Sunday, 11 August 2013


Muenchen has its fair share of sees and the Isar. Many on the S-bahn route. The river you could walk to. And once equipped with a decent camera, you don't need filters to express days that are provide for unadulterated un-boring, relaxed experiences. And when excited at the Ammersee, you can also climb up the Andechser Kloster- where the monks brewed their choicest one ab 1477.

And then generally speaking, while I share the regret, I'd be hesitant to stop nearabouts the Nora Ephron-ish conservative upper limits.

“Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're thirty-four.”

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

the window with a sill

As a young girl, I was fiercely protective of my parents' rooms and the admission of random people in it, possible as we lived in a joint Indian family open to public access being on the ground floor. I also used to be very interested in keeping things in place, exactly where they were from before (a habit I still keep thanks to grandmother).

The advantage of the ground floor of course was easy access to the garden mud and roses through the big windows. The windows had sills which could seat me and big wooden frames that were generally open for air, because there were no ceiling fans. A July or mid August hot day only just meant an occasional table fan and keeping the windows open.

I have few documented memories of those short summers stacked away in hard drives seldom used. Except that it just came back to me. In Munich.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Where is Someplace Else?

I am answering the same question again. Sometimes it is difficult to answer questions when you're not equipped to handle them. And there's no real rule for knowing when you start reaching that answer. (In most fascinating ways, wann (when) and wenn (if) are only differentiated with an e- pronounced 'a' in German). I am increasingly finding it difficult to deny that sometimes in a Park in a massive (but not touristy) biergarten, flowing away with Isar's strength while being in protective vision or just while walking through with handwritten notes of streets on a quite evening, I find myself saying, maybe the present is the future we are always fending for.

Just one casual evening walk

In summer you can't not eat out

by the Isar

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Eating out: La Fattoria, Muenchen

I wish my keyboard had umlauts! Such a non-German giveaway :-/ [ Reason to buy a new laptop!]

So well, 6 days into Muenchen and on the weekend I realised I couldn't sit here at my apartment window desk, watch movies every weekend, or look at Facebook and never try anything. Every time I go to a new city, everyone already has a plan. And a group to plan the plan with. And so, I decided to take matters (finally) into my own hands, and well, on Facebook. I couldn't be the *only* person in the ten million who was new.

I found a "Neu in Muenchen" group, decide to utilise my half-baked Deutsch and asked people if they were interesting in an eating-group. Just to try out new places. It worked, and today was our first dine out. Once I had enough people I just called up and reserved a table. Easy.

La Fattoria is a small, one man run restaurant close to where I live- may not be on the guide books, but a wonderful experience. It's Italian as the name suggests and we promptly ordered our drinks (my Apfel Schorle-<3) and Pastas. Of course with several people around, we couldn't sit out and eat- though the rain had made the outside quite delectable. We were all cribbing and fanning to ward off the tropical temperatures (ohne ventilatur und ACs) till the food arrived. I don't recall anyone talking about heat till we finished- now that's a good sign, no? I ended up eating something divine with Aubergine. People across me were eating some awesome fish platter- which I think I am ordering next time [:mental note].

Conversation was easy. I'm not afraid of new people in general. Especially those who come in with an open mind too. My Deutsch isn't anywhere close to good, but nowadays I like it if people speak in it around me, just because I understand the context and what they're saying. Of course I wish I could answer back better and react, but that's another story. We were all new so there was a lot going into introductions, wine-weather-Muenchen-Where are you from-Where do you work-even the tragedy of how tough buying an Isarcard can be (I had just suffered in the morning).

We all walked up to the Kasse to pay and I realised though I had called up and asked if it were okay to pay by card, it weren't so and I had obviously misunderstood. So that hassled me and the owner just simply said I shouldn't worry and pay him the next time. I still can't believe it. Talk to anyone about Deutsch customer service, they don't say much. In fact I have joked enough times myself that the customer service here equals: A tut mir leid (I am sorry, can't do it!). So this was perfectly shocking. In the greatest way. Of course I found some money then. Paid and tipped. Still shocked a bit.

I walked back with a newly discovered neighbour and got a few more suggestions of new things to experience. Sometimes being proactive doesn't hurt, does it?

PS: No photos because I felt too shy and intrusive to ask if we could click a photo, perhaps next time if we group up again :-)

Monday, 22 July 2013

Afro-Pop @Tollwood, Muenchen: Jobarteh Kunda The Band !
I'd seen Afrikan Pop several times on the screen, but never really in person. And lo and behold, Tollwood (echt toll !) Sommerfestival in Muenchen was a-w-e-s-o-m-e. On the music front especially. I was lucky to have caught the closing day for this summer. They also run a winter festival (which I really think is worth considering!).

The man himself!
And so I heard Jobarteh Kunda LIVE! (so cool, I'm such a nut for live music). The Zelt had the usual German benches to be shared with random people and as I stepped in to find a platz, I realised some people were in front of the stage Afro-and-random dancing to the beats and the music that really felt happy. In general, I am very shy with dancing because I really am not a dancer. But this was a non-dancers dream, the people I was going to be attending with were late, I was alone, I didn't care, and nor did anyone around me. Besides, I genuinely felt happy seeing people enjoy and just *joined in*. It IS special music that can make you dance even though you don't understand the music, are stark alone in an unknown crowd, and still join in. Also the band itself is highly international with people from the US, Canada, Aruba, Germany, Senegal, Italy!

