Mittwoch, August 31, 2005

The Big Dig

Those of you who have lived in Boston in the last . . . what? 15 years in Boston know what The Big Dig is.

Well, we've started our own Big Dig in Unterschleissheim.

It started two weeks ago, when we noticed that the gutters on one side of the house were leaking. The water wasn't going into the ground like it should. So, Michi climbed a ladder to clean the gutters. But: no problem!

The pipe leading into the ground was clogged. Great.

Question: do we have a cess pool? No idea. The house plans didn't show anything at all. Traudl (my mother-in-law) seemed to remember a cess pool, but not where. Of course, it was 41 years ago...

So, Michi and I started to dig. We dug down to 120cm (4 feet), and arrived at a pipe turn (vertical to horizontal). We managed to free the vertical pipe, and I freed it of all obstructions.

Michi sprayed water into the horizontal pipe, but: it came back in his face!

Needless to say, we were both very muddy at this phase.

A neighbor came the next day, to try to see where a cell pool could be. He thought the cess pool was 6 feet left, two feet out.

So; Michi dug the next hole. No luck.

Maybe the house has no cess pool! And Michi has been "digging for Elvis."

Photos from Italy in Sunday...

Freitag, August 26, 2005

Opera, Southern Tirol and Flooding

Hi everyone!

On Monday, Michi and I drove to Verona, Italy. My mother-in-law, and brother-in-law, Traudl and Andreas, flew.

We left at the same time, and Michi and I arrived two hours after they did.

We did a lot of sightseeing in Verona, and rode the bus without paying. It's funny in Italy: you can't buy bus tickets in the bus. You have to go to a Tobacco shop. Our hotel was in an industrial area, where there weren't any Tobacco stores. So we were forced to ride without tickets.

Verona is great! Lots of history . . . but most of it is being renovated. Pay €5 to go into a church that's under construction?

Then "Nabucco" in the Arena di Verona. We're the cheap tickets, so we have to arrive early. The seats are great, and the Italians behind us are nicer than we've experienced anywhere else.

No loudspeakers, but you can hear everything. Wow. 20,000 spectators.

Then, the next day, drive to Kaltern, Southern Tirol. On the radio, we hear about flooding in Austria and Bavaria. We buy a newspaper from Munich. Well, according to the paper, almost all roads from Italy to Munich are flooded.

No problem! We'll be here for a few more days.

Eating, drinking . . . , Italians really know how to live!!!! All four of us had Spaghetti aglio olio (with garlic and olive oil), so the inside of our car was poisonous!

Some pictures next week!

On the way back, we were worried that we would have to go way out of the way to get home. We went to an internet cafe to check e-mails and to write an e-mail to Mom and Dad to let them know that we're okay.

I got an e-mail from Eduardo!!! He's the proud father of a little girl: Elena. August 15, everything's fine. Eduardo writes as if he's the first father on earth. I'm really happy for him and Karine.

We got home without problems; we saw (from the Autobahn) flooded areas, but it didn't effect us, thank God!

Back at home . . . laundry, ironing, etc. Michi has to dig a huge hole. Why? More next time . . .

Mittwoch, August 17, 2005

new pix

You can see: Gert, and Ille and Klaus...

Mittwoch, August 10, 2005


I work a few yards away from the most famous tourist site in Munich. The subway is full of Americans, Japanese, Italian, Arabic, French and Chinese tourists. As I don't usually ride during rush hour (before or after), I see them, consulting their maps, referring to guide books, looking everywhere except where they're going.

I used to try to help tourists with maps. They don't want my help, though! They look at me suspiciously, thinking I want something in return. Only when I'm smoking a cigarette outside the Berlitz school, minding my own business, I get a barrage of questions. Mostly "Where's the Marienplatz?" When I tell them they're standing on it, they tend not to believe me.

They're funny, the tourists. The main attraction on city hall is a playing of the bells in the tower which goes along with some figures that turn. The figures are supposed to represent a meeting of some knights, a beautiful woman, etc. In the summer, this happens at 11:00am, and 12:00 and 05:00pm. Thousands of tourists assemble on the square to watch.

I don't know how many tourists have filmed me or taken pictures of me in the last three years. Either in my way to work, on the way to Subway, McDonald's, or a cafe, or to and from work.
And two weeks ago:
She: "Quick, Hans, take a picture!"
He: "Why? What?"
She: "The figures are turning! Quick! Take a picture!"
Which the husband did.