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.
In Poland it's a muffinka, in Germany grandma calls it a 'mooffin'.