Ramadan-A day in the Life story from a Non Muslim

Fanous (meaning Light or Lamp in Arabic) is an important symbol during the holy month of Ramadan. These colorful lanterns gives Ramadan a symbolic mood.

I could write a novel about my Ramadan day to day experiences while living for a long time in the Middle East. But then, summing it up, I decided to write it like a day in the life of a Non Muslim surrounded with Islamic culture.Good thing I have taken lots of photos to remind me and yes, as I look back in it, I still think it was all wonderful experience.

I am grateful , I am really glad.

A lady in black Abaya in front of the Murals with Arabic calligraphy

I was born Catholic and growing up with Christianity doctrines made me feel odd when I was exposed to Muslim Culture and religion.Kuwait is a very conservative country and very traditional Islamic state.Islam is the predominant religion and Arabic is the preffered language. Though lifestyle is modern and yes very competitive, in Expat´s eyes, all of these are just temporary living arrangements.

But what ´s the first thing you think when you hear the word Ramadan? Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word Ramad, meaning “intense heat.” So like heat, Ramadan is a chance to burn away bad habits and carry positive ones throughout the year and beyond.

The month of Ramadan is beautiful, I see it as a solemn time of the year.It is a month of goodness and self-inspection.Inormally view my days as work-home statistics, but then during Ramadan, I felt kinda different.It´s not all about self-righteousness, but more of looking at yourself and deciding to do more good.I´ve got the feeling that during Ramadan, people around me just become conscious of others, they become kinder, and yes,more considerate.probably because this is the highlight month where most locals are serving others, donating help and to sum up--strive for repentance and be good.

A local vendor prapare for another busy morning day in the Souk. Dates (or tmar) is staple for Ramadan, and well known food preference in breaking the fast. It can be stuff with cream cheese or eaten as it is .Have read that the date fruit is mentioned 20 times in Quran therefore its closely related to Ramadan. It´s actually quite impossible without Dates during Ramadan.I love dates and I truly missed eating the good ones…

I know its Ramadan when I hear these greetings .”Ramadan Kareem“(or May Ramadan be generous to you) is a muslim greeting I have leaned from my colleagues at work and I think this is better than saying ” Sabah el Khair” ( or Good morning).Another form is also “Ramadan Mubarak” (Blessed Ramadan) and at the end of Ramadan, everyone greets with ” Eid Mubarak” ( Blessed Feast).But if you don´t speak any Arabic, you can just simply say “Salam“.

While I was running today, I saw a small leaflet attached to a tree stating well wishes for everyone for a safe Ramadan. I totally forgotten that this is the second year of the pandemic, and as well Ramadan for my Muslim friends.The holy weeks of Ramadan started last April 13 and will end on May 12 and yes, my Muslim friends are fasting!

Fasting for Muslim is not a way to lose weight, I am telling you, fasting and abstinence from sunrise to sunset is NO joke, it´s hard and not everyone understands it and thinks its ridiculous.

Living in Kuwait have exposed me to this culture though I am not a religious person nor an Atheist. But I do believe in one thing, ” faith without deeds is dead“. I grew up in a very conservative Catholic country so my background is quite a mixture of all the religious beliefs I have learned as a kid and growing up in a multicultural environment.Coming to Kuwait had opened my eyes even more to such beliefs and traditions.Above all, I love trying out new things and living as an expat taught me a lot about respecting my host country and its culture just like how I am embracing German culture now.

Anyway, for Muslims ( as I observed from my colleagues), it´s not really all about fasting.I really commend their discipline and perseverance.I see them still trying their best to do their job and not compromising. I never heard them complaining.After a while, I got used to their behaviour and avoid doing things that is not allowed during Ramadan. I am not forced to fast but we respect it and avoid recklessness, loud music, or eating in public. It´s against the law and you could be jailed if you violate it.We should also learn to respect prayer times. Afterall, everything is quite common sense and self-explanatory.

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and heightened devotion to prayer and repentance . I´m the only one at work that is not Muslim so everything was really new to me especially their bowing and reciting of Quran. In the office, it´s normal when the Quran is played.I find the whole thing ridiculous at first, but then through time I began to understand it all.They prayed numerous times during the day, starting at the break of dawn, but then during Ramadan, I observed that they do more. Most of my male colleagues take their yearly pilgrimage in Mecca and they really devote themselves to it. They saved money for it, and it´s a great achievement if they´ve done it.

