Sunday, September 12, 2010

Avoiding the Wanzen

Hallo!  We are having trouble keeping this thing current – maybe because our 26 students for the fall are here, maybe because the kids aren’t yet in full-time school, but maybe also just because we’re not very good at this.  With that said….

Our students are here!  We’ve had 10 days together here at the Marketenderschlossl, and we’re happy to report that we have really good group of students.  There have been bumps, of course, and there will probably continue to be.  But overall they are nice, they work hard (and play hard!), and are wonderful with Teo and Mara.  They are also really excited about being here, learning some German, exploring Austria and Europe.  So we’re happy.  The house is full of life.  Sometimes a bit too much life, a bit too noisy a life, but what did we expect, right? 

We escaped for two fun outings this weekend.  The first was to Legoland – the postponed trip from the day of Kim’s diesel accident (see prior post). 
Turns out it is exactly the same as in Carlsbad.  A little spooky, but also exactly like Ikea is the same as elsewhere…. That is globalization for you.  (Not exactly the same, the city models are of European cities and places.  Check out the FC Bayern stadium!)  

Kids were thrilled, and we were too, especially after we both got soaked on the pirate ship adventure by a gang of angry German 12 year olds.  Of course, we got ponchos for the kids, so they were fine.  We thought we would get nailed again at the Lego store on the way out, but Teo is in a character phase, so didn’t even hit us up for a big set.  We were puzzled, but didn’t ask any questions and headed back to the car for the three-hour trip home.

This morning we went for a nice nature walk with our friends Kirstin and Gerhard and their kids, to a small lake (Seewald See – Lake-Forest Lake) just a half-hour from Salzburg.  As you can see, beautiful.

We like these friends a great deal – and not just because they have repeatedly taken us to nice places known mostly to locals.  The kids can’t communicate with each other (yet), but Florian seems to always have airplanes nearby, so he and Teo manage… quietly.  We’re also getting used to relaxing nature walks that are followed by wursts of various sorts and a weissbier.  There are worse routines.  Get the pun?  Sorry.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The man on the cross

You know.  Jesus.  There's a particularly vivid and gory statue of Jesus on the cross down by the Salzach River.  Its just across the pedestrian bridge, in front of a spa.  Mara inquired about the hurt man as we passed him, suggested we bring Mr. Bump (our ice pack) down for him because he clearly had some injuries.  When I suggested that it was a statue, she got mad.  She was definately coming with Mr. Bump tomorrow morning!  Then Teo got into the picture.  Who was injured, who needed Mr. Bump?  Oh, just this statue, I replied.  Why, what were the injuries from?  In the olden days, they used to kill people by hanging them on wooden poles/crosses, but we don't do that anymore.  I don't see rope to hang him.  Well, no, actually they used nails.  Is that why he's bleeding?  Yes.  It goes on like this....  Why.  Why.  Why.   Finally I say, that these statues are everywhere and we see them a lot.  No.  Yes.  No.  Yes, you know who that is, that's the baby Jesus when he's an adult.

Dumb Girls and Cars

So the good news is that I didn't ruin our new car, but the bad news is that I tried to.  I managed to get 14 liters of regular gas in the diesel tank before I realized that I was not putting diesel in.  Alas, we were on our way to Legoland for the day -- the promised nirvana trip before the students arrive -- but needed fuel for the drive to Munich.

It could be a lot worse ... we could have filled the tank and been driving and runied the engine while on the way to Munich.  Instead it just needs to be drained and cleaned, and its only 200Euro instead of 34,000Euro for a new car.  I feel like an imbecile of course, and we can't go to Legoland today as we wait for the tow truck and the cleaning, and I have to tell everyone. Plus, we were dropping off IKEA items at the kid's new school (I had done a run to IKEA for them to help get appliances/lights for the new school building) on the way out of town, and so someone from the school had to come to the gas station to transfer the lights from our car into another. Also, have to tell our staff as they will wonder why we didn't go to Legoland afterall.  Had to tell Brooke, our new friend, because she became plan B. Now I figure that I might as well confess to everyone! I think we'll go to the Salzburg Zoo in an attempt to salvage the day!