Monday, August 3, 2009

Koetzting, Church Bells, Beer, Food & Eurocard

Home again after 6 years, the flight was uneventful if you can ignore the fact that tired and bored toddlers do not travel well. Our main flight from Detroit to Amsterdam was full of them.

The car ride from Munich to home was quite interesting, 120kmh plus on the autobahn and then a very picturesque slower drive through the mountains of the Bavarian Forest to my home town of Koetzting.

The band is the city band that plays for all occasions where parade music or a concert is necessary, they are absolutely great and I love to hear those songs they really bring back my childhood......oh boy.... and I am not the sentimental type.

The first weekend we had our Buergerfest with lots of good beer, food, loud music, stone lifting and fingerhackeln. It was a good start to our vacation and we had a chance to meet a lot of friends who came back home for this. People were still singing and drinking at 3 am and that would have been just fine since on vacation one can always sleep in but then I totally forgot about the church bells. At 6am come hell or high water and especially then, the bells ring for mass very loud and lots of them. Now as the crow flies my window is about 200 feet away from those bells and they ring for about 3-4 minutes, and then also every fifteen minutes throughout the day and night. Once for the first 15 minutes of the hour, twice for the half hour, thrice for three quarter of an hