fly the seven seas

Observations of a Sydney girl rocking Germany


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Honouring the summer of summers

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted – more than 9 months in fact. And sadly – the grey days where I left off are just around the corner. It’s been a busy 9 months and i’ve had flythesevenseas too often on my mind that its embarrassing that I haven’t simply just pushed myself a little. But here I am.

So before the grey days return, I have to say thank you. Thank you for being graced by the summer of summers this year. My third summer in Munich (and Germany) has come to a close, followed by dreamy, golden Autumn (more to come).

Summer in Munich was very sweaty. Sydney sweaty. A stinker as we would say back home. And I loved it.

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Shades of grey

It’s officially here. I don’t have to look past the long faces on the train passengers every mornings to know that its that time of year again. That time where, everyone would happily donate every woolly jumper in aid for some small hint of warmth.

After the excitement of Christmas has worn out and a few days on the slopes have been enjoyed, the sight of snow is just bleh. The once-dreamy, romantic and festive love of snow is replaced with awkward-looking piles of icy mounds on the side of the road.

The days of sunshine here and there are too easily missed when most days are just plain grey. The nights’ frost draws a silver grey outline on trees. Street pollution paints the unmelted snow on the roads with a dirty grey. Frost and snowfall shadow cars in a dark grey. Look around at the train station and you’ll notice the sea of blacks, browns and greys (with the odd fur trim) of coats and scarves – this grey is contagious. And simply just endless. (I’m not going to dare post any photos of this bleak grey – no thank you!)

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Settling in

Establishing home in a new country and ‘settling in’ takes time. Regardless of how long you find yourself away from where you once called home, there will always be times where you find yourself yearning for specific moments, people, routines and everyday scenes that ultimately typified ‘home’. Although it is slowly creeping towards the three year (!!!!!) mark since I lugged more than 30kg of cookbooks across the seas, I often dream of the small things that were my Sydney; my local barista remembering my coffee order, the daily chin-wag with commuter friends who’d catch the same train en route to work, and the city landmarks that were the highlight of memorable evenings…

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You know it’s summer when…

you are bombarded in the face with an army of 1000 fruit flies when throwing your rubbish into the communal garbage bin. Fruchtfliegen are definitely on everyones hit-list during the summer. Only after reading that the female fruit fly can lay up to 400 eggs in a few days and the entire next generation of flies within 10 days, did I realise how disgusting a swarm of flies to the face really was.

Once the temperature and humidity rises, you are bound to find a mini convoy of flies hovering over any fruit or vegetables left on the kitchen bench, around the bin or around the vinegar jars. But this isn’t a German phenomenon – these little beasts are everywhere.

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Hopeless wanderers 2.0

News of heat waves across Australia and seeing photos of friends enjoying the summer swelter has meant I am still dreaming of our big adventure. We’ve had the case of the grey blanket in Munich over the last few days – not too cold but still enough to make you want to be huddled under the blankets all day.

Over the last week I’ve found myself flicking through the photos we took – mouth still agape at the vibrant blue skies and endless horizon. In my previous post I mentioned how varied the landscapes were across the trip – every new section revealed something new. And while it is hard to believe when you are driving in the same state, it is no wonder that when covering hundreds and thousands of kilometers that both the structure of the landscape, the weather, as well as the flora and fauna can dramatically change. Driving 4,500km from Munich – lets say we’re heading south east, and I would be somewhere close to Tehran, Iran. How many countries, landscapes and political disputes would we cross along that journey? Hmmm…Australia is big.

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Lost in translation

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After more than a week now of temperatures below 16 degrees here in Munich, I have sadly let go of summer for the year and have revived the autumn collection from the wardrobe.

Despite the days where (apparently) Sydney’s winter days were warmer than Munich’s summer days – I am impressed with Germany’s summer performance this year. We were blessed with some solid weeks of warm weather, sunshine to make up for the abysmal winter and a mild heatwave that tested the boundaries of ‘office appropriate outfits’, as air-conditioning is not the norm. Those that weren’t on holidays therefore generally knocked-off from work early and many, many evenings were spent in the city’s many, many Biergartens. (Lucky for me many lunches were also spent in the biergarten – only 200m from the office).

The experience of the infamous ‘European summer’ is often on the to-do list of many Australians, as it had been on mine. Here too it revolves around taking holidays; school children are generally off between July – September and businesses throughout Europe also take a summer pause. This generally means over-priced travel rates, unbearable traffic on the Autobahns and crowds everywhere.

Sharing my summer adventure over coffee with a friend last week I asked her if she were able to take some time off.

Friend: Ja, wir haben drei Wochen Urlaub auf Balkonien verbracht. [We spent three weeks on the Balcony].

Me: Oh cool, where’s that?

Friend (with confused expression): Uhhhh, hier in Schwabing. [a district of Munich]. Continue reading