Don’t Mess with the River Isar

Don’t Mess with the River Isar

Oh man. This is good. There are plenty of things I’ve got to write about, but this Don’t Litter ad is making the rounds – I saw it at the Eldorado Cinema last night – and I think it’s brilliant.

At the end, it says, ‘Zuhause machst du’s ja auch nicht,’ which means, ‘Yeah, you don’t litter at home.’

Ella and Louis (my sister and brother Vizslas) and I spend quite a lot of time on the River Isar that runs through Munich. We completely support any attempts to get people to treat the area better.

Reminds me of the old Don’t Mess with Texas ads I saw growing up that served the same purpose. Yet another Bavaria is the Texas of Germany argument. For good or ill.

 

Unterwegs with plenty I should be doing otherwise

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The FilmfestMünchen is thankfully behind us. It’s the only week of the year where we can see a variety of independent film and even some not-yet-released-in-Europe bigger movies; however, the way I do it involves quite a lot of screenings. My eyes may or may not be rectangular, as a result.

There are still reviews to write and other projects in the pipeline, but I got a call from a good friend who’s visiting from the States. On her way back home tomorrow, the only way I was going to see her was to hop a train to Passau for the day.

What about my dogs Ella and Louis? Well, they’ve been riding the train since they were pups. This is almost second nature for them.

Ooh, here’s a photo I took of them a few years ago in Passau.

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Passau is a gorgeous smaller Bavarian city on the Austrian border and not far from the Czech Republic. It was actually one of the first places I took the dogs after bringing them home from Hamburg.

Although Germans know about this gem of a city, I rarely see any English-speaking tourists there. Perhaps someone writing in English should be talking more about it. Someone who knows a bit about Bavaria and enjoys writing about all that’s going on there.

I wonder who that could be.

Bar hopping in a sportive season

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(Where we watched the Engaland v Uruguay debacle)

First watched the World Cup in 1990, and because I’d lived in Bavaria as a boy, I pulled for the Schwarz Rot Gold of the newly reunited Western and Eastern Germany. They won, and I somehow expected they’d do it again in 1994.

It was hosted in the America that year, and because I was loitering round the Aspen Music Festival and had plenty of acquaintances from the countries playing, we watched a lot of the World Cup matches. Felt sorry for the Italians in the penalty shootout, and since the Brazilians won it that time around, I was pulling for France in the 1998 Final.

By 2002, I lived in the Fatherland, and my adopted homeland made a surprisingly strong showing. I was connected to the national side while watching Oliver Kahn hang his head in shame, even though they’d have never made it that far without him.

The Germans named the World Cup on their own soil a Sommermärchen (summer fairytale) and the mood within the friendly confines of the German heartland is still remarked upon to this day. The weather was somehow perfect, and the Germans took a break from whinging for a brief moment in time.

Four years ago was the Final in which the Dutch apparently decided they could never beat Spain by FairPlay…my curious story about that match was that we were stuck on a train from Vienna for the first half, and my mother and I watched the end of the game in a café in the main train station when we finally returned to Munich.

And now here we are again. I had family visiting as this World Cup got underway, and now even though I’m incredibly busy reviewing movies at the FilmFest München, I still stumble out of the cinema looking for the nearest television screen that’s showing the footie.

It’s what I do.

Tonight there was an event with a bunch of film industry people. I was asked if I’d like to come. Without missing a beat, my first question was, ‘Will they be showing the game?’

They were.

It was the best part of the party. By far.

Adopted home and oodles of food

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Above is a photo looking over the rooftops of Munich, which is a place I’ve been think quite a lot about lately. We lived here when I was a small child, and then I moved back here more than a decade ago.

Listening to my mother’s stories as we revisit our old stomping grounds, I’m reminded of how different this place looks as a tourist. Rarely, if ever, do I find myself asking the questions that seem to come up while escorting my brother and his daughters around the city.

I love having visitors, though. When people I know come through Munich, I gladly meet them in a beer garden or give them advice about the best Bavarian place I know.

We’re in the middle of a particularly exciting summer here – what with the World Cup in full swing and assorted family and friends visiting. People are swarming in and out of Munich; whirlwind tours and day trips in and around the city.

I suppose one of the things I find myself coming back to again and again is how I see the Germans and the particularly curious manner in which they go about their business. Over the years, I’ve seen some really humorous blogs from outsiders writing about their experiences living here.

Anytime you approach such a thing, you risk making rash generalisations and grossly inaccurate assessments about the culture that’s being observed. My only hope is that the more I talk about this stuff here, it continues to be clear how much I like the natives. Rest assured, I wouldn’t be living here if I didn’t enjoy some of the unsettling idiosyncrasies of the folk I encounter, as well as my own.

Shedding the Kummerspeck

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Why do I find myself going back again and again to photos of my trip to Seville?

It’s not only that it’s such a beautiful place – I’ve seen my share of those. There’s something about Spain in general and Seville in particular.

So this is a bending, sunlit corridor. At this particular moment, it seemed like the way to approach the blog this evening.

Plenty going on in the world of lahikmajoe presently. For one thing, I’ve got family visiting. That’s often good for a bit of fodder for the old Miscellaneous Blog. After that, or during their visit, the World Cup kicks off.

I could tell you I think Argentina has an easy draw and they’ll waltz through their group, but everyone knows that. Not very optimistic about the chances of the United States team, but every four years the fans get their hopes up. I’d say Germany was an early favourite a year or two ago, but they seem mismanaged of late. We’ll see if they can turn that around. I’ll certainly be cheering them on. I’m always for my adopted homeland. It’s a thing with me.

Otherwise, the weather has turned warm, or warmer, and the mostly beautiful of Munich have begun their annual shedding of Kummerspeck (‘grief bacon’) and clothing of nearly all sorts. I suppose I should talk about those last things at another time – hopefully soon.

 

 

Looking up at the Ludwigskirche

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This is Ludwigskirche, which is also called the Universitätskirche, here in Munich. Apparently, the English name is Catholic Parish and University Church St. Louis - that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

Have recently been inspired by Stefan Salinas‘ book Catholic Churches Big and Small, and I realised I could easily take photos of dozens of churches that are in stumbling distance of where I live.

So, periodically I’ll be sharing some of these. This is certainly a good start.

 

 

Ode to Joy

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Tonight’s the Eurovision Song Contest, and during the voting they’re singing Ode to Joy and climbing ladders. As one does.

I don’t care how camp this thing is, I watch it every year, mock it on twitter and laugh at the voting from the countries that couldn’t get their entry into the Finals.

If you have no idea what this is, I’m not sure you want to research it. My parents were visiting me one year during the weekend when the Grand Prix was on. They watched it with me and were completely baffled by the whole ordeal.

This year? I suppose the bearded lady from Austria. Or the Polish maidens churning butter & washing clothes. Yes, that was a thing.

It’s a bit like an annual World Cup for the Homosexualists. Was that an insensitive comment? I can live with that.

Shake your booty

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Had a great time dancing the night away and was once again reminded how elemental it is to hear a beat and want to sway one’s body to and fro.

The lady in the photo above stands along Leopold Strasse here in Munich, and every time I pass her by, I can’t help but smile. She’s a statue, but she moves better than many of the people bustling by me. To be fair, she moves better than I do when I’m sometimes wrapped up in my thoughts.

Here’s to not only stopping and smelling the flowers, but to a bit of good old fashioned hip shaking. It’s certainly done me a world of good this evening.