At first I am quite excited when Ramadan starts because it means we need to work less.Many shops are closed during the day so people enjoy shopping until midnight and especially eating out in restaurants.Most restaurants have Iftar buffets and packages for companies, even Hotels offers the same.During this period, ( which practically lasts almost a month), our work schedule is shortened, and yes, we really have lesser output than the normal days. This means we need to do all the deadlines before Ramadan starts, and postpone all important meetings until Ramadan is over. Most inspections are preferably scheduled not on Ramadan, its quite normal. This also applies to all parts of the government since most of them worked only for 4,5 hours, maybe even less.Doing paperwork this time is hard because of timings.

There is an unseen sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness. We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music,but if brain and belly are burning clean with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire”. – Rumi

Through time, I have learned that true Fasting with intent is a privilege.I mean anyone can fast if they really want, but fasting without a meaning and purpose is just nonsense! It could even endanger your health.Abstinence is quite rigorous and requires a disciplined stamina.The period of 29 or 30 days—the dates change every year, following the lunar calendar of 13 months is pretty exhilarating.When your stomach is empty, your concentration might suffer and you barely can´t think.

Kuwaitis enjoy some leisure walks with Misbaha (Arabic: مسبحة mas’baha) in their hands. It has 99 pieces of beads corresponding to 99 names of God in Islam and 2 small beads separating every 33 beads.

The weather during this month is actually very warm, with average of 26 -38 degrees , humid & dust storms is frequent.After breaking their fasting, people usually went out to visit the Mosques, eat in restaurants for Iftar, meet friends , walk in the beach or just cool down inside the mall.

Busy Friday at the Souk (market)

I find it also worth mentioning that the Muslim´s tradition of breaking their fast is quite remarkable.It´s a holy ritual of gratitude and thanksgiving. ” Iftar“, the feast of breaking the fast after sunset marks a glorious victory every single day for every family. I have been invited in numerous Iftar, with close friends and their family and it is really amazing, not only the food but also the ambiance. Sharing a local Arabic home cooked meal is one thing that really bonds people and I give high thumbs for their elaborate food preparations. Arabic foods is really good and again, I kinda missed it all.I enjoy myself a platter of dates, nuts and their tea with cardamon and spices.

A local vendor selling the local ” Desert Truffles” which has become a delicacy in Kuwait.This is a traditional prized ingredients for Bedouins who loves to put these into their rice with meat dishes.Fresh Truffles are only available from November to April in Kuwait and the production highly depends on the precipitation.

As i said, ” Ramadan has the invincible power that brings people together” .Families, friends, colleagues sits together and share a meal, talking about the day´s about.It´s a time to focus on seeking forgiveness and being “kinder“. I was once in the Friday market and it´s about sunset so I really saw how normal people breaks their fast. They tedioulsy prepare their meal, pray together and they eat together. It´s very simple but really humbling to watch.One vendor laid out old newspapers on the ground and prepare the dishes elaborately. First the fruits, Laban or fermented drink juices, then some meat, vegetables and bread.I can see from their faces how grateful they are for this simple feast.Then they gather around , chatting and eat with their fingers.

Delicate detail of the walls of the Grand Mosque

In the arid, humid climate of Kuwait, it´s a tough challenge in the days of Ramadan. With scorching heat outside, you won´t even have the energy to go outside.The prayer times seemed like interruptions in our daily routines, but then it´s quite the opposite. My colleagues would get up and get their prayer mats and wait for others to gather around in the big hall patiently. They would do this every single day and watching them really amazes me.

There is no need to hurry, there is a time for everything under the sun.During Ramadan, time goes by slowly, but if you focus on your intent, you´ll realized that you have all the time that you need.

Muslims do the Salah (prayer) and goes to the Masjid together if they can. There are plenty of masjid and prayer halls in Kuwait, even inside malls they have it.In the Grand mosque, they have these racks of slippers to wear after they removed their shoes and washed their feet. The “Fajr“(Sehar) at dawn, the early morning prayer is the start of their spiritual journey during Ramadan.My friend who converted into Muslim since her husband is Muslim would wake up an hour early and gather her children to get some “ Suhoor” to have something to eat .It´s a family ritual so they can have something to last as they go through their day.

