Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Cover Charge

Judging from the signs I have seen, “flohmarkten” (flea markets) are a big deal in this part of southern Germany. Every weekend there seems to be one in a different town and everybody seems to go them. Maybe that is because there isn’t much else to do around here except walk in the Black Forest. […]

A Winter’s Tale

I remember a January morning, almost thirty years ago, when I discovered the true nature of winter. We were living in Liberia, and the harmattan winds were blowing from the Sahara. It was a welcome relief from the heat and humidity. Overnight low was about 20 degrees Celsius. That 68 Fahrenheit for you Americans. It […]

More from St. Ilgen

Just a few more pictures today of the church in St. Ilgen, Germany.  

The Church in St. Ilgen

The town has a population of about 90, while the church looks like it will hold at least twice that number. I don’t know if that means the town is shrinking or whether the builders were optimistic. It was 16 Celsius and sunny when we walked to St. Ilgen. At the back of the church […]


There was a party going on, though I never did figure out what the occasion was. It did show me the difference between Canadian and German liquor laws. Actually, I’m not sure if there are German liquor laws. We took the train to Freiburg Sunday morning at 10;30. You would think that at that time […]

The Kids On The Bus (Cultural Differences X)

When I was a child there were no school buses in our neighborhood; we had to walk to school. My mother tells me I was insistent on walking alone on my first day of kindergarten. I had not yet turned five. Supposedly she trailed me at a distance to ensure my safe arrival. Unnecessary really […]


No snow in my area of Germany. Also no snowballs, as these pastries are known. I don’t know if there is a more formal name. I discovered them in Rothenburg almost a decade ago. Don’t ask me what they taste like – I didn’t try one. My wife did, and as I recall she wasn’t […]

First Class

I was expecting refugees. What I got was the United Nations. After trying German courses online for the past few months, I have now started a daily class to learn the language in a more traditional setting. Given all the publicity surrounding the influx of refugees into Germany in recent years, I was expecting to […]

I Don’t Speak German…Really I Don’t

One of the challenges for me the past few months has been trying to get by in a new language, that I don’t speak. Though it is getting better. I’ve been trying to learn German online the last couple of months, with mixed results. My vocabulary has improved, but I have no confidence when it […]

An Interlude

Went to church in Freiburg yesterday. But that’s not what I am going to write about. After church we had a wait for the next train home. So we wandered through the old section of Freiburg. At least I think that’s what we did – I didn’t consult a map or guidebook. Originally, I had […]