Wordless Wednesday

A Tree for TreeArt´s sake / TreeSquares

A Tree art in the Netherlands

This is my entry for today for Becky´s #Squares challenge, TreeSquares. She said it so right, Art is the Tree of Life indeed and this lovely aesthetic tree is just like that.

If you´d like to see more of the special trees I have seen, you can enjoy some fascinating TreeArt and some kind of unique trees that have been specially grown in the desert using a Cocoon Box, its quite amazing!

Until then, Tschüss!

Poker faces or some kind of Tree Art?

Poker face or Tree Art?

I saw these exhibition near the Maki-Reich inside the Orchideeen Hoeve in the Netherlands. I forgot the name of the artists but I really love looking at these poker faces.They are hard tree barks but somehow the artist played with it skillfully. The facial expressions are so unique and it really gleamed when the spotlight is directed to it.

I see some faces
I see double smiling faces
Hmm, horses out of tree trunks?

What do you think of these TreeArt?

This is my entry today for #TreeSquares ,inspired by Becky´s TreeSquare challenge for July.

Guten Appetit, the flavours of Bavaria

Warning spoilers:

This is not a Foodie Blog. I am not a Foodie but I do love a good, warm meal. This post is all about what I have been tasting around while living here in the southern part of Germany, Bayern, or locally known as Bavaria. Sometimes I think that Bavaria is another land, because it is so much different from different parts of Germany, in many aspects.

Anyway,from an expat view, here´s what you can expect to taste if you happen to visit Bavaria, either for business or pleasure. Of course, food comes along always from many different reasons. From navigating and exploring all the nature wonders, lakes and German castles and palaces—people would eventually take a break, and sit together to enjoy a meal. What is a typical Bavarian meal?

In German, we call Food as “Essen“. We say ” Mahlzeit, or “ Guten Appetit ” before eating, it means like “enjoy your meal” or simply enjoy eating .Germans eat normally 3 meals a day, plus there´s something in between small meals like Brotzeit, ( Bread) and ” Kaffee und Kuchen” -or Coffee and Cake.

Beer is unanimously enjoyed while eating traditional Bavarian dishes in restaurant or in Beer gardens.

Major meals during the day are ” Frühstuck“, (Breakfast), Mittagessen ( or Lunch) and Abendessen or (Dinner, also called as Abendbrot).Here in Bavaria, there´s also a famous delicacy for breakfast. It´s the Weißwürst with Breze, a white sausage eaten with freshly baked Pretzel and with sweet mustard. It´s being served only until 11 o´clock and can be eaten in weekend food stalls or in restaurants. Others enjoyed it with Beer as well.I have never tried it myself since I am not really a big fan of sausages.

Germans are bread lovers . They do eat LOTs of Bread.

They dont mind too much carbs.They adore their hard crusted buns, croissants, and dark loafs or Dinkel.

Eating bread almost every day was really a shock to me. I am used to eat rice 3x a day before, but coming here, my taste buds were altered. At first I find their buns so hard, sturdy and I can even throw it like a stone. I grew up having soft breads and toasts so I can´t believed it that now, I got used to eating bread as well for lunch or dinner. There are so many different kinds of bread here, almost more than a thousand varieties!

I try other kinds once in a while when I´m in the bakery to discover new flavors. In every kilometer is a nearby Bakery (or Bäckerei) which sells different kinds of rolls, dark breads with lots of seeds, and even gluten -frei ones and they are open everyday as early as 7 o´clock up to 6 o´clock in the evening.

If you´re in Bavaria, you will definitely see a lot of Beer garden culture. People loved to meet in here, with friends and family, special occasions, watch football or just leisurely idle away on Silent sundays. Yesterday I was in a Beergarden and there´s a special dish from Yugoslavia. We tried the “Pola-Pola” which made of meat in skewers,Cevapcici, fresh salads and rice with sauce. It totally delicious!

Below is a typical huge platter here in Bavaria. For bigger groups and families, they prefer a big servings consisting of sliced hams, bacon ( or Schinken), breads, slices of fresh salads, tomatoes, radishes and fruits cuts like melons. This is very tasty and I specially loved the spreads and Ementaler cheese.

Of course, Bavarian dish is not complete without Sausages. Just like Breads, there are thousands variants of Sausages. I am not so fond of eating them. Only some occasional Bratwürst when we do BBQ´s and the curry wurst that my daughter love.So when you come to Bavaria or anywhere in Germany, you will definitely see some Sausages in the menu. To fully experience Bavarian food, you´ve gotta try eating Wursts at least!

A 800+ old sausage tradition in Nürnberg

Other famous Bavarian dishes are Schnitzel, Gulasch, a pork or beef stew with dark sauce ,Rouladen (rolled meat) Knödel or a ball made up of some kind of noodle and their Spätzle. Bavarian food is commonly paired with potatoes, (fried or cooked), and side dishes of Sauerkraut and fresh Salad mixes.

Schnitzel, a mainstay in Bavarian menus

I was introduced to Spätzle and we loved it. Our favourite local restaurant to go is the Weißbrauhaus zum Herrenbrau and they really served delicious dishes. Spätzle taste like noodles or pasta, only that the form is smaller and either it is fried or cooked with mushrooms and onions,we loved them both.

Bavarians loved to enjoy sitting in restaurants and eating out. Over here, there are lots of restaurants and some Asian restaurants as well, but not really arabic ones.Young people loved to snack on Döner Kebabs and sausages with a bun.

My plate is full !

Most of Bavarian sweet desserts are made of traditional cakes and pastries. A local version of Kaisersmarrn is always a good choice served with apple sauce, vanilla ice cream or berries.Over here, we love trying their different fruit cakes ( or Blechkuchen) and Apfel strudel with vanilla ice cream.German desserts is also notorious for using many heavy creams and mascarpone with their Bayerische creme top with pistashios and fruit slices.

I noticed that Germans ( or rather Bavarians) loved their cakes to have almonds and always fruity and not so much icing. Some other variants are Mohnkuchen ( Poppy seeds) cakes, Quarkbällchen, Schwartzwald Torte ( Black Forest ), Marmor Kuchen and many types of Pudding.I find their version of cheesecake made with sour cream also better than oversweetened ones.

The undisputed taste of Kaisersmarrn

Aside from frequenting to sit in Cafés and restaurants to enjoy Coffe and Cake, people around here also loved baking at home. Honestly,I have learned to baked many goodies since I came here. In Supermarkets, you can find different kinds of baking inspirations to make your own dessert or something for birthdays.I have learned the value of homemade cakes .This is so different from the culture that I´ve grown up where everything about cakes and pastries can easily be bought in store.

Then there´s this thing we called “Abendbrot”. When we don´t have a big appetite for dinner, we opt to eat soup and bread, or simply bread slices with some fresh cheese, ham or bacon slices, or with tomatoes. It is a light meal at night.

A piece of Abendbrot
Life of a third culture Kid growing up with German Breads

One thing worth of mentioning is all about customer service in Germany.They don´t have it. I have the impression that service is quite dull and very cold. They are not the ones who would greet you gladly and cater to you in the most approriate way. They are very direct and I guess, it´s just the way they are. Most restaurants accepts payments by card ( esp. during Corona times ) or less contact, but then in many areas, paying with cash is always preffered.

I have discovered new dishes since I came here and I eventually have learned to cooked them. I must say that I have finally got a taste of German Culture, both gastronomically, and culturally.I haven´t actually tried any unique street food here since street food vendors are not so common here.

Have you ever tasted German or Bavarian dishes? How was your experience?

How to say Hello in Bavaria

Is the grass really greener in Bavaria?

Prost, how I learned to drink Beer in Germany

Germany, more than Dirndls and Lederhosen

Until then on my next expat adventure! Tschüss!

Expat wanderings with Art + Forms /PPAC

The Blue Art project which features Blue colored sheeps which I really find so unique and fabulous,plus, they are a big hit for kiddos! If you wanna know more about them, check it out here on my other Post.

Public arts and nature are some of my favourite subject to photograph. Whether I have a proper camera or just my Iphone in my hand, I always made an effort to take a photo that pleases my eye. I dunno, but I really enjoy taking photos of them.Here are some snaps of my random favourites of my expat wanderings .