They wash their feet and faces, and stand by each other. The color of your skin doesn´t matter. Your title, education, job or what car you drive.Once you´re inside the Masjid ( Mosque) , everybody is equal, everyone is bowing their heads and pray the same prayer, everyone looks up to one Allah.For a non -muslim like me,the sound of the prayer time is heard everywhere and it becomes a natural signal for me to take a moment as well and yes, take some time to meditate.

The next prayer time will be around noon, called “Dhur “(afternoon),so this is the time that I see them praying at work.Afterwards they continue reading the Quran or just meditate or so.Next Prayer time will be on late afternoon called “Asr“which I think is really difficult. By this time, I saw them that they are mostly worn out with fatigue and their energy level is low.For women, they busied themselves preparing for Iftar and wait until “Maghrib”, (after sunset) . After Maghrib, the family gathers around to eat Iftar. The last prayer time is “Isha” (night) .

At the end of Ramadan comes the big celebration of Eid el- Fitr. But this important date depends highly on moon sightings. I remember asking my colleagues how do they know when is Eid, and they told me that it depends on the appearance of the new moon so they usually wait until night to confirm it.

It´s bigger than Christmas I think. It´s a special day filled with celebrations among friends and families and people really take time off or go on family outings. Kids are showered with presents and some give or donate money to the poor.It´s very common as well that everyone dressed up extra on this day. This festive moment reminds me of children waiting to open their gifts left by Santa Claus on Christmas Day or Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.

Did you know that it´s common in the Gulf countries during end of Ramadan to pardon prisoners?

Everyone is just happy , and greeting each other ” Eid Mubarak” ! Most families exchange visits with each other and eating is non-stop. The food is really flooding. Women gets special Henna tatoos on their hands and yes, spends the rest of the day shopping with kids. Most of the shops, especially in Kuwait offers big sales .There is something special about Ramadan evenings, maybe because I just love seeing the lovely lights.

Lovely colorful lights at night
Quran

Because of the pandemic and corona restrictions, I guess it´s a complete Ramadan experience for my muslim friends, but then in solitude of lockdown, would even be more meaningful.

” Ordinary men hate solitude. But the master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.” –Lao Tzu

Have you ever tried fasting? What do you love to do in solitude?

Ramadan Kareem and stay safe.

Until then, tschüss!

Medieval Beer Fountain ( Bierbrunnen)

Waiting in line at the Beer Fountain (Bierbrunnen)

Let´s talk about Beer for a while and let me take you again to another fascinating, unique hidden gem in my old town, Ingolstadt. Germans take pride of their Beer, especially the Bavarians. One of the pride of the locals here in my town is the Georgianum Beer Fountain or what we also called in German “Bierbrunnen“.We have lots of Beer gardens but then this fountain is really special.

Well, yes, Beer is an important part of Bavarian tradition, especially here where the Beer Purity Law or Reinheitsgebot from 1516 begun. For locals here, Beer is an integral part of the daily life and people regarded it not as an alcoholic drink, rather a “staple food” or Lebensmittel.With this Purity law, it goes by the rule that only 3 key ingedients should be present in brewing beer.These are Water, Barley and Hops.

With this Beer Fountain, it looks rather more than a faucet per se, but then before it was really regarded as a sacred fountain where fresh water is dispersed and people quench their thirst here on hot summer days.This place was an old school then turned into Catholic Seminary and were later bought by the local Brewery Herrnbräu.On the Jubilee year anniversary special, a golden liquid started to flow giving this little nook a special charm for the locals and visitors.Of course, only the finest beer of 16 years of age flows in this fountain.

Beer Fountain or Bierbrunnen

Last 2016, we had a local celebration of the Jubilee Year of the 1516 Beer Purity Law.It celebrates 500 golden years of the Reinheitsgebot and to commemorate this event, the Beer Fountain was made.The event was actually very festive. Starting with the programme, parade, and musicals, the whole town is really very noisy and full of people.Recalling the times before Corona, we have yearly celebration for this.People dressed up in medieval costumes and made an reenactment of the old times where people gather around the fountain to have their drink. I think it was really cool and I am so lucky to have seen this. My daughter was really thrilled when she saw Knights, and people clad in vests, funky shoes, hats and yes, swords!

