Old Braunfels…getting the band back together edition

  

In the coming months, I’ll be pimping this blog and sending my astounding levels of traffic toward a couple of the projects I’m working on these days.

Some of these projects are new, but most are the latest instalments of continuing collaborations. One of the nearest and dear to me is the one I’ve been working on pretty regularly with ol’ snaggletoothed Jarrod Shepherd.

It should be mentioned if you click on the SoundCloud graphic down below, you can hear a bunch of our repertoire. On some of the songs, you’ll also hear Javi ‘Hansfry’. He’s a Spanish Per Anhalter, which is the German word for hitchhiker.

Oh, and if you actually make it out one night to hear Old Braunfels, there’ll likely be some other musicians sitting in. We’ve been playing with a brand new guitarist this year, and there was even a percussionist sitting in on one of our shows in the waning days of summer.

We’ve got some shows in the coming months and even more in the New Year. Come out and hear some country-fried Americana. Tell ’em Bernie Sanders sent you – you might get a discount at the door.

August all to ourselves

  
Many European cities are empty for the entire month of August. Well, not empty exactly, because there are still plenty of tourists. Yet the locals are gone. None of this is new, by the way. 

Parisians are notorious for abandoning the City of Light and make a mass exodus to the Côte d’Azur and points far beyond. Italian city dwellers aren’t any different I’ve been told. 

And here in Munich? There are plenty of people still here through the first few weeks of August, but it seems like they’re either filling in for those that’re long gone or they’re busily preparing for their own escape. An already emptier than normal city is about to get emptierer. 

That means if you steer clear of the places where tourists flock, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful things our city has to offer. Without others elbowing you out of the way, you can get a seat at your local café. That cool place that does brunch on the weekends? On a Sunday morning, which would be packed to the rafters at any other time of year, your cool brunch is remarkably attainable. 

You want to go to a public swimming pool and actually find a spot on the grass? You won’t be alone there on a sunny day – there are some left over locals, after all. You’re not completely alone; this isn’t exactly a ghost town. However, you will have room to breathe. Not that it’s difficult to breathe here in this beautiful city nestled near the foot of the Alps

If you’re in Munich this August and you think you simply have to get out, then I guess you should do what you must. If you can calm that urge though, there’s quite a lot worth sticking around here for. If you stay here with me, we’ll practically have August all to ourselves

across fields and dales pulling your wagon and drinking all the way

 

Louis in the sunlight

 
Here’s what happens when you lie down in the grass when Louis is around. He’s going to stand over you and imply that he’s ready for you to get up and keep going. 

I bet some of you wish you had this sort of motivation. He’s happy to help you out if you need that extra bit of a push. While I’m sure he’s particularly cheerful today in the springtime sunshine, to be fair Louis is rather thrilled with any and all weather. 

We had Christi Himmelfahrt this week, which is one of the seemingly limitless holidays they’ve got here in Bavaria. That’s Ascension Day, for those of you so religiously inclined. What here in Germany is also when they celebrate Father’s Day

How do they celebrate that here? Well, this isn’t everyone. Ok? So don’t tell me you’re a German father and that you don’t do this. I’m just talking about what seems to be the done thing for many German men. 

You get a wagon – like a children’s wagon – and fill it with liquor and good beer and you and your male friends go through the village or across fields and dales pulling your wagon and drinking all the way. It’s a good old-fashioned piss up, as they say in Britain. Where they know about such things. 

Don’t think you even have to be a father to celebrate Father’s Day here in Germany. Believe I heard that you can merely be a potential father or some such. Or just be male. Can you manage that? If so, you’ve got to manage getting here for Christi Himmelfahrt one year. 

Bring your own wagon. I’m positive Louis will be happy to help you celebrate. 

How did the American get on the roof of the toilet?

 

one of our local papers this morning

 
This blog has been only about refugees lately, and as much as I’m still obsessed with the topic (more on that another time), there’s so much else going on. Other things need to be dealt with. And quickly. 

For example: people climbing objects in public & standing on said objects. Like in the photo above. 

The headline reads: ‘How did the American get on the roof of the toilet?

My strong suspicion is that he climbed up there. The question they probably wanted to ask was: What on earth was he thinking when he decided to scale the toilet inside the tent at the Oktoberfest? Why indeed. 

Good question. 

It is the Oktoberfest. There are plenty of similar stories during these two weeks. 

The curious thing is this isn’t the only instance of something like this happening these days. Not just in Munich & not just during this exceptional time of year.

While scrolling through my feed on a social media site, which I choose not to mention by name, I saw a photo of a rather curvaceous woman naked from the waist down standing on a pay phone with multiple police officers below apparently trying to coax her to come down. 

Despite the outlandishness of the visual, my immediate reaction was, ‘Where did they find a pay phone? I’ve not seen one of those in ages.

Once I got over that shock, I could move on to the more pressing question. Specifically, why are people climbing atop such objects?

Is this part of the Zeitgeist & I missed the memo? Should I be climbing on things & belligerently refusing to come down? That’d certainly make this blog more entertaining at the very least. 

I’m not going to include the image here of the woman I’ve mentioned. Nevertheless, I’m confident if you type ‘naked woman on top of pay phone‘, you’ll locate it rather easily. But you should probably do that soon. My suspicion is the web is going to be flooded with this stuff before you know it. 

At the Marienplatz in the wee hours

 

at the Marienplatz in the wee hours


Before even most locals are awake & certainly the tourists are still dozing, this might be the nicest time of day to be wandering through the streets of Munich.  

The light is certainly nice for photos, and there’s an expectancy in the air. What might this day in Bavaria’s capital hold in store for us? 

Why not start at the Marienplatz. There’s plenty of hidden Munich you can discover nearby, but here’s as good a place as any to begin your exploration. More soon on local things off the beaten track. 

Mild as it’s been, enjoying late autumn

 

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Louis the boy dog at Lake Starnberg in Upper Bavaria

It’s been mild, we get it. November was rather warm here in Munich, and there hasn’t been much sunlight. It’s a good time to hole up and read. Or write.

However, when you’ve got dogs, there’s only so long you can stay inside. I’ve tried to convince the hounds to take themselves out, but they seem to appreciate my company. So outside we go.

The above photo was taken at Lake Starnberg a few weeks ago, and what a gorgeous day that was. There’ve been plenty of those lately.

Why am I throwing in a photo of Louis and not much else? Well, a little while ago, I wrote Once you get a taste of The Daily Argus, you can’t get enough. It got plenty of attention, and I even got a nice comment from the people over at The Daily Argus.

Here’s exactly what was said:

Hi Ken! Thanks so much for your kind words about Argus. We’d LOVE to see posts about Ella & Louis. Let us know if you ever come to Austin and we can get the pups together. I’d love to hear about living in Munich, also. We’ve traveled extensively but haven’t been anywhere in Germany yet – Munich is high on our list. Cheers!

Looks like we’ve got new Vizsla friends. If you’ve not yet been there, take a look at The Daily Argus. Good stuff.

I’ll leave you with a nice shot of a snail I got the other day:

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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.