Wednesday, December 07, 2005

There and back again

I've been back just a little over a week and already it seems my vacation was just a dream. I do this every year and yet I still experience culture shock both ways. This time held surprises such as my grandma offering me leftover chocolate from Halloween. Halloween? Since when do Germans celebrate Halloween??? Apparently they have been doing so for a few years now, as well as shopping at Staples, Toy's-R-Us and Eddie Bauer, and paging through Land's End catalogs. I dread to imagine what else will be there by the time I visit again. Munich is still the beautiful glorious city I left, busy yet always ready to sit down and have a beer or coffee and cake. For five days I accompanied my mom to a conference in Warsaw, Poland, where I spent a lot of time in the many beautiful city parks, wandering along the river Wisla, warming up in lovely cafe's with hot chocolate and apple pie. Poland was very exciting, it is so rapidly changing into a western society. Amidst the grey and heavy whales of communist architecture, steel and glass highrises announce the indelible establishment of capitalism. Krakow, a two hour train ride south of Warsaw, is beautiful and busy even on a chilly winter day, but then you slip into a little coffeeshop where time turns back and you expect Kafka to stop in on his way to Prague. South of the castle, Kasimierz is Krakow's old Jewish neighborhood, a place with little alleys and dark houses and street vendors selling old books.
Back in Munich, the opening of Christkindl's Markt (Christmas Market) a day before I left meant sipping Gluehwein and hot blueberry wine, eating roasted chestnuts and enjoying the sparkly lights and sounds dissapearing in freshly fallen snow. It was lovely. A few of my pictures can be seen here
Now what about the knitting? I almost finished my knee highs, both are just waiting for the ribbing on top and are hopefully ready to be photographed this weekend. My yarn purchases were extremely modest, three skeins of sock yarn, all picked for bf's eclectic taste, was it. But a tv station had a feature on a woman who is knitting a very long scarf incorporating the flags of all soccer teams participating in the WM. She's not knitting this all herself, but knitters from all over Germany are helping and sending her the pieces to sew together. I've never been a soccer fan, but in Germany it's better to feign interest than admit that out loud ;-)
Also coming, pictures of goodies I received from Janette's on ebay right before I left. It's hard these days to photograph things when even the daylight isn't light enough.
muffinka
In Poland it's a muffinka, in Germany grandma calls it a 'mooffin'.

16 comments:

Angela said...

Welcome back!

Carola said...

Welcome back! I've never been to the Christkindl's Markt but I surely miss the Weihnachtsmarkt-thing in general. Had people from Germany wishing ME happy Thanksgiving this year! If this invasion of holidays is not to stop (surely not, as long as more candy is sold), I want at least the benefit of extra leave days, paid!

valentina said...

Yay! You're back! It is weird to go back "home" and they change things while you're gone.

Jo said...

Welcome home! It sounds like you had a wonderful time away. It is amazing how quickly it seems like a distant memory though isn't it? I have been knitting one of your sock patterns (Mata Hari) in your absence and they are turning out very nicely.

eastern white said...

so glad to see you are back, looking forward to seeing/hearing more of your vacation and, of course, knitting!

Guylaine said...

Hello Steph, I am sorry to use your comments to communicate with you but I have some problem with your e-mail adress ??? I just like to have your Mata Hari Socks Pattern... I am not able to open you pdf file, I always fall on "Send Me File" site ??? Sorry and thank you very much...

Purly Whites said...

Welcome back! I've missed your fabulous knitting and posts. So glad you had a great trip.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm truly enjoying reading blog especially since i'm originally also from germany - Mannheim!
but sadly haven't been since 1998.. i miss it so much!! and yes i love the KrisKindleMarkt too.. maybe in a year or so i'll go just for that... the pre xmas days are wonderful.. gluh wein.. oh i really want some :-( picked up a bottle at Schaller & Weber.. but it just isn't the same without the language around me.. maybe i'll stop in at the bryant park stalls and bring my own with me.. close enough i guess.. karola
eyeknit4u@aol.com

Vanessa said...

Welcome back. Glad you had a great time. Looking forward to see more of your knitting and posts about your trip.

Marie said...

Welcome back! Glad to hear you had a great trip!

Bel said...

Welcome back - I'm a long time lurker, and wanted to say hi. Really like your blog, and we tend to make a few of the same things. Munich is a beautiful city - I understand why you would miss it.

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Nicky said...

Hi Steph,
nice to read that you enjoyed Munich! And the Christkindlmarket... It's always nice to interrupt a shopping spree and warm up with some Gl├╝hwein ;)
What you wrote about Warsaw is really true, I have been there once and was quite amazed to find a pretty modern western town. We had some amazingly fine food over there, too.
Last but not least: The pictures of your knitting reminds me of my dear grandma, who always gives me self-knitted socks for christmas. When being a teenagers, I found them pretty boring, but as a grown-up, I treasure the work she puts into them. And they are perfect for cuddling up on the sofa :)

Barbara said...

I was confused for a second while looking at the picture of the sign. And then I realized I understood what it said. Being from Poland and all... Hope you enjoyed my homeland! :) I sure miss it.

Brahdelt said...

Hello! I just want to say that I love your socks (I'm still waiting for my first socks to be knitted, I'm a beginner...) and I'm glad you liked it in Warsaw, where I live! ^-^
Happy knitting!