Mural Bronze made by Alexandra Fromm

This bronze Mural was designed by the artist and painter Alexandra Fromm from Neuburg an der Donau.Along with the 500 year anniversary celebration, the state of Bavaria also released a limited post stamp, and coins from silver and gold. I managed to go home with a Beer mug (Bierkrug) and the golden coins so that makes me happy!

My husband and few of our friends attended the Beer tour which caters the history of the different kinds of Beer and their brewing process. Of course participants were able to taste all of those beer so practically, this day is really a celebration of Beer! With all of these beers, from dark to light coloured ones, I always go to my favourite—the Pils!

Pils is invented by the world class Master Brewer from Bavaria, Josef Groll from Vilshofen.

Declaration of the Beer Purity Law with the Little visitor

The Beer Festival, together with the whole celebration was attended by so many people and there were beer stalls where people have the chance to know the Beer history. It was decorated with stalls, weapons, tents and a stage where the law was read and declared by the Duke.

I was totally shocked to found out that world record of 1.3 seconds is what only takes for an American man named Steven Petrosino to drink a whole maß of Beer! That is a big gulp of 1 liter of Beer! This record is still unbreakable…

I am not a heavy Beer drinker but when I came to Germany, I began to appreciate their beloved Beer drinking culture. Sitting in Beer gardens is a normal habit, it is super cozy and the whole family can totally enjoy it. Writing this post made me missed those times.Because of Corona, Beer gardens are closed .People dressed up especially on weekends, wearing Lederhosen and Dirndls, even the children are clad in Bavarian Tracht as well. Most Beer gardens has a corner for children to play so it´s really an ideal place for weekends.

And last thing, here in Bavaria, we say instead of ” Cheers” , “ Prost” !

Do you like Beer? or are you more of the Wine type?

If you´re interested for more Beer related stories, I have written quite a few of them ,feel free to read them if you have more time to kill.

The green Gold of Bavaria, the Hops

Beer Gardens and Beer drinking tradition of Bavaria

1516 Reinheitsgebot -Beer Purity Law in Ingolstadt

Until then, Danke und Tschüss!

All for the love of Turquoise Cannons

The Face of a War Cannon

Let me take you to another fascinating nook in my neighborhood.This place is special because it´s where 17 Torqouise war cannons are displayed. They can be found in the front yard of the Bayerische Armee Museum.Museums are still closed up to now over here so we can only visit the grounds.The Bavarian Army Museum is beside the Neues Schloss or the New Castle.

The castle grounds is in spring mood. Cherry blossoms are blooming and the view is quite picturesque. The grounds are filled with yellow and white Narzissen and surrounded with birds chirping about .Picturesque enough that it deserves a photo.

View of the New Castle in Springtime, Cherry Blossoms and bird-chirping weather

My daughter is a history buff at the age of 6. She loves to read World History, and everything about important events in the history in Germany and of the world, including wars and other significant events. Believe me, if you asked her about famous presidents of the USA; she will elaborate it to you. I am embarassed when she asked me when was Abraham Lincoln born and why he died.

Who was the first elected, the youngest, the oldest and of course, how and why did they died.I wished I have her memory…I really do.

Normally when we walks, she talked a lot. She just can´t stop talking.She loves to stop for a while and read signages, especially writings about famous person, buildings and places. Even the roman numerals she wanted to decipher. Then we came across the billboard near the castle where it says ” Formen des Krieges” ( Forms of War) and then she asked if we can take a look at the grounds because she wanted to check if the cannons are still complete. She knows how to count, actually she´s very good in it so she can never missed it.

So we began another explorations of the Turquoise Cannons. Her favourite color is Turquoise so I promised to her that I called them Turquoise War Cannons.

Then I wonder why the cannons have faces of Lions,not really like a beast but somehow one looks more like a dog, wailing and waiting to be fed.With heraldic Lion´s head, it´s no wonder. They symbolized the power and strength of this animal. It´s also used in many sculptures around here as well in the Bavarian flag.

Actually this is one of the first places I´ve visited since we´ve moved here and I am always fascinated with it.From all of the relics of war that I usually see in Museum, especially war canons and weapons, they looked dull, black as granite, and cold.

Why would you even engrave something so intricate when you would only load large iron balls in it and shoot to destroy enemies?

I mean, cannons are weapons of war and used for defense and attack. It´s a weapon to kill, not to display some kind of art.

