home, but those days are fewer now. You know what, I kind of like it here.

With a year under our belts, I wanted to share with you some random thoughts on uprooting ones life and transplanting it to this strange place they call Germany.
  1. Cats tend to be mightily pissed off about being incarcerated in a small box and put on an aircraft for over 24 hours.
  2. Don't expect said cats to forgive you quickly - unhappy cats and jet lag are not the best of bedfellows.
  3. German efficiency is a fallacy, German precision is not.
  4. Patience is a virtue.
  5. If you are a fan of potatoes and pork, you'll think you are in Heaven, if not - welcome to Hell.
  6. Würst comes in many flavours, as long as it is pork.
  7. Queuing is not part of the national psyche - and don't even get me started about the lack of etiquette in relation to letting people alight the bus before trying to board.
  8. German beer is your friend - your very bestest friend ever.
  9. Germans do have a sense of humour (especially when poking gentle fun at the French).
  10. Patience is a virtue.
  11. Charades can be an effective form of communication.
  12. Mein Gott im Himmel, this place is green - just like a big garden - and it rains alot.
  13. Patience is a virtue.