State of the Union – late October 2012

Status update

It’s another grey day here in Vaterstetten but I had a breakthrough yesterday: I put up the first ceiling lamp replacing the bare bulbs hanging from the wall. It looks good but it took me three month. Some call it procrastination … I call it skill.

Here is what it looks like outside …

Want to know what I read currently?

A nice guy I was sitting next to in a plane recently recommended Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther stories to me. So, I took five minutes to find out which is the first which isn’t my normal style. I usually start with the latest and work my way back. This time I started with #1 “March Violets” which might me also the last Bernie Gunther story I’ll ever read. Why? Don’t look at me with these question marks in your eyes.

I think Philip Kerr is scottish and yep, they do have a weird accent which by the way I really like to listen to especially when a scott tells a joke. I always laugh before the end of the joke. Anyway, the question was why I don’t like Bernie Gunther.

Bernie is a private detective in Berlin during the Third Reich and I think the observation about the general mood in the German society is quite good and subtle. I quite enjoy crime novels as a mirror of society like my favorites Ken Bruen, Xialong Qiu and Lee Child since I can’t do Peter Handke with an empty stomach.

Another anyway, or maybe a “but” … Reading the book is like reading it with a German accent. I’m not sure if it is just me but it’s written like a German with a heavy accent would speak English and that annoys me. I partially hear me, I hear my German co-workers in meetings and I don’t need that when reading a couple of pages at night.

I give you an example: Kerr calles the police throughout the book “bulls” which is the direct translation of the German slang “Bulle”. Yet, I have never heard a native english speaker use that word. It just sounds wrong and I can’t get used to it.

It might take me a long time to finish it since I still want to know who the killer is.

Check it out here: Philip Kerr “March Violets”


Neuschwanstein or a nightmare on a beautiful autumn day

The Story

Last weekend I went to castle Neuschwanstein which is one of the castles King Ludwig II erected in his Bavarian kingdom during his twenty two year rain.I took a co-worker from Singapore there and wasn’t really aware of the still ongoing nut race of the Japanese, Chinese, Koreans and last but not least Americans. I mean the castle is nice to look at from the outside in spite of the scaffolding covering the entire southwest wing until mid 2013 and it’s certainly built in one of the prettiest landscapes of Germany but …

… why would you visit the inside massacred by themes of Wagner’s operas?

If you really need to go there, climb the Tegelberg right next to the castle which offers an amazing view onto the castle and the lake behind it.

Another alternative is the castle Linderhof in Ettal which is about 50km away from Neuschwanstein. It was also built by the fairy tale king (as if this is a good thing) Ludwig II. However, the castle is surrounded by a beautiful park and it’s just fun to walk up and down the hills and enjoy a nice autumn day.

 The Summary

Autumn in Bavaria is nice this year. But avoid any people who chase a Wagnerian fairy tale and its mad king