But I think these ones are used for decorative purposes only.

In the time of Pandemic, the castle grounds is so quiet and empty. No people around except us. But then I still asking myself why would they made such cannons with Lions faces, and engraved them so intricately with animals, flowers and even faces of Kings (Kaizer) .I´ve seen quite a number of cannons in Kuwait when we visited the Failaka Island, the bottleneck of Gulf war and other museums in there, but nothing compares to these war cannons.

Friedrich von Gottes Gnaden ( Wilhelm IV von Preußen)

Good thing they are in Turquoise shade. If they would be in dull bronze color then they would be so boring.

Memories of war

Looking at these canons made me realize that war before is definitely ugly and bloody. A pair of these cannons are named “Scherer and Schererin ” weighs more than 9 tons! They are not to be joked upon. Imagine how large and expansive the War Defense Arsenal in those times.

My little girl fascinated with war canons in the Fortress Castle of Salzburg
Why war cannons are in best locations for optimum target.

Thank God war is over…and hope that cannons remains for touristic purposes only.

It´s a rainy, gray Monday over here, hoping on your side it´s sunnier.Tschüss!

Life in Colour / Pretty in Pink

Pink Coneflowers for sure can make your heart skip a beat

My wanderings are made better when I wear something pink as I go in my journey to find the Stumbling stones ( Stolpersteine) and Looking Down on Manholes Project.

Life can be grey sometimes, but whenever I see Pink, it´s a reason to smile.With pink blooms in Spring and summertime, who can´t resist to admire them…?

There is a so-called Pink truck in Kuwait which I spotted parked in front of Freej Swalieh, Salmiya
Purple Hibiscus are normal here, but in the Tropics, it´s always prettier in Pink

After all, Pink is the sweet side of red.

This post is inspired by HeyJude´s Life in Colour ; Pink.

Tender Beginnings and picturesque Pink

Kirschblüten or Cherry Blossoms

Today is ” Ostermontag” or the second day of Easter here in Germany.Yes, same as Christmas, Germans have two days to celebrate Easter .One day is enough so we have an extra day of holiday. Well, it´s really a very difficult Easter this year because it doesn´t have the freedom from Corona yet.But then, it´s all okay, at least it´s Spring!

It´s lovely, smells heavenly and feels so romantic!

If there were no cherry blossoms in this world
How much more tranquil our hearts would be in spring.- Ariwara no Narihira (825-880)

A Selfie under the Cherry Blossom tree is a must!

The whole world is celebrating Easter and so are we. After a peaceful gathering at home, where we had Easter breakfast followed by the egg hunt for the little girl, we head outdoors to get some fresh air and enjoy some beautiful cherry blossoms. It´s timely, since I observed that around first days of April, cherry blossom trees around our neighborhood and in the parks are due for blooming.The branches are ripe enough to cast it´s yearly spell.

In Japanese, they called them “Sakura” .They doesn´t last long, normally they are gone within a week. Today was totally windy so most petals are being blown away by the wind.I´ve read that even the petals of Cherry Blossoms are edible. Famous brands like Bath & Body works & Rituals have their famous and top seller sets with Cherry Blossoms as one of the ingredient. I tried them so I know that it smelled heavenly! I am wondering how would it taste on cookies, rice balls and Mochi…now this makes me dream of it!

No wonder they symbolize Renewal, but also the fleeting nature of life.

It´s a joy to see them, and you can´t help to feel “romantic” when you see them.People are happy and smiling under the cherry blossoms. People gather around it, smelling it´s sweet fragrance and looking up to the skies.Nature seemed to be doing it´s wonder once again.I watched a couple under the tree making lots of photos and I guess they just simply wanted to enjoy this magical moment same as I did.In Japan, people loved to do picnics and hang lanterns at night.This tradition called “Hanami ” which means Flower viewing.

One old couple are taking countless photos under the cherry blossoms and watching them makes my heart warm. A picturesque pink photo together with your loveones is definitely a must once you see these pink blossoms. Whether it´s your child, spouse or partner, Cherry Blossoms is a love flower. I think we´ve made it as a yearly tradition to make photos under the Sakura blooms. I have a collection of my daughter on its branches , climbing and smiling.It´s a treasured memory, a lovely keepsake.

Despite the Pandemic, we always opt and turned to nature´s beauty, gasping for hope and endurance. It provides us strength and healing.

I guess some cherry trees are suited for ornamental purposes only. In some parts of Germany, they are really a huge tourist magnet.Although the sight of these pink blossoms are fleeting, it´s really worth it.

Bees surround the fluffy flowers and hovering around it, and never letting them go.The soft sun gives it´s more radiance, like wanting to show it off.The branches are wide, and provide a gentle shade to people who sits under it.It´s a momentarily comfort, a swift escape, a fleeting gift.In April the weather can be so finicky and thesepink blossoms doesn´t like rain. Today was cold and windy and I could already see that some blooms are wilted.

In the cherry blossom´s shade, there´s no such thing as a stranger.- Kobayashi Issa

More snapshots of our Pink World these days …

Our cheery blossoms here are nothing compared to Japan and US and other countries.But then I am grateful that we were able to see it´s beauty once a year even for a few days.It is definitely a tender beginnings for us as we see another year and battling the scares of Corona.

Do you have a favourite Spring flower?

This post is inspired by HeyJude´s Life in Colour series :Pink

A very Bavarian Easter

A very Bavarian Easter

Let me share with you how Easter looks like in my little old town, which I particularly branded as very “Bavarian easter“.I grew up in a very different environment as people observed Holy week here.But then as an Expat I have learned to love this LOVELY tradition here in Germany.One thing, here I observed that it´s not a religious event, mogre like a feast. It´s also a big celebration, just like Christmas sans the snow and it´s mostly enjoyed within families. The best part is that we can finally sit outside and enjoy some warm weather. This week, we had spring T-shirt weather,we have 10-21 degrees! On the other hand , sadly, just like last year though, we are still in Lockdown. Travelling is not actually required because of Corona restrictions, but finally it´s Spring.

Anyway, here, three weeks before Easter, shops are already full of Easter things, that includes colorful easter egg chocolates and Easter Bunnies. The designs are limitless, everything is colorful. When it comes to chocolates, Germany has it all.Top chocolate makers like Kinder, Lindt, Milka and Cadbury are always the top choices for children. When it comes to Easter Bunny chocolate, the bigger, the better.I am not so fond of this but I have a kid so we get some for her as well.
Egg hunting is an old tradition for German speaking countries (same as in the Netherlands) where painted colorful eggs are hidden in the bushes or in between plants, or almost in every nook for children ( and adults!) to seek and find.Easter decorations adorn each houses with painted eggs hanging around, baskets with colored eggs and early spring flowers.


Actually , there´s nothing much special in it compared to other countries when it comes to celebrating Easter, but then there´s something about our blue and white themed Egg Art work here in Bavaria.
Does it look familiar?

It resembled closely to Dutch´s Delft paintwork, using only two shades, blue and white .It´s a local heritage here where creative ladies handpainted all these eggs all year round.Imagine the time they consume blowing and drying all these eggs then afterwards painting.These two colors are the prime Bavarian colors which is also seen in Bavarian state Flag.

Handpainted blue and white Easter Eggs adorned the Fountain in the city
Every egg is unique and painted with different designs.What makes it more laborious is that it needs to be hanged together in a steel rod to join them together.Each piece is a masterpiece and the ladies put on so much effort in binding all of them.I´ve heard that it can count up to 10,000 pieces of eggs as of 2019.Those are indeed lots of eggs.

The eggs are binded with green garlands and decorated with little flowers so it can be hanged in the fountain.It´s another long time tradition here to put up an Easter Fountain or Osterbrunnen.Normally we have Easter Market, where people can sit and enjoy the festivities and listen to folk Bavarian music.There are small craft shops, Beergardens, play areas,face paintings, games and programmes, but then now everything was cancelled because of Corona virus.

A very Bavarian Easter celebration

Then there´s the osternbaum, or the tree with painted eggs.Handpainted or plastic eggs are hanged on foliage, trees and bushes are an example of this old tradition.It´s not only in Christmas where Germans decorate their trees, it happens that it´s quite the same in Easter as well. I , myself did this as well in our garden.My daughter brought home some Easter creative art projects, which she eventually displays at home.

Why do I love our Bavarian Easter, probably because it´s unique, cozy, Gemütlich and festive; and anyway, who doesn´t love chocolates?

