Klaus Hnilica
Saturday March 16th, 2019

Tenerife and its Thieving Magpies

Carl and Gerlinde (instalment # 61)

Honestly – for all normal humans, it is truly an extraordinary delight if they, at long last, can be gleeful without all restraint. At least, this is certainly true for Carl!

And he feels he can enjoy that glee particularly when it is about Tenerife. That island where Gerlinde, a few years ago, had sought refuge for a few weeks when, in a spell of mental incapacitation, she had thought she needed to separate from Carl. But then, what clear-minded woman would ever separate from Carl?

None – at least that is what Carl believes.

And in the end, Gerlinde did not really do it! Because as soon as she had seen what grandiose advantages this miraculous creature of a man had, she had commenced snuggling up to him again after surprisingly little time.

Naturally, he had been quite happy to have her back: after all, they had really gotten along brilliantly over all these years. And, to this day, he did not understand why she had needed this time-out at the time – and on this stupid island Tenerife to boot! He had never really liked it. And he also had never ever wanted to fly there.

And where he now – for the sake of peace – had flown again with Gerlinde. Just like all those other seven million tourists who spent time here every year. And they were old, fat, from England and Germany and France and even – who would have thought it possible – from Russia…

And Carl had to admit that this “Barceló“ in Puerto Santiago with its four stars was actually not a bad hotel. Even if he felt reluctant about admitting it: this hotel really sat near the black lava coast in such a picturesque way that it reminded you of a crusader. You could imagine starting your voyage at any moment. Directly into the Atlantic Ocean, passing San Sebastian, the Capitol City of Gomera, just like long ago Christopher Columbus who also, just like Carl and Gerlinde, had only the endless blue ocean in front of his nose every day and every night – and the stiff westerly breeze.

Admittedly, the splendid promenade along the small fisher harbour in this small town of Puerto Santiago, too, was not bad. Regardless of the many bad construction sins along the promenade that stretched far into the hinterland, even up the black volcanic slopes.

The lone diver, who was chained to a steel balustrade, looked funny. The contraption was probably meant against thieves and against the strong Kalima that blew from Africa all the time. He had advertisements from a diving school in his breast pocket and both his arms looked surprisingly unhappy as they hung down. And although his left hand had been bitten off – probably by a frustrated terrier –a long time ago, his right hand, wearing a red glove, courageously pointed into the thirty-metre abyss of a black Barancos that flowed into the near ocean directly behind him. Its powerful waves had been rising up and eating into the black lava coast for millions of years day in day out.

To the left behind the diver, you could see the newly built spectacular town fairground that jutted out far into the ocean and at the front end of which stood the statue of a deserving Spaniard. It was surrounded by Guanches that had visibly been treated poorly by the Spaniards, who had not left their work unfinished in the name of Christendom: with the exception of hints in the genes of the current population, nothing was left of them today.

Almost every other day, Carl and Gerlinde strolled along the fairground towards the Arena, enjoying the marvellous view onto the ocean and regularly making their way towards one of the typical pubs, where they would regard the lively atmosphere on the small beaches while sipping their Cortado and Aqua con Gas.

The same was true for this Thursday. Except that, today, the Kalima was blowing even stronger than before, which meant that at noon, when they were again commencing with their stroll, they were quasi surrounded by a permanent coat of sound. Countless tourists made their way through the broad pedestrians’ paths and practically every single pub along the street was firmly in the hands of semi-nude old men who mostly quietly sat behind huge beer glasses with their white-haired wives. However, when they spoke, what they said mostly sounded English, very seldom German and never Spanish.

When, almost in a fearfully good mood, Carl returned with Gerlinde in order to eat their usual portion of grilled sardines with ample rose wine at the Paraiso del Sol, he suddenly got the impression from the sound of the Kalima that something inside his body there was a short vibration. It was not the cell-phone he was carrying in his breast pocket. After the second vibration, he knew that it came from the backpack behind. He quickly turned around and even touched one of the two darkly attired, black-haired women who were far too close behind him but showed not the slightest degree of surprise.