Who says Beer Gardens should be utterly boring? Not so, in fact, some take us all the way to Middle ages where Knights are having the privilege of having a drink after a bloody fight.

What do you think of this Knight? Probably he loves the Bavarian Biergarten culture so Prost!

Another headturner when did a hike in the area of Riedenburg and Essing is this Mural, a very sassy Ritter (or Knight) with a beer Mug , hugging a Beer barrel .Perfect theme for a Beer garden near a Middle Age castle.

And what about painted cows from 3 different countries?

Of course, we live in Germany so this famous Fraternal Kiss (Bruderkuss) should make it to PPAC Challenge!
my God, help me to survive this deadly Kiss ” located in the East Side Gallery in Berlin, done by Dmitri Vrubel
Meantime, while in Berlin, we did wall bombing with this little rascal which plays my travel Buddy.

And who says Market halls should be boring? I don´t think so. This giant hall “Markthalle” in Rotherdam, Netherlands is super cool. The market hall is painted and is somewhat famous called as the “ Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam“.The artwork shows strongly enlarged fruits, vegetables, seeds, fish, flowers and insects.

Markthalle in Rotterdam, Netherlands

And what about this humungous sculpture in front of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam? This unique sculpture of black mice by New York artist KAWS for the ArtZuid exhibition on Museumplein square, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Black Mice sculpture in Amsterdam, by New York artist , KAWS

And here´s some dramatic statues I have seen in Nürnberg here in Bavaria. The amusing yet pragmatic images of the Bittersweet marriage Carousel (Ehekarussell) —which depicts the happiness, horror , tragedy of Marriage. Quite interesting and well done.It is actually a fountain with these large statues and a famous attraction in the city.

Bittersweet Marriage Carousel in Nürnberg, Bavaria, Deutschland; work by Jürgen Weber
Bittersweet Marriage Carousel in Nürnberg, Bavaria , by Jürgen Weber

While exploring Nürnberg, I stumbled upon this another unique lpublic Art. Das Narrenschiff. A 3.6-meter-high bronze sculpture of a boat with seven people, a skeleton and a dog in it. The sculpture is based on Albrecht Dürer’s woodcut illustrating the 1497 edition of Das Narrenschiff (first edition 1494 ) by Sebastian Brant (1457-1521). It depicts a boat – a nutshell with two fools masks at front and rear – as a metaphor for the threatened world.

La Tour de Schmierage, Ingolstadt
Graffiti Art in Ingolstadt

I took a bike ride last week and spotted this new Grafitti art just a few kilometers from home. Medusa is everlasting, it´s already the 21st century, pandemic times and she´s still soaring? So much respect for the whole project of the Le Grande Schmierage .They really did a great job painting the walls of our city.

Sculpture spotted while I was walking along the beach in Kuwait

Lastly, a tribute from my last visit to Manila, Philippines where I´ve seen this Contour Sculpture done by Filipino American artist Jefre Figueras.This red carabao sculpture stands for hard work and strength.This and other giant animal sculptures of the Philippine Eagle, Tarsier and the Rooster are all located in SM Aura Sky park deck in Manila.

Do you also have a favourite Public Art from where you live?

What kind of Public Art have you viewed lately?

This post is inspired by Cee´s PPAC; Photographing Public Art Challenge with her co-host Marsha Ingrao of Always Write. These two amazing ladies are really worth of praise.Do check their pages to grab some inspiration, perhaps you might tempjted to join this fun challenge…after all, sharing is caring!

Until then, be safe everyone. Tschüss.

Knitfiti :The mystery of Yarn Bombing

I first saw these trees wrapped in yarn from last year´s Winter. We did a lot of walking and stroll during lockdown so we actually discovered many nooks and crooks of our neighborhood. One thing caught our attention : Trees behind the Museum für Konkrete Kunst (Museum of Concrete Art) and in the area facing the Viktualienmark are covered with colorful and intricate knittings!As I was running early this morning, these trees caught my attention once again and gave me an idea–Hey, this can make it to Becky´s #TreeSquares, after all, they are trees!

Whenever I see something with art, colorful and unique, I need to check it out.I thought, how unique, creative and beautiful is this idea. It was a wonderful idea to display the creativity of the knitters of Ingolstadt.

But then, are there any other reasons or good cause behind it?

My daughter said ” Mama, maybe the trees get cold too, so they need to cover up when it´s cold..” I nodded and agree.

But what is actually Yarn Bombing?

Yarn bombing in Ingolstadt

yarn bombings main motivation is to bring life, warmth, and a feeling of belonging and community”

Yarn bombing or Knitfiti is actually the practice of using knitted or crochet yarn to cover (typically public) objects – is just one example of a range of new and creative forms of activism.It´s also called as Guerilla knitting, Urban Knitting or yarn storming.It can be anything, like bike stands, or anything of public use and property. This agenda is attributed to Magda Sayeg,who on 2005 covered her door shop handle with a custom-made cozy.Joann Matvichuk of  Lethbridge, Alberta, founded the International yarn Bombing Day, which was first observed on 11 of June,2011

Over here in Bavaria,the initiative of Tree yarn bombing in my city was presented by the Free Voters organization and local community to express their form of protest against clearing of the trees, preservation of the small city park and building of a Kammerspiele.The focus of the consideration is something to do with the renovation of the City Theater and better consideration for the artists.

So I guess, yarn bombing is actually have to do something about a cause–a reason or something to protect on.At present , there are total of 13 trees that are already “wrapped” with these artistically knitted yarns .The yarn used is approx. 60 kgs .Most of the Knitters are done by women so I guess this is a showcase of how many talented knitters we have here .I even have a colleague who happened to learned knitting during Corona Lockdown only through watching You tube tutorials…what a talent!

The thing is, it is not clear until when these trees will be wrapped in yarn. Nowadays, we have more rainy days than sunny days , it is summer and it´s really crazy weather.So I was thinking that the longer that these trees will be clothed with yarn, then it might start to create molds–which means, pests can nest in and eventually cause damage on the trees.

Do you think Yarn bombing is purely for aesthetics purposes only or not?

“properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn´t hurt the untroubled spirit either….

-Elizabeth Zimmerman,´Knitting without Tears´

I grew up seeing one of my Aunt doing ridiculously good knitting and this was captured by her daughter. I think knitting is a passionate hobby. It can even turn into a source of income. But knitting for a cause–is yet another mystery.

What do you think?

Happy weekend, until then, Tschüss!

Silent Sunday

Let there be TreeArt /TreeSquares

I love public Art, murals, Graffiti Art the unique concept behind it. So this time, I´ll share about a unique art that I have seen in Kuwait when I join the tour of the Arab Organizations Headquarters Building. This building is quite phenomenal , famed to be one of the most acclaimed building in the Middle East and it housed so many genuine arabic artisan crafts. More of the details of my visit there is written here.

When I saw this Art mural from the wall, I immediately took a snap of it.Little did I know that It can make it to Becky´s fun #TreeSquares challenge for this month and simulataneously perfect for Cee and Marsha´s #PPAC -Public Art Challenge.

Back to this Mural, it´s in black against a beige wall and shows the every day life in Kuwait–fishing, diving, and of course, the rows of Arabian palm trees! Another impressive Tree Art I saw was the “Samarkand Tree”, located inside the main Lobby of the building. This was done by a Kuwaiti artist, Jafar Islah.

Another worthwhile Public Art mural I found was in the heart of the Old New Souk Mubarakiya, created by Thouq, in the center of Kuwait.Shown here is the famous landmark showing the colors of Kuwait, Black, red & green. Of course, the infamous Kuwait Towers, and palm Trees, in Art!

Mural in SoMu designed by Thouq, Kuwait City

Read on if you are also curious like me about how Trees are propagated in scorching 50+ degrees heat in the desert of Kuwait. I´m telling you, it´s quite interesting, all made possible because of Cocoon Box!

Until then, stay safe and Tschüss!

