Several “foreign” visitors to the region — and by that I mean non-native speakers of German who learned their German in other regions — have mentioned that they find the German spoken here to vary from disconcerting to bewildering to unrecognizable. At several meetups, we’ve commented on how refreshing it is to hear natives speak German in areas where the spoken dialect is closer to the dialect we learned in classroom instruction. Continue reading →
We’re in a particular, perennial pile-up of post-easter holidays right now. It starts with Good Friday (Karfreitag), which careens into Easter Sunday and Monday, then in the middle is International Labor Day (Tag der Arbeit – always May 1). We’re in the bad patch now, with Ascension last week (Christihimmelfahrt), then Pentecost on the 28th (Pfingsten, another Sunday-Monday combo) and finally, Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam, or ‘happy cadaver’ as the direct translation would suggest) on June 7th. All days when everything is closed and, often, when your whole doctor’s office or Kindergarten takes two weeks off. Continue reading →
I’ve been feeling crêpey all spring. I scouted out a cast iron crêpes pan (this one, specifically), trying to get a nice, wide flat surface, but one that will still fit in our kitchen cabinets and on our little European stove. I specifically wanted cast iron (which effectively means I’ll never be able to clean it) so I can use a metal spatula (a long, skinny offset one you’d use to spread frosting on a cake) to maneuver my crêpes without tearing up the coating. Alas, I fear I won’t ever be able to make crêpes in the proportion of those guys at carnivals, but what I’ve been able to produce has been very tasty, and didn’t require more than a little practice. Continue reading →
The weather’s been nice enough for beer garden visits for months now, but I tend to think of the kick-off of the Maidult (Regensburg’s Spring Festival) as the true opening of the season. Yesterday, pleased to be able to get out of work at a reasonable time, I zipped home on my bike, changed my clothes, and we headed out into the street to watch the parade of local clubs marching onto our island toward the Dultplatz. Then it was just a few steps further over to the Spitalgarten for dinner.
I’m not sure what the deal with the Zombie Bride & Groom was, or what their association with Regensburg’s Youth Wind Ensemble was. Continue reading →
My mom sent me a package a couple of weeks ago that got snatched by the customs office (Zollamt). This isn’t the fault of the Deutsche Post – they have their issues, as does the USPS (see The Generic Nutty Bar Incident). It happens occasionally and is always a frustrating turn of events. The Zollamt is conveniently located (for truckers, their main customers) on the edge of town next to many scenic warehouses, staffed by delightfully indifferent (if not outright surly) customs officials and served by a bus that only comes once an hour. So it’s an ideal place to go and schlep an unwieldy package while on foot.
Like this, but without the style or charm.
Imagine my surprise at getting there and being helped by a civil, informative individual! We had to go through the typical dog-and-pony-show of opening the box and telling little stories about the contents (which were clearly listed in excruciating detail on the manifest), but the Sachbearbeiterin volunteered to tape it back up for me. Plus, she showed me the exact equations they use for assessing a custom charge. Then she let slip a tantalizing little factoid.
The limit for packages marked as gifts to be delivered customs-free is 45€!
I had no idea there was an actual rule about this. I figured the Zollamt snatched personal packages at random to put the fear of Ordnung into us. Now that I know, we will never receive a package with more than 45€ worth of goods in it. Because, as nice as the woman who helped me was, I’d like to avoid ever having to go out to the Zollamt again.
A local friend of ours and novice cook drummed up some interest in a cooking course, and we managed to fill up the Volkshochschule Regensburg‘s classroom kitchen on a recent Tuesday evening. Sarah and I attended with some new friends and some old ones to get our Indian cuisine on. Continue reading →