Do you celebrate Easter?

Happy Easter, or in German we say it best with ” Frohe Ostern!”

tschüss.

Spring Adrenaline rush

I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.Anne Lamott

This week is Holy Week.
Schools are having their 2 weeks Easter break (Osterferien) so we are stay at home and trying to survive each day.We visited the Library few times to get more books.We need to get the girl her new big bike and for her to master her inline skating skills.We need to plan and prepare something for Easter but I haven´t figured it out yet.
The number of Corona cases are still rising up so tight restrictions are bound to be implemented over these days.Hard to think that it´s almost been a year since pandemic started and we are still in the same situation.I don´t think travelling is encouraged over here in Germany, we don´t have anywhere to go to. Since most of the shops are still closed and Easter celebration is coming, I guess we make something at home.The only luxury that we can afford during this time is out in nature, playgrounds, and social distancing.

I said to myself that there´s no need to fret and rush.

While on the other side, at least there´s a lot going on. There´s a kind of “rush” that is going on, the kind that I like.Every morning, I am awaken by continous singing and chirping of the birds, there´s much sunlight now as we entered the “Sommerzeit“, or summertime over here in Germany. Sunny days, and finally it feels warmer now.I can tell you that it is indeed Springtime.I know that for sure, I never doubted Nature, its true to it´s course.

Somehow this Gallery shows the Adrenaline Rush that Spring brings us.Just like Marty Rubin´s words–

The deep roots never doubts, Spring will come….”

Coming up is BBQ and grilling season.There´s nothing cozier than having warm grilled meals in the garden.We don´t mind the rush, but it´s awesome.We just take a long bike ride and run just in case we eat a lot!

It´s still chilly in the mornings but in the midday, the sun is really enjoyable.Most of my neighbours are working hard on in their garden as we did. We did new flower beds and I planted seeds for our elevated garden. I hope I succeed in propagating carrots, radish, and more herbs.Mind you, Germans take gardening seriously. In my trips in the garden shops, people swarmed over buying pots, soil, seeds,plants, fertilizers and wood and more gardening things. Almost all supermarkets here sells different kinds of plants and flowers. I spent almost a day repotting and transplanting all of my indoor plants. I was personally amazed at its amount, it´s exhausting to care for them but then it´s all worth it.I never regret that I have become a plant-lady, it´s not a prestigouos achievement, but the rewards are incomparable.

There is really a kind of green rush when Spring comes.It feels great to feel the chilly wind and not cringe anymore for fear of frost, to smell the dirt from the soil, and the simple genuine pleasure of decorating balconies and terraces with plants.Anything that blooms and grows signals life..For me, the sight of “Reincarnated gardens ” are amazing!

With all these, I am just grateful that we have a small garden to tend to.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. “– Charles Dickens

Indeed, Spring had sprung and we are not complaining.

What about you, what kind of “rush” are you into right now?

I don´t have anything grand to share, just wishing you all to be safe, healthy and enjoy some time under the sun!Until next time.

Tschüss.

Soaking up in Natural Light

Watching the sun rises in a glorious morning.I couldn´t freeze this moment but then at least I took a snap of it and put in my memory bank.

“Natural Light uses the sun as the natural light source..”

The theme for this week´s LAPC is natural light.I love this theme since I am fond of watching sunrises and sunsets.It´s one of my favourite subject to photograph.Photo above is my very first encounter watching a naked sunrise before my eyes, up close and personal.I managed to get up at 4am and did some hike to Kiltepan Peak then watch the skies turns into dancing palletes of different colors.This is truly special for me.I remember this time I haven´t had a good camera, only my old Sony phone I think.But then, I can´t trade this experience for other thing.

A gentle Tropical sunrise and the clouds slowly descending from the mountain peaks to the valley.(Kiltepan Peak)

Sunset in Arabian Gulf, Kuwait

Oh we had a such abundance of natural light from the sun in Kuwait.I´ve been wearing sunglasses everytime I get out since I can´t help but to squint since rays is too strong for my eyes.

There´s not much nature to photograph there since it has a dry, arid desert climate but then I love watching the sunsets & sunrise there.Because of its soaring hot temperatures, enjoying the sun is not as favorable as here in Europe or in Asia. We have dark curtains and windows are often closed because of dust. Thank God I was living 5 minutes away from the beach and yes, I do miss the views of the beach from our bedroom. We have abundant scorching sun even past after 7pm, together with humidity and heat as high as 49 degrees in summer. During sandstorms, the skies are totally grey, dark and sickening.

Endless Horizons in the Arabian Gulf

Here are some of my favorite spots where I spend countless times walking and watch the skies turns into orange, and pink to purple.So many golden precious hours….my favourites were taken from the Marina, and the endless seafront along the 5th Ring Road in Salmiya.

In the broad daylight, natural light brings bright colors from Kuwait´s unique marine and aquatic architecture.The displays of Dhows and marine life becomes so alive and the culture itself is so enticing. Mind you, it seldom rains in Kuwait, I think only 2 times in a year and it´s like a light drizzle compared here in Germany. Kuwait´s skies is often cloudless, clear and blue .

Lovely sunrise in the Arabian Gulf

A magical sunset in Bavaria, southern Germany
There´s a quaint light at the end of the path

The first time I saw this rippling orange purple skies during Fall here in Germany.It was quick but it was definitely worth the wait! I took this photo just outside our bedroom window.Amazing!

Just watching this pink skies in my neighborhood

Soft bright light turns an ordinary view from the Danube River into like marble slate finish.

The dancing Date Palm trees in Kuwait creates a wonderful backdrop for a purple blue skies.

I think light portrays a vital part in this cascading greens in Munich, Germany.Natural light gives nature more power to affect us and makes us better storytellers.

The rugged hills in Mittenwald on a crisp, bright morning and during dawn it looks like flaming mountains.

Below photos are taken from my neigborhood where I spent countless running and walking.Ordinary places becomes special and go through into a metamorphosis depending on the season and weather.

The Glacisbrücke in the warm tones and cold light during a quiet Autumn morning.
I think without natural Light, these Red Poppies won´t shine bright as it is. ( Take me Back to Summer )

This view is the reason why I never stop exploring and wandering.Afterall, the light is there to guide my steps…

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 : Natural Light

Until then, Tschüss!

German word of the day :Frühlingsfreude

The first signal of Spring –Crocuses

Here´s another interesting German word : Frühlingsfreude (n) which means Spring Joy.

Frühlingsfreude is actually a combined words of Frühling ( Spring) and Freude( Joy) . Anything that brings gladness in hearts during Spring .As always, nature comes first but it can also means a simple act of kindness, hearing all day long the chirping of birds, or even running on an early morning with fog.

Over the past few days these are what gives me Frühlingsfreude;

I smiled when I finally saw these tiny yellow buds, and purple Crocuses! They definitely brings me a feeling of new beginnings.It´s still so cold outside and mostly minus temps, good thing the sun shines graciously.

The amazing smell all over the house filled with the scent of freshly home baked Èmpanadas` and Frühlingsrolle or Lumpia for a light Dinner.

Frühlingrollen or Lumpia tastes better when shared with friends.

Taking long walks while soaking up under the sun.

I don´t know why but there are plenty of swans and ducks over here.Everypond, lake and river it is impossible not to notice a duck.So yes, seeing them at this time is always refreshing.The other day, we sat by the river and ducks came to us immediately, waiting for some bread pieces…!

I had also few trips to Garden shops ( since they finally reopened!!!) to get some soil , pebbles , fertilizers and seeds.This Spring I wanted to start a new Hochbeet ( or elevated garden) to plant some veggies and herbs).Its still minus temps at night so I am waiting until the last frost then I could proceed with garden work.

What had made you smile lately?

Until then, Tschüss!

Always and Forever Graffiti and Street Art

Graffiti Art “ I will love you always and Forever ” by Zomb, of Moin Designs, Ingolstadt

Spotted this super cool Graffiti Art the other day and it looks like we can´t wait for warmer days to come. It´s fresh, colorful and yes, free. No masks, no restrictions, just no inhibitions.

It´s hard to get a full frontal view of this Graffti art since I still needto cross the other side of the road. Cylists came and fast cars behind me reminded me that I have to do my best shot quickly.Fortunately I managed to get some.

Sending you warm vibes for another weekend! Stay healthy and safe.

Interested about other Graffiti Art in Ingolstadt? Here are some more.

For the love of Graffiti

Graffiti Street Art in Ingolstadt

Street Art and local sightings

Tschüss!