Monday, September 20, 2010

Indian Summer In Lüsslingen

We`re enjoying the tail end of the summer here and what glorious weather it is! Bright and sunny and warm but not hot. I spent several hours sitting on the front porch yesterday just looking at the trees and the garden, children playing and from time to time, reading one of Samuel`s latest book, dedicated to his teacher Manuel Schock.

It is good to be here again. And somehow amazing to think that I have been visiting the place now for eighteen years! Sometimes memories come back of the early days, when I used to spend the summer with Samuel and Daniele and then the slow movement of people into the area and the evolution of the "Swiss community".

Samuel enjoying the Sunday afternoon

On Sunday several of us met at a fortnightly gathering over coffee and cake. It was a convenient way to catch up with everybody, including Samuel and Daniele, with Anke and Arno, Sabine Negwer and several others. It was a brilliant afternoon and the garden was buzzing with grown ups and children, people lying down in the grass in the sun or chatting. Ulrike and Peter had between them cooked up a wonderful Indian supper of dal, rice and paneer curry which to me tasted quite authentic.

Meanwhile the Bertenghi household is a regular bee hive of activity centred mostly around children. Every afternoon a whole lot of kids, friends of Anina, Laura and Päuli land up here to run around the garden, drink lemonade, and eat ice cream, till it`s time to go home.

Since there is not much time to write more I decided to post some photos instead which should give you an idea of the place.

Irene and Päuli

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bollywood Comes To Prien

Sonya, the Bollywood fan

One of the first things I learned about Sonya, the cleaning lady who comes in twice a week here, is that she is a great fan of Bollywood. Apparantly she discovered Indian cinema through the weekend TV in Germany and has been watching Hindi films regularly in the last three or four years. She loves Shahrouk and thinks Hrithik Roshan is a great dancer. She generally goes into ecstasies over the Bollywood dance numbers.

Sonya, actually from Croatia, has lived in Prien with her husband for quite a few years and they have a seven or eight year old daughter who goes to the same school as Felix. I love to hear about her trips to Croatia to her home and the way her mother spends an entire month in summer making pickles and jams and all kinds of things to eat over the rest of the year. Last year she brought back a whole string of really hot chillies for me and this time I have been digging into the pepperoni and a red chilli home made sauce. Sonya normally gets in a little after nine thirty in the mornings when I'm having breakfast so we often spend at least half an hour chatting as she tidies up the kitchen and before she goes on to the rest of her chores.

Günter, who many of you will remember from his last visit to Mumbai, was here for a couple of days and it was lovely to catch up with him. Since the weather was unusually good both days we went to the lakeside for lunch. There is quite a nice restaurant right on the lake where, if it is warm one can sit in the garden. This is what we did and spent several hours chatting about everything from tantra to community life and the difficulties of human relationships.

Now with just two days left to go before my departure for Zürich, I am making the most of my time in Prien. This evening we've organised a musical evening after dinner so we're all looking foward to bringing out our guitars and various instruments and belting out all the numbers we know.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bavarian Sights

Though a lot of boring standardized houses have erupted everywhere in Germany in the last few decades, (and where in the world don't you find them!) it is always a pleasure to come across the traditional Bavarian houses in smaller towns and villages with their picturesque facades. The day after Bibsi (a friend whom I've known for over twenty years now) arrived in Prien, we went for a spin around the countryside, passing scenic little towns and eventually stopping at a beautiful lakeside restaurant for lunch.

On the way we passed several houses with their balconies overflowing with flower boxes and pretty gardens bursting with flowers. Outside one of the houses there was this ginger cat who could have been Shambhu's twin, except for a white patch on his chest, who insisted on getting on to the top of his owner's car and refusing to budge even when the car started to move down the road. Eventually they had to stop and shove him off.

Cat on a hot tin (car) roof

Bibsi at the restaurant


I arrived last Tuesday in Prien after quite a hectic evening with my friend Ruth in Munich. She picked me up from the airport and drove me straight to a jam session which she attends every alternate Monday evening, made up mostly of a number of amateur but good musicians, who play every type of instrument from the guitar to the didgeridoo. It was fun improvising with them and I too put in my two cents worth on the extra guitar which Ruth had thoughtfully brought along for me.

The next day we set out for Prien in the afternoon and got in at about half past five. Back in the Bogenberger house it feels like home, only a lot colder, except for the odd day when the sun shines and the temperatures go up a wee bit, like yesterday when Lioba and I sat in the garden downstairs warming ourselves in the afternoon. In fact it got so warm I had to peel off the layers and finally had to go upstairs for a cold drink.

In Prien big changes are afoot. The girls have both more or less moved out, and Lulu is going to be a mother very soon, with the baby to arrive in January. The weekends are normally houseful as this last one was, with Lulu and her boyfriend Alexander staying with us, and Lilly the older girl who had come down from Munich, Lioba (whom those who attended the bodywork workshop in India last February will remember well) and the rest of us - i.e. Thomas, Ariela, Felix and me. And of course Sammy who continues to constantly whine for food no matter how much he's been fed.

The underfed Sammy

Günter, (who was in India early this year) intends to visit us tomorrow. And by the end of the week I'll be heading for Zürich to meet friends from the Swiss community and to attend the workshop scheduled for the third week of September - the Warrior course.

Friday, September 10, 2010

European Summer

Basia making pumpkin soup

Summer in Europe - ha! The day I landed in Frankfurt and a couple of days after that, the weather was great. Sunny and warm enough for us to be able to squeeze in a few outdoor lunches in Frankfurt - once with Basia at a streetside pizzeria and again on Sabine's wonderful terrace a couple of days later. But the weekend we arrived in Cologne it started to rain and get cold and we were mostly stuck indoors. Not that it mattered because we were able to catch up with all our loved ones over breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Dwight at the pizzeria in Frankfurt

Heinz - Sunday breakfast

Heinz, perfect host as usual helped us to weather the cold and rain with the meals he conjured up ranging from an array of exquisite cold cuts, cheeses and wine, to lamb fillets accompanied by roast potatoes to spaghetti in a creamy sauce, with shrimp. And then there was the evening we dined at the neighbour's - Jackie's - who lives across the courtyard and where we got to know her three kids, the oldest of whom, eleven year old Klara, gave us a drawing she had made of the Buddha.

Jackie, an American, is a musician, plays the oboe and has performed in orchestras in Germany. Though she claimed to be out of practice we were treated to some terrrific live music after dinner.

As usual we got to hear a range of music on Heinz's way out stereo system, of which I unfortunately dont have any photos, because it does look like some weird contraption straight out of a sci fi movie. We heard everything from country to classical to rock and a lot of "The Grateful Dead".

Flowers from Heinz for my birthday

Now I'm enjoying the cold and rain in Prien on the Chiemsee (Chiem Lake) though of course horsing around with Felix and chatting with Ariela intermittently through the day and at night after dinner does kind of make up for the lack of sun.