Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Neuleiningen Castle and the BurgSchanke

For many many years, we have been going back to the BurgSchanke in Neuleiningen. We would see the ruins of the old castle, high on a hill, as we would be driving by on Autobahn A6 between the Heidelberg area and France. When AdventureMan got his company command (it was a big deal) I saved up my money and treated him to dinner at the BurgSchanke.

This is where we sat:


The menu doesn’t change much. Most of these entrees were the same ones on the menu many many years ago:

Here is what AdventureMan likes to have – Franzosiche Entenbrust, or French Duck Breast (I think the French part is all the vegetables)


I don’t eat meat very often, but when I do – this is what I had – the Knoblouchsteak (garlic steak)

It used to be served on a wooden platter. I am guessing that health and sanitation standards now require porcelain or something less porous and prone to bacteria than wood.

And here is what we had for dessert. We totally hate the presentation, but it never fails to make us laugh, long and loud, and in spite of how it looks, the mousse is truly delicious.

We talked about all the years we had been coming to this restaurant, all the guests and friends we had brought with us, where we had been sitting with different people – including, more than once, my parents, coming back for their own sentimental journey. Ahhh . . . sweet memories. 🙂

One time, my youngest sister and her family came for a visit, and their son also tried the duck, and thoroughly enjoyed it. His father ordered the Eisbecher Burg Neuleiningen, and we didn’t tell him . . . we waited to see his face when they brought him a bowl the size of a punch bowl, filled with fifty scoops of ice-cream. 🙂 Oh, what fun!

We stayed in a truly darling hotel, and felt very lucky to get the last room. “Two hours ago, we had four vacancies,” the very nice manager said, “but now, we have just one!” In a heartbeat, we took it. The view from the Burggraf was amazing.


May 13, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Germany | 13 Comments

KTAA Exhibit Opens Tonight at Dar Al Cid

Thanks to my friends in the Kuwait Textile Arts Association for passing this along:


May 13, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Public Art | 2 Comments

Breakfast in Schwetzingen

German breakfasts are anything but light. There wasn’t a piece of fruit to be found! We were lucky to be guests at the hotel, because most of the tables were reserved, and people were turned away, even at nine in the morning, the breakfasts at the hotel Cafe Journal are so good.

You could have smoked ham, cold cuts and cheese, too, but we chose not.

Breakfast bread basket:


Yummy condiments:

Fresh orange juice:

Herb and cheese omelettes:

We were astonished – in Germany and in France – that there is absolutely NO SMOKING in any of the restaurants. If you are sitting outside, you can smoke, but we could not believe how well enforced this law is. We had heard about it, but frankly – the French not smoke in restaurants? We would not have believed it possible! Germans are very law-obeying peoples, but the French??? Never, not once, did we see a person smoking in a restaurant. It was amazing.

May 13, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, Germany, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Social Issues | | 3 Comments

Sunrise Tuesday, May 13, 2009

Every sunrise now is poignant – I will not have this kind of view in Doha. I will have palm trees, and sometimes parrots and / or parakeets who migrate through and love the date palms. I will have a yard, and two colored bougainvillea, and pots of home grown basil. I will have a neighborhood where I can walk freely, all by myself and never worry about being harassed, and a pool where women gather and joke around while doing water aerobics. But oh, I will miss these glorious Gulf sunrises!


May 13, 2009 Posted by | Beauty, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 10 Comments

Living our Religion

Today’s reflection from Forward Day by Day is a tough one. In the Gulf, there is a tradition of thfadl and thfadli (the second is what you say to a woman) which means, literally, “you are to be preferred.” You are supposed to outwait the other, to allow the other to take precedence.

I have one Kuwaiti friend – you know who you are – who simply cannot be out-thfadle-d. She out-thfadle-s me every time. 🙂

But when I read this passage, and think of how I live in Kuwait, I find myself thinking “Guilty! Guilty as charged!”

When I see a long line in front of me at the health department, and someone comes and ushers me to the front, yes, I have gratefully taken advantage, taken preference over those who continue to wait. I have scowled when people try to shove their basket in front of me in the supermarket. And in traffic – when I “thfadl”, it has nothing to do with politeness and preference, and everything to do with sarcasm and frustration.

Today’s reading reminds me I still have a long road in front of me when it comes to learning to love my neighbor, and put others first.

Romans 12:1-21. Outdo one another in showing honor.

The Episcopal Church (and some other denominations, too) is vexed these days by rancorous disputes about authority and sex. Name-calling, smirking, and thinly veiled anger sometimes characterize church gatherings. The prevailing sentiment seems to be that we ourselves are faithful and true, but those others are faithless and false. We demean and dismiss other Christians. It’s hard to find a Christian today who outdoes others in showing honor (except honor shown to those lined up on one’s own side). Is it any wonder that many people outside the church want nothing to do with us?

I long for the day when we will approach those who differ from us and say: “I agree with almost nothing you are advocating. I see God, the world, and our faith through different lenses than you do. But I know that God loves us both and has sent his Son to forgive and redeem us both. I know that Christ lives within us both. Therefore I honor you and join you in prayer and in worshiping our common Lord. I shall remain silent today so that you may speak and I may learn from you. I thank God for you because I see Jesus when I look at you.”

May 13, 2009 Posted by | Character, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Spiritual | 2 Comments