His extremely hippy and strikingly stylish daughter : & a fantastic dancer!
The crowd was obviously far more informed than I were, in all probability 'fans'. Once the band finished playing all the Afro fans moved over to another Zelt and collected for a JAM session. Anyone could play the African drums, dance and just make good music alongside others.

The festival also had a "Delhi Haat" with the worst Punjabi singer ever. Of course there were people enjoying that too. I felt too snobbish there, cos I understood better and quickly moved over to 50s rock and roll.

And for anyone interested the Afro-drum Jamming group apparently meets in Englisher Garten, where one has the just "follow the drums" :-)!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Babe in the neue city

Now I officially feel I'm new in the city. Because I changed the city for the summer. And so all is new again. Armed with new shoes marking the city name. I also decided to participate in the #30dayselfphotothing I found on a blog I like. I was almost going to get my photos up, when I received a very creepy email from a blog-reader of my old blog and I remembered I was "anonymous" here for valid reasons.

Anywho. I did however like the idea of photos simply because it also matched with the day I moved: between states.

Generally my first day in a new city is always strange. I can't find routes and I tend to always walk to find my way around, and I am always never with maps (will I improve?). At least now I have Google maps (not on my phone though!). I was equipped with directions written down and a memory of what I had seen on the computer. This happens to me on the first day of every new city, but this time I decided to document it. Oh so while walking to the Westendstrasse Flohmarkt imaging it would replicate my lovely Berlin experience, while it severely felt short of it, I traced my own unique neighbourhood route. I accidentally found the Westpark (really cool) and the Audi Dome (ok!) and the Ruhmeshalle (like!). So while I do not regret it. Losing your way is always special ;-).

(From A to F usually a few U-bahn stops with a change and a 4 Km walking way), here's my walk-map. Really disturbed family that I walked so, but then good exercise and a laugh later, no? :-)

Entering home again, felt refreshing, even in a hot (!) sommer dach house.

PS: God (!) created Steffi-Muenchen shoes for a reason ;-)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Ever since I grew up

Clearing out my desks, I found an old letter from 2011. I had forgotten all about it. And I realised, even with its emotionally charged contents- some stupid, I feel I could talk about it, without worries.

I realised that I'm no longer the rebellious kid anymore. I do not need to escape questions or filter information [considering also how I choose the people I spend time with]. Not because I do not care about the consequences, but because I feel responsible for them. It's a feel-good thought. There were sufficient times as a child that I were this same way too, open because I were guilty if not completely honest. Then those troubled teens happened and elongated for an awfully long time. Sometimes, I'd not say what I felt pretending it were protecting the other person. Often times, I were only just protecting me. Not wanting to explain behaviour or getting irritated with incessant questioning- also because I weren't mentally prepared to handle them. I hadn't thought them through. I feel just enough grown up now to realise actions have consequences, which I control. I never thought I could be convinced into making to-do lists with excels, till one day it just happened.

Following the classical Hofstede's 4+1 model, and being Asian enough to avoid conflict by writing an email was just me. Till two minutes on a Skype call made me feel intrinsically confident to start talking what no written word could have been able to achieve. In fact these days I often feel that the Telephone is a substitute tool too. I feel far better standing in the kitchen, being able to talk in person knowing the exactness of reactions and being able to understand. I thought I had lost this ability to connect on a personal, real level. With all its pros the virtual-ness of the Internet had taken it away from me. I seem to be getting it back now. I try hard to meet conflicts. Till I become a natural. Not aggressive, but someone who can talk directly and fairly, or even emotionally as is warranted, conflict or not.

Surprisingly, it's not draining me out. It's giving me peaceful courage. The kind that comes with being in love, and that idea of owning dogs, together.

My small attempt at translating my own thoughts (for practice ;-))

Als ein Maedchen hatte ich ein grosse Probleme, ich konnte ehrlich sein oder nix. Weil die Schuld zu gross sein koennte. Als ich bin aufgewachsen, "Troubled teens" haben passiert. Wahrscheinlich glaubte ich, wenn ich irgendwas nicht sage wuerde, dann die andere Person hatte Protektion. Eigentlich schuetzte ich nur mich.

Genau von "Hofstedes 4+1 model" menschen aus Asien (naemlich mich) haben "Konflikt" vermieden. Ich wurde Email schreiben ohne sprechen. Klingt komisch, aber originalgetreu. Gestern war die Verwandlung. Als eine Frau habe ich meine Zustaendigkeit realisiert. Alle Aktionen kam mit Zustaendigkeit. Ich fuehlte "Kontrolle".

Ich habe real-Personal-Kommunikation ohne Internet wieder verstanden. Ich koennte mit den Konflikte treffen. Und das war nicht ueberwaeltigend. Es gab mich den Mut. Wie es kommt mit Liebe und mit der Idee dass wir Hunde zusammen bekommen koennten.

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