Page 2 of Me in the Monsoons Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Germany » Lower Saxony » Hannover May 22nd 2009

Zoom, zoom, ..... zoom................zoom. One flash car after the other speeds down the A2 from Hannover to Berlin past us. There's a black Porsche, a silver BMW station wagon. Right behind them comes a green Skoda filled with kids and a dog in the back. More black cars; a Mini, another BMW, a Mercedes sports edition, an Audi A6. We sit in the middle lane of three; the right is for trucks and Warmduscher, losers; the middle for normal people; and the left is for those with the need for speed. For those of you who may not know, losts of Autobahnen, freeways, are still speed-unlimited. You can go as fast as your machine will take you, but you have to go at least 60km/h, otherwise you get fined. Trucks are often allowed only in the ... read more

Europe » Germany » Lower Saxony » Hannover May 16th 2009

Its a funny thing to come back to a place; you can leave it for years and years, and fail to give it any thought, yet when you do return, there's an instant connection. Things inevitably change in you, and there's bugger all you can do to stop it. Once you are back, you are back. I find myself reflecting on things I normally over look. Small things, little things. The colour of the leaf of a rose bush; the feel of the road as you drive along; the kind of look people are sporting in the supermarket. Most of all, I keep coming back to togetherness. I'm with my sister and my mother 24/7, we are constantly surrounded by old friends and family, and there's always something going on or about to take place. At ... read more

Europe » Germany » Lower Saxony » Hannover May 10th 2009

I'm restless all morning from when the day light begins to stream through the slits in the heavy outdoor blinds. I keep picking up my phone to calculate what time it is, but I cannot remember whether to add or subtract eight hours. 6am or 9am? I don't know and am unlikely to figure it out unless I find another clock, but I keep checking every ten minutes as though I might miraculously find an answer. I get up. I have to fiqure out the time. I've been nervous since last night because it's mothers' day today, and we don't have any flowers for mum yet. All the way from Braunschweig to Hannover last night, I was scanning the shop fronts and petrol stations in the hope of finding a bunch of flowers; not that I ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich May 8th 2009

Die Kaffeedose. The coffee tin. I'm in love with it the second I pull it out from the shelf. It feels right; its the right height, width, depth; it has the right colours; the right shape. It will be perfect for i-have-no-idea-what. The lid is dark brown, just like the Kaffeedose that used to sit in the cupboard above the kettle in my Oma's little kitchen. And the lacquer on the main body of my Kaffeedose is a shade of white that I forgot still existed. It has painted flowers and birds on it, like botanical specimen drawings. Like I said, its perfect. I line up at one of the Kassen, cash registers, in the busy Dallmayr foodhall. The lady in front of me orders 700g of Arabian blend for her perculator; the one before her ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich May 8th 2009

Ok, first thing is first, and that's beer. I order a Hofbraeuhaus Hefe Weisse, a white yeast beer, from the uniform clad waiter as we sit down for lunch in Munich today. I wait a little while, gaze around at the people eating, drinking, up at the leafy canopy of the Kastanienbaeume, chestnut trees, in the beer garden where we were lucky enough to steal four seats. Next thing, its in front of me. Now, I must admit, I'm rather partial to beer. I basically really enjoy beer, especially on a hot day. I'm always the girl with the beer bottle in a room full of fancy cocktails, and I'm never ashamed or conscious about it. Must be the country girl breaking out... I must explain that the beer comes in half litres only during the ... read more
A salty Bretzel

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich May 8th 2009

I'm sitting with my back facing the front of the train; we are whizzing along, passing meadows and canola fields. A few shopping bags sit at my feet. When the regional express is in fact going 'express', it feels as though I'm in a time machine. The windows here on the upper level slope inward; the colours and impressions blend together and I'm transported, well, literally. I am, in a way, travelling in a time machine. Its been a while since I've been down south in Germany, yet things seem unchanged, nearly the same. All the oldies constantly tell us now everything has changed, nothing is the same. They lament, frown, throw their hands in the air before clapping them together in utter exasperation. Am I in italy already, I wonder? For an Australian, as we ... read more
So much history
The NEW Ratshaus
A Bretzel seller in the Hofbraeuhaus

Europe » Germany May 5th 2009

A few days ago, we hit the Autobahn from Frankfurt down south to Huerben, the sleepy little town where I was born all those many years ago. "Baujahr" 1981, as the germans would say. Built in 1981. A rather old car, I am. We left Huerben in 1986 when I was only four and a half years old; I have been back only once in all these years, about 18 years ago. Its a very funny feeling to be back in the place where you know you took your first breath, where you came to the world. We drive through the main street, then up the hill towards our old house. And there it is. Not that I remember much other than from photos and the last visit but nevertheless, that's where I sucked on my ... read more
Our old house
The vines from my great grandmother
A house in Huerben

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Frankfurt May 2nd 2009

A very old friend of mum's meets us at the airport in Frankfurt at some hideous hour in the morning; we are, however, entirely awake and extremely excited. Mum talks of kissing German soil when we land with a big grin on her face, then we clap loudly as the plane slows on the tarmac to indicate the landing was well handled - its something only truely cringe worthly stiff Germans would normally do, but we can't help it. All three of us are German afterall and right now, we want the whole world to know. Its so green everywhere; thick, lush chlorophyll spreads along the Autobahn only minutes from the airport. Its like a mural; the artist has lost all inhabition and splashed shades of deep green all over the canvas as though his pot ... read more
Eva is very excited
Green everywhere

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne May 1st 2009

The trains whizz past me on this cool, crisp morning as I sit on one of the few green slatted benches on my platform. Announcements, people moving about from A to B, a couple of little sparrows flitting around at my feet searching for crumbs. Its all fairly normal, nothing special or different about it other than the fact that I'm not coming back this way for a little time; I'm smiling, I'm sitting here on my bench and just taking it all in because I know I won't be able to tomorrow or the day after. Funny that. The things that might normally annoy me, like the lax attitude of the generally overweight Connex "customer service" staff in their fluoro safety vests, or the things that I look on with a bit of disdain, like ... read more

North America » Mexico » Distrito Federal » Mexico City February 9th 2008

A very good friend of mine wrote me an email after she read my last blog entry about the clown on the streets of Mexico. She said, “Maria, yes there is so much of this contrast in Mexico and I am happy that it is making you feel a lot of different things. But I hope you went away with more than this feeling of helplessness and confusion…” She made me realise that I had missed something very important in my story of the clown. Something that shines through in Mexico and her people much more than the glumness and sadness I had described earlier. What is it? It’s hard to describe, to pinpoint with words, because it is such a simple and beautiful phenomenon. What, what? It’s the purity in watching a young child shriek ... read more
Glorious food

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