Life's journeys: Language, culture, communication


Kayak and jazz weekend

The summers in Germany are damn short and rather on the cool side, at least compared to our south-east European ones. So quite often you will spend the whole month of June with your eyes glued to the weather channel desperately hoping for the good news. If summer happens to fall on a weekend, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Die Zeit ist reif.  You have to do your best and cram as many outdoor activities as possible into two sun-blessed days.

If you, like us, also have kids, the jump course gets even harder, much like a triathlon or a hurdle race.

The birds will start chirping and mating at 4 a.m. so that is when you will wake up. At seven you will already have had your breakfast and shot out the door with your kids and buggy like a bullet out of a Colt revolver. By 9 a.m. you have already finished your rounds of the mandatory Spielplatz (a prerequisite for your children’s good mood in the next couple of hours). At 10 a.m. you are already making grown-up plans. Every year, with the advent of summer, the local culture scene absolutely explodes, and you find yourself juggling several possibilities at once.


“Do I go the the open-air theater piece, or do I choose the jazz festival?”  We chose jazz. The atmosphere downtown was vibrant, but many of the performances this year failed to electrify the audience.


No problem, there is plenty to choose from. In culinary terms, too. A swanky Italian place on the island will quench your hunger while titillating your taste buds in ways and flavors you never thought imaginable…

But after 9 long months of dampness and cold, you feel you must do something for your health and physique, as well. What do you do? Pay a visit to the public outdoor pool, go for a swim in the Danube, play beach volleyball, bask in the sun along the shores of nearby lakes or rent a boat and paddle up and down the Naab? We picked the latter alternative and had no regrets. Half-naked in our little kayak we drifted under weeping willows, close to yellow water lilies and submerged tree trunks. And then we basked some more. A grandiose dragonfly, black-laced, alighted next to the tip of our red boat. We held our breaths and stopped rowing for a minute…


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