Meine Welt in Blau (my world in Blue)/Life in Colour

This month of July, my dear friend Jude of Life in Colour ask us to share our world in Blue.She wants us to look for blue things surrounding us. I kinda loved this color since it´s my daughter´s favourite color. She prefers actually anything in Blue but when it comes to her favourite Ninja, it should be green, Lloyd, the green Ninja! 🙂

In my native language, blue is called “Azul” and in German it´s called “Blau”. Blue is actually a primary color, so it´s one of the basic in the color wheel.I worked a lot before with Ral Colors and blue belongs to the series from 500~5026.Here in Germany, road signs in Autobahn is in Blue color and so as street signs. Like for example this fractional House number–only in Germany!

Dutch Blue Kissing Couple

Thank you once again Jude for this fun challenge.

Until then, stay safe everyone.

tschüss!

The beauty of Wheat Fields in Bavaria /FOTD

Exploring my neighborhood is always a joy to me. Everyday I found something unique about it. From where we lived right now, we can experience the best of city life and rural indulgence such as sights of different fields and the modern amenities of the city.For me, fields here in Bavaria is a normal sight. In Spring, we enjoy the vast fields of wild flowers, the endless Yellow Rasp Fields, and in Summer, we are lucky to cycle around the Red Poppies stunning fields, Sunflower fields and the Wheatfields. Of course, our summer won´t be complete if we don´t visit to the Spargel (Mushroom) and Strawberry fields! Another top field to explore is the green paradise of the Hop Fields—the green gold in Bavaria where the key ingredient for Beer is from.

So you see, we have a LOT of fields over here. Every season, it´s different except in Winter where fields become a place for sledding!

I decided to compile all my Wheat Fields nature photos and share it here in my Blog so here are some of my favourite photos.I realized that Wheat as well produce flowers, which is called “Florets“. . Florets in wheat are very small , inconspicuous and green. They are arranged in an inflorescence called spike of spikelets.It can make it to Cee´s FOTD-Flower of the Day Challenge, though not in the garden but at least it´s in fields!

As a foreigner living here in Germany, a sight of Wheat crops is quite a surprise to me. I grew up seeing only fields of corn and rice fields but here, I was acquainted with Wheat .No wonder that Wheat ( 20,2 million tons/year-2018 data) belongs to the top 3 agricultural crops that Germany produces, making it to 10th place as world producer.

While Wheat is the largest crop followed by Barley and Rye, some fields are also planted with beans, potatoes and other agricultural crops.For me, It´s a joy seeing them while I am running and cycling through them while they are still green from late Spring to mid Summer.

By late Summer, these Wheat fields turns into “Gold ones”.They exude an exclusive natural beauty in the morning mist, on a foggy day, after the rain, and even covered with spider webs!

A single Poppy flower among the green wheat crops and a lovely sight of Wheat Florets. (Wheat fields in Bavaria/Justbluedutch)

I found this great video below explaining about the Beauty in Cultivating Wheat in Bavaria. Quite not a surprise since “Weizen” (Wheat in German) is essential here for making bread.Bread is a stable product here ,I mean we even eat Bread for lunch & Dinner! Germany is actually a Bread country and (Brot-German word for bread) consuming carbs is a significant part of German cuisine. Living here made me eat so many bread for the past 5 years. It´s quite shocking when I found out that we have about 600 main types of breads and 1,200 different types of pastries and rolls are produced in about 17,000 dedicated bakeries and another 10,000 in-shop bakeries.

So you see, Wheat fields explains the beloved German culture of “Kaffee und Kuchen” ( Coffee and Cake).

They even study and do constant researches to make Wheat “fit” to climate change!

Today, I did my morning run and I stopped for a while to admire them again, wet from today´s rain. I just realized that in every 1 square kilometer area of this wheat field, out of the 18grams of seeds planted, it produces 800grams of grain, and eventually roughly around 500 grams of Flour (weizen mehl) which can make 23 yummy German buns! Every sunday, I cycled to the bakery and buy 4-5 buns to enjoy in our Sunday breakfast!

What´s your favourite type of Fields?

Until then, I´ll be writing more about my life here in Bavaria in my next Posts.

Danke und Tschüss!