Instead, they passed him without any reaction. All of a sudden, he found himself annoyed at being by himself, took the backpack from his back and unbelievingly stared at the two wide-open compartments of his backpack with the scarves, hats, water-bottle, spectacle container and hairbrush in it. In shock, he called for Gerlinde who had walked a few steps ahead and not noticed anything about the two ladies before her – probably Roma – having intended to steel from him. They probably had not found anything interesting in his backpack.

Still in the process of calling, Carl, besides a paralyzing helplessness, felt an intense anger rise inside and would really have liked to overwhelm those two pick-pockets immediately. However, these two were not even reacting to his calling out to Gerlinde. Instead, they pretended that all this racket had nothing to do with them. In fact, they even positioned themselves next to the chained diver, took a leaflet out of his breast pocket and studied it with interest.

Carl felt that he, too, with his open backpack, had to be there and was there in a few strides. However his study of the leaflets consisted of constantly gazing at the two dark magpies, which they did not even seem to notice.

Suddenly, Gerlinde stood next to him and said: “Carl, I will now go and buy those shoes we saw together yesterday in the shop over there”.

”Okay“, Carl said apathically, without actually knowing what Gerlinde was talking about. He continued staring at the two black ghosts before him…

”But I will need some money from you, I do not carry any money on me. I am sure you have it in the front backpack pocket as usual, don’t you?“

Before Carl could react, she lifted the backpack that Carl had hanging over his arm and miraculously produced four 50-Euro-bills out of the third small backpack compartment that the beasts had not opened and that only contained Aspirin and a few drugs. She then disappeared without another word to the opposite side of the street.

Suddenly, Carl got the impression that the two black misery messengers no longer kept their painfully preserved facade of good temper: they replaced the leaflet back in the diver’s breast pocket with such a jerk that he almost toppled over regardless of his chains. Then they hurried away. As their distance from him grew, the venom they showered each other with increased. At least to Carl it looked like they were accusing each other of having spoiled a huge chance in a truly amateurish way.

And Carl not only realized suddenly why he was so deeply in love with his boisterous Gerlinde, but also and above all felt the heart-warming power of justified glee rising from inside…

K.H.
(Translated by EG)

PS:
In Instalment (XXI)
Hinter Sonnenbrillen vor Gomera
loves Gerlinde her time on Teneriffa!

Klaus Hnilica
Sunday January 28th, 2018

Pouring Water on Hot Stones

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment # 56)

Basically, the year 2018 had begun quite well.

At least for Carl. And the same was true for Gerlinde.

Visiting the sauna as early as the third Sunday afternoon of the month, which actually was in January, had been an absolutely great idea of Gerlinde’s.

Naturally, when Carl finally came strutting into the overheated cabin, she had already been lying naked on her sauna towel and luxuriating for quite some time.

The critical glimpse she gave him when he arranged his towels on the sauna bench were not really something new – he knew and felt it …

If you continue to refuse more exercise, you will soon need to wear my brassiere, was her uncouth – and perspiring – comment.

Are you saying that you consider your own bosom too small and consequently we are looking at plans for a beauty operation? Carl sanctimoniously asked – he was not yet perspiring.

No, that is not what I am saying. I am totally satisfied with my bosom, thank you very much.

So there is not going to be a breast expansion, including skin smoothing in the near future, Carl murmured while he kept rearranging his already perfectly arranged sauna towel. The small towel that lay at the top end and had been folded several times, too, was perfectly arranged.

No, Carl – but looking at you, I find that your body offers quite a bit of potential for smoothing.

Well – then why don’t you look the other way …

That is what I do most of the time, anyway. But there are times, like this one, when I can hardly avoid looking at you. And then I notice that you are no longer what you used to be, Carl.

At long last and without another words, Carl very diligently took his place on the very meticulously arranged sauna bench, after having given Gerlinde an unnerved grin.

Especially your breasts go more and more south! Gerlinde insisted.
Hm – and that is why I should wear your brassieres? Carl asked as the first beads of perspiration appeared on his face, on his stomach and between his buttocks.

