Take THAT, caliche!

If you grew up in far West Texas, and you ever tried to maintain a lush, green garden, you are probably well aware of caliche. For those with green thumbs who were fortunate enough to NOT live in the Chihuahuan Desert, caliche is “a mineral deposit of gravel, sand, and nitrates, found in dry areas of America.” It’s otherwise known as “calcrete,” so basically hardly any plant life can survive in it.

Now that we live in some of the most fertile land on earth, surrounded by farms that grow potatoes, beets, asparagus, rapeseed, onions and so much more (not to mention the WILD trees that grow like pigweed grows in El Paso (apple/plum/cherry trees, sorrel, wild garlic, watercress, etc, etc, etc.), I am paying such extra attention to nature. Even the ubiquitous dandelions here are GORGEOUS. Soft leaves (unlike the hard and sharp leaves of those we find in West Texas) and massive optic yellow flowers; clover and moss creating a beautiful blanket where patches of grass may not grow as strongly; daisies of all colors and sizes…..Heaven!

Spent the early afternoon just walking around the back yard, enjoying the simplicity and beauty that many here may take for granted because they grew up KNOWING this and seeing it daily. I hope I never get to that point.

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Trying to understand why…

1…Germans have no problem leaving produce like lettuce out of the fridge overnight (or longer).

2. It is virtually impossible to find tampons with applicators in Germany unless you’re in a large city. O.B. is just about the only brand (other than a few generics) that are available. It took two towns and 5 stores for me to find O.B.’s with “compact applicator.”

3. Meat (other than beef) and dairy are about 1/4 the cost in Germany as they are in the U.S. Yet one kilo of white asparagus costs 14 Euros.

4. Baths are VERY MUCH looked down upon (and I’m a bath girl). It’s a waste of water and it burns up the household oil up quickly. I’m having to learn to shower…and shave at the same time.

5. No matter how quiet I think I am, it’s not quiet enough.

6. …I can’t pronounce the name of the town I live in (Rohr i. Niederbayern). I try and try and can only say “Roar.”

7. …I never learned stick shift.

8. I can count on one hand the trash I’ve seen on the side of the road since I’ve been here.

 

To be updated, often!

Saturday Night Panic

Just about every store in Germany is closed on Sunday, including supermarkets. Only gas stations are open, with few being like the Circle K or 7-11-style stations we are used to in the U.S. Twice a year (yes, just twice), stores are allowed to be open on Sundays, and it becomes a huge event, complete with jumping balloons, merry go rounds and food stalls.
So, if you find yourself on Saturday night at 7:50 p.m. with half a roll of toilet paper or no coffee, you better pray your neighborhood Netto or Aldi is on the next block, or you’ll spend Sunday grumpy¬†and hungry!
Needless to say, the supermarkets are packed pretty much all day Saturday, so I’ve been trying to remember to get everything for at least 2-3 days on Fridays.
We have a smaller fridge, as do many Germans, so daily or every-other-day shopping is the norm…and it’s imperative to get fresh bread daily, since the bakeries don’t use preservatives. So, the lesson here is. shop on Fridays to beat the crowds and not have that panic attack when you find out you have 5 minutes to get to the supermarkt or else wait until Monday. Also….Germany is a country with MANY national holidays…beware the Monday holidays, when the shops are closed TWO days in a row.