Jan 30, 2022

#034 - Weihnachtsmarkt

Originally Published December 1st, 2021From the last week of November and all through December, a magical thing happens all across Germany: der Weihnachtsmarkt (the Christmas Market). Each town’s city square begins to fill with wooden shacks and ornate cottages. Pine trees are schlepped into place and knighted with lights. Meandering pathways emerge. Rickety fences, loose bales, and flickering lanterns guide the visitors through this new village within a village. One or... more

Jan 27, 2022

#033 - Black

Originally Published November 24th, 2021That magical time of year is upon us yet again. Anxious to reunite with acquaintances from years gone by, we struggle to get much accomplished at work. An extra coffee break here and perhaps a lingering lunch hour there spent preparing for the festivities. But these small failures go unnoticed. Who could be blamed for being overwhelmed by the spirit of holidays? By midweek, the car is packed. Hat, gloves, thermos of hot chocolate, pumpkin pie flavored... more

Jan 23, 2022

#032 - Coffee

Originally Published November 17th, 2021My first experience with coffee in Europe came the morning after arriving in Germany in August 2004. I was staying at a friend’s house and wandered like a zombie into the kitchen. Simultaneously exhausted and unable to sleep, jet lag is so fun.His mom showed up after a bit and asked if I’d like some breakfast. It sounded fantastic and she went about getting things set up. “Coffee?” Absolutely, please, and thank you.She started... more

Jan 20, 2022

#031 - Geduzt

Originally Published November 10th, 2021Most of the things you experience in a foreign country can be relayed back to folks at home without too much contemplation. The convenience store is strange in an explainable way, the city traffic is strange in an explainable way, etc. However, some things are more challenging to get across.One common example of this is words. The country you are visiting may have a word whose concept simply doesn’t exist in English. This is why the words themselves... more

Jan 16, 2022

#030 - Maria

Originally Published November 3rd, 2021My mother-in-law and her sister were boarding a plane in Germany on their way back to Spain when a random security screen pulled them into a second line for an extra glance. To be honest, they’re quite suspicious and dangerous-looking characters, so I can’t say this was an entirely “random” decision. [insert sarcastic emoji here]The agent looked at my mother-in-law’s passport and boarding pass. They passed the... more

Jan 13, 2022

#029 - Halloween

Originally Published October 27th, 2021It’s that time of the year again. The time where one random French company starts hawking pre-packaged pumpkins at the grocery stores around where I live. They’re stacked in the produce section in black cardboard boxes adorned with the typical potpourri of cartoonish monsters, smirking witches, and happy bats.They’re running the only gourd game in town so we don’t have much of a choice. I grab three and toss them in a backpack.... more

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