No, that is not what I suggest – but how about shovelling in less chocolate?
Well, you know, Gerlinde, not everybody has to have your slimness mania and wants to look as corpse-like as you!

No, that is absolutely true, but then, nor does everybody need to be so lazy and overeating as you have become in recent years, my dear Carl.

You are rather snappish today, aren’t you, said Carl. He made his cumbersome way from the sauna bench and poured four ladles of water over the sauna coal. He knew that this would soon be too hot for Gerlinde.

She actually gave a short moan, but then she said: well, Carl, go ahead. After all, you are the one with the more sensitive heart condition!

Do you know, Gerlinde, what I would like best right now? I would really like to place you under the cold shower and keep you there until you have returned to being your normal and peace-loving self.

Why don’t you? You can also flagellate me, chain me to the cooling bed or torture me in some other way, but …

But what?

But alternatively, you could activate your cervix and ask yourself if, maybe, it would be a good idea to torture your own Apollo-like body, instead of always just …

What exactly do you mean when you say torture? Carl’s comment when he interrupted sounded somewhat tormented.

All I mean is that you might decide to exercise more and develop healthier eating habits.

Ah, Carl moaned while turning left on his sauna towel with a lot of perspiring and moaning. Now, for the first time, he actually had Gerlinde in his line of vision.

He continued by asking if, with this, she wanted to hint at ’modern times’ now being ahead for them, too!

You really tend to be extremely drama-oriented when something does not work exactly as you wanted it to, Gerlinde lamented.

Well, isn’t that inevitable if now I am threatened with lactose intolerance, veganism and Helene Fischer, rather than sex, drugs and Rock’n Roll!

What strange slogans you always come up with, Carl!

Yes – yours truly and his slogans.

What is so evil about people being health-conscious and taking good care of their body? Gerlinde murmured to herself.

Well, if you do not understand, my dear Gerlinde, then I cannot help you, either – in fact, now I have to get some fresh air, otherwise I will really go crazy with all this over-heated nonsense …

But be cautious, Carl. Our overweight neighbour is always eyeing your bacon hump, or whatever!

And you will keep a watchful eye on her wire-haired dachshund – who will never say no to a bone…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday December 26th, 2016

Touring Central America

An “Alien” on a Huge Ship.

We returned from our ocean trip on Christmas Eve and already spent two wonderful days in our “home sweet home”. The repercussions of the trip are still with me – now I reflect all those many adventures that happened during fourteen very intense days.

In the last two weeks, we visited eight countries. From La Romana in the Dominican Republic, we went to Jamaica, then Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and back to La Romana via Santo Domingo.

Just as we had hoped and anticipated, it was pleasantly warm in the Caribbean. Whenever clouds showed up, they were welcome, because the prevented us from getting sunburn, regardless of us basically always staying outside and enjoying the fresh air. The rest of the time, sun and rain switched places frequently, with advantages in favour of the sun. Once in a while, there was quite some wind.

It was night for almost thirteen hours, and I mean a rather dark kind of night. That meant there was always enough time to really get enough sleep. Keeping our balcony door open, we enjoyed the sound of the water at night. More than eleven hours of the day, the sun shone really bright – which was enough time fill with intense adventures.

To be sure, it was a typical “all included” trip on a huge ship with more than 2,000 passengers. There were plenty of animations on diverse big and small stages. As often on cruisers, they tried to make the passengers feel that theirs was a glamorous world of luxury.

As far as we were concerned, we defined the boat trip a little differently and did not organize it in the same way as the majority of passengers. Consequently, we always stayed outdoors and did not eat in the big or small restaurants inside the ship a single time.

Instead, we always ate in one of the two small beer-garden-like open-air restaurants. And it almost went without saying that we never attended one of those many shows that actually fascinated many of our fellow travellers. This is how it became a very simple vacation, just for Barbara and me.

A private “crusader” in Roatán (Honduras).

In the daytime, we spent each day in one of six countries and two days in various places in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Dependent on the situation, we spent six out of ten days away from others, hiking privately and once riding rented bikes. We took up offered trips twice. At night, we were always on the ocean. The same is true for the four ocean days during which we let our souls relax and digested what we had experienced.

Two gigantic ships meeting in Cozumel (Mexico).

During the next few days, I will relate what went through my head in all those days. For instance that we actually visited three countries that do not have their own armies and how we saw that the majority of people living in those countries were very happy and proud of this fact.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

As you all know, it is always my pleasure to advertise concerts by the Arcis-Vocalisten in my IF Blog. One of the reasons is that Evelyn is a passionate part of the choir, another reason is that their concerts are always a very special experience for the audience!

Mozart

 

 

 

Translation:

“Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I consider it the inner beauty of the universe itself” (Albert Einstein).

“The taste of death is upon my tongue. I feel something that is not of this world” (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, last words on Dec, 5, 1791).

In Mozart’s mysterious legacy, his last work, this masterpiece of a requiem, both unquestionable faith and the constant mental occupation with death are ever-present. When, in July 1791, Earl Walsegg of Stuppach commissioned the requiem, Mozart thus composed his own death eulogy. Numerous legends have been told around the work, partly also promoted by the cinema hit “Amadeus”. The Requiem is one of the most touching works of clerical music and especially its religious depth and narrative drama make it such a unique and fascinating composition.

And it gets even better:
For IF Blog readers who would like to go to the concert, we have a special discount. Just contact me . The magic word is “Mozart“!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Here is another upcoming concert by the Arcis-Vocalisten on Silvester evening: Beethoven and Bruckner!

If you want something very special for the turn of the year!

I always tell you about the Arcis-Vocalisten concerts – not only because Evelyn (EG) is one of the singers, but also because the concerts are always something special, filling the hearts of the audience with great joy!

Beethoven

 

Translation:

“Music aims at filling your heart with noble emotions” (Confucius).

The 9th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most popular monumental masterpieces, the culmination point of his composing career. There is no other work that suggests the ideas of peace, freedom and fraternity more forcefully than this one. With its grandiose choir finish using Frederik Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” and its message of the fraternity of all humans, it is an elemental ritual to perform at the turn of the year: “All humans will be brothers where your gentle wing is present”.

We have a special discount for IF Blog readers who want to go to the concert …

All you need to do is contact me. The password is “Beethoven“.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday February 12th, 2016

Three Phrases that can Destroy all Joy and Courage.

And I mean both for yourself and for others.

So klein ist der Mensch. Am linken Rand Muhamed, Führer und Freund.

We are back home! Humans are such small creatures. On the left, you can see Muhamed, our guide and friend.

Last week was the first time I saw the tombs and temples of the Pharaos. I learned many new things and had time to ponder.
I became aware of three phrases that can make life harder. The first one is

Yes, BUT …“
Early in life, I learned that it is probably not a good idea to say “yes, but” too often. It happened while I underwent management coaching.

In entrepreneurial everyday-life, I sometimes suffered under the “yes, but” attitude of the people around me. It probably never gained us very much.

When we decided
Hurrah, we will go on our first ever cultural Nile river trip!
the phrase re-surfaced.
I often heard it – sometimes I even heard myself saying it.

Yes, but what about our carbon dioxide footprint …
(a problem I take rather seriously) 
Yes, but aren’t cultural trips always so tedious …
(a temple a day, and sometimes two…)
Yes, but what about the long travel until we get there …
(it took almost 13 hours, first the train to Nuremberg, then the flight to Hurghada on the Red Sea and from there the bus to Luxor – another 380 km).
Yes, but we cannot do it because of the terrorist threat …
(while two trains collided in Munich)
and so on, and so forth …
And how stupid we would have been had we abstained from this trip!
The second phrase I mean is
Being opposed to something!

How often do I catch myself opposing something?
I oppose the gigantic subsidies of business cars. I oppose fascism. I oppose the stupidity of politicians. I oppose the coal harbour on the Barrier Reef in Australia. I oppose waste of food. I oppose bureaucracy. And so on, and so forth …

Just a few years ago, my friend Jolly Kunjappu declared that “being opposed to something” is a negative concept that will push you down. Why don’t we, instead, focus on what is nice, what we like and what we appreciate? This concept will give us courage and joy.

The third phrase is one that I was made aware of by Moslam last week. Moslam was our guide during our Nile river trip. We became friends. He regularly travels to Germany. Consequently, we also talked about his experiences in my home country and he told me how it always moves him when his German friends keep saying:
“We must …“

I know very well from my own experience what he means. I must go and buy some milk. After that, I must write an IF Blog article and evaluate business plans. And then I must meet Barbara for lunch at the Artemis (the Greek restaurant just around the corner). And in the afternoon, I must meet friends from the university at the Forschungsbrauerei for the brown ale initiation. And tomorrow, I must go and attend the F.re.e

But then, isn’t it wonderful that I can go and buy milk. After all, it is not at all a matter of course that, just around the corner, you can buy good milk in the brown bottle with 3.8 % fat. It actually still tastes like milk! And I always enjoy dining at the Artemis, because there the food tastes excellent and the Greek landlord and landlady are always so friendly. The Forschungsbrauerei, too, is always worth visiting and at the F.re.e , there are so many impulses waiting to tell me what I can do – thanks to the diversity of cultures and regions on our great planet.

These are all things I enjoy doing, because they are just wonderful – so why would I have to do them?

In a nutshell, I would say:
It pays to think and write in a “positive” way. If that is what you decide to do, you will feel and think more and more like it!

Pure luxury between Luxor and Assuan. Isn’t life just great?

Luxus pur von Luxor nach Assuan. Das Leben ist schön!

Luxus pur von Luxor nach Assuan. Das Leben ist schön!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Today, I do a little advertising for the Torturmtheater in Sommerhausen.

Between October, 8th and December, 20th, 2015, they perform a wonderful play – always between Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., on Saturdays at 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. and additionally on the advent Sundays, also at 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m..

The name of the play is:
Our Woman

and it is by

Eric Assous


Directed by Christine Neuberger, the cast are 
Joachim BauerAlexander Diepold and Armin Hägele.

“Our Women” is a piece with not a single women playing in it. And yet, women are (more than) omnipresent.

The head of the Torturmtheater is Angelika Relin. Again and again, she manages to bring great plays onto the small stage. I was lucky enough to be present at the premiere performance on October, 8th – and it was again wonderful. Consequently, I can only recommend the short overnight vacation to the theatre, if you spend the night at Sommerhausen. And here is a secret for you: the best way to get there is by train to Winterhausen. From there, you only have to walk 800 metres across the river Main bridge until you reach the small Sommerhausen theatre.

Here are a few pictures that show the immense dynamics of the play.

Torturmtheater-unsereFrauen1

The round of card players starts quite poorly – one of them is late and confesses to having committed murder.

Torturmtheater-unsereFrauen2

A long night with many stories and alcohol take their toll.

Torturmtheater-unsereFrauen3

The solidarity among friends will get the upper hand.

Torturmtheater-unsereFrauen4

But then, something happens to bring everything off balance again.

If you need any advice about your theatre trip to Sommerhausen (travelling there, accommodations, food, sightseeing,…), you are welcome to ask me. And here is there you can order tickets.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday February 23rd, 2015

Gone to the Island … #noweb

No Internet between February, 26th and March, 14th, 2015

Flag_of_Cuba.On Thursday, (February, 26th), I will fly to Cuba. We are taking the Air Berlin direct connection from Munich to Varadero. And our two Utopias, Silbermöwe and Roadster, will travel with us.

Barbara and yours truly will spend exactly two weeks riding our bikes as far as possible through the long island. During our preparations, we learned that, in Cuba, the internet is not yet very common. Apparently, the only way to get internet access is from special tourist hotels.

Typische Verkehrsszene auf einer Landstraße zwischen Santiago de Cuba und Holguín (2008)

Typical traffic scene on a secondary road between Santiago de Cuba and Holguín (2008)

I plan to turn misery into a virtue and live without the internet for two weeks. It will be a first since many, many years ago in my life.

So: #nointernet and #noweb. #noTwitter and #noFacebook. Away from the virtual world. Into the real world.

Also, I will not plan anything, neither will I have an agenda. No itinerary. Just living in the here and now and enjoy life. Simply strolling through Cuba on our bikes – with wide open eyes and ears and, above all, with an open heart. Enjoying the sun and the warm air. And of an evening, I will just have to see where destiny takes us and where we can find a place to stay.

It also means that, during those two weeks, I will write/publish no IF blog articles. So: also #noIFBlog!

Havanna – Blick auf das Kapitol

Havanna –the capitoll

I might write down a few impressions and take a few pictures of the travels. You will get to read them afterwards.

Other than that, I want to totally liberate my brains from everyday concerns. And leave everything back in Munich that belongs there. And live in Cuby one hundred per cent.

Neither will I write my memoirs, regardless of the fact that there might be some rather interesting things to tell, especially about the last few years. …

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took all the pictures from Wikipedia.
“Flag of Cuba“
“Havanna  Capitol” – Author: Breogan67
“Traffic scene on a secondary road” – Author: Escla
All licenced under common property in Wikimedia Commons

P.S.1
Well, it would certainly be awesome – twittering from Cuba, wouldn’t it?

Roland Dürre
Monday January 6th, 2014

The Deutsche Bahn and the Döner in Lindau

I spent Friday night and Saturday in Switzerland, staying with my partner Wolf. He lives in Goldach on the lake Bodensee. As usual, I went by train.

My favourite route is through Lindau. You go from Munich via Buchloe, Kaufbeuern, Kempten, Immenstadt, Oberstaufen and see the entire beautiful Allgäu. I always enjoy it very much. And while I travel, I can read a little bit and prepare for various topics.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to buy a ticket all the way to Goldach in Munich. You can neither do it on the internet, nor at the counter. To be sure, you can buy a ticket to St. Margrethen, but not to the small villages such Rorschach or – well – Goldach. The same was again true last week.

Mind your, I can easily print the time schedule to Goldach via Lindau in Germany. First, you take the Alex to Lindau. Consequently, I buy a “Bayern Ticket”. It is valid as far as Lindau, where I have to change anyway.

Normally, the change of trains to the Bregenz S-Bahn or even directly to St. Margrethen takes a little more than 20 minutes. That means I usually have enough time to purchase my ticket for the way from Lindau to Goldach in Lindau.

This time, however, my schedule says I only have five minutes. And since a German train is never on time, this will be tight. Of course, I was right. Although my Alex was on time all the rest of the way, it had to sit in front of a red signal for five minutes just before Lindau Central Station.

And (of course) we arrive late in Lindau. The connecting train to Bregenz/St. Magrethen is waiting, but the voice coming through the loudspeaker advises us to hurry. However, I have no ticket for continuing my travel. Nor can you buy a ticket in Austrian trains.

Consequently, I must make up my mind real quick.

Alternative 1: board without valid ticket.
The risk of being caught is not very high. The train ticket is about 10 Euros, as far as I know, the penalty is 40 Euros. The risk of getting caught is actually even lower than 10 %. Following game theory, a lot can be said in favour of riding without a valid ticket.

Alternative 2: buy ticket.
If I buy a ticket, I will arrive forty minutes later. And additional inconveniences will follow: I have to inform my friend about my delayed arrival, because he told me he is going to meet me. Also, I have to change more often. And the stay in Lindau is rather long.

Decision: Döner-Man
.
I remember the Döner Man at Lindau Railway Station. The Döner he sells is really tasty. Consequently, what I do is not go towards the Bregenz S-Bahn to St. Margrethen. Instead, I turn towards the Lindau Station concourse.

The first thing I do is buy my ticket to Goldach. I have to use an Austrian ticket machine. Because the German ticket machine cannot deliver. I pay 10.50 Euros for the short way from Lindau to Goldach.
For those of you who never go by train: Lindau, just like Salzburg used to be (Germany/Austria) or St. Margrethen (Austria/Switzerland) is a Border Station ; you will find the ticket machines for two railway companies.
Afterwards, I go to the Döner Man, wishing to buy a Döner. Since I now have plenty of time, I take a closer look at the prices. In Lindau, you get the “normal” Döner for 4 Euros. The tasty one with cheese is 4.50 Euros and the Dürüm Döner is five Euros!

Some way or other, I seem to remember totally different Döner prices. Even without thinking way back to times when we paid with the Deutsche Mark.

Now I offer a bet: five years from now, the normal Döner at Lindau Central Station will be 7.50 Euros or more. And the ticket from Lindau to Goldach will be at least twice the price of the Döner.

Who wants to bet against me?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
In the evening, we meet Barbara in St. Margarethen. All the Swiss trains on the display are on time. Only one train – the EC from Germany – is expected to be late. The loudspeaker just says: “Due to something that happened abroad, the train will be 10 minutes late”.

On the way back, something similar happened. We departed Switzerland and Lindau (!) on time, then had to wait for the second part of the train in Immenstadt. We changed trains in Buchloe – fortunately, the connection to Munich was also late. …

Roland Dürre
Friday December 20th, 2013

Singing Elks ..

A particularly nice Christmas Greeting was sent to me by our author Klaus Hnlica. Klaus is the one who writes the series on Carl & Gerlinde which always makes me smile.

But once in a while, he will also write a poem – like for the 2013 Christmas:

They asked me: do elks sing?
And if so, does it sting?
Besides, what kind of song
Would make them not sound wrong?
A “Silent Night” with antlers donned
Might sound a little way beyond!

In fact, it might scare all the bears
And even hurt the hunters’ ears!
And just imagine, what a deer
Might feel about such curious cheer?
A crow might quite correctly claim
That even she has better aim
With pitch and tunes than you can hear
From where the foal and cow are near.

Yet Joe and Mary seem just fine,
Their youngster sounds to them divine.
His iPhone link knows all his needs,
He flicks his tongue, delights and feeds.
If Apple could an elk just teach
How best her high notes she could reach:

Why not with head-sets as an aid?
Is that not why they have been made?
At long last, we would then achieve
What some have never dared believe:
The network concept works indeed
For human-mammal language need.

The entire Christmas season gains
If elks and humans share their brains.
The churches, too, would be so cosy
With elks that want to get a posy.
They would be belling songs of old,
With Christmas stories being told!

Yet here at home, this year we will
Need neither elks, nor network spill,
Because all the children have arrived
To show that their own offspring thrived.
And just like every year it sounds
Our Christmas Corals making rounds!

A heartfelt Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from Brigitte and Klaus Hnilica
Rodenbach, December 2013.

Now I wonder if elks could also sing in Bavarian dialect.

RMD

P.S.
And for all lovers of singing elks, here comes Elks 2.0:

They asked me: do elks sing?
And if so, does it sting?
Besides, what kind of song
Would make them not sound wrong?

A “Silent Night” with antlers donned
Might sound a little way beyond!
In fact, it might scare all the bears
And even hurt the hunters’ ears!

And just imagine, what a deer
Might feel about such curious cheer?
A crow might quite correctly claim
That even she has better aim
With pitch and tunes than you can hear
From where the foal and cow are near.

Yet Joe and Mary seem just fine,
Their youngster sounds to them divine.
His iPhone link knows all his needs,
He flicks his tongue, delights and feeds.
If Apple could an elk just teach
How best her high notes she could reach:

Why not with head-sets as an aid?
Is that not why they have been made?
At long last, we would then achieve
What some have never dared believe:
The network concept works indeed
For human-mammal language need.

The entire Christmas season gains
If elks and humans share their brains.
The churches, too, would be so cosy
With elks that want to get a posy.
They would be belling songs of old,
With Christmas stories being told!

Even Pope Francis would agree
To use his App and bless all thee,
All elks and humans could then share
The bread and wine and really care.
For what we need is rather plain:
Money should us freedom gain.

Klaus Hnilica
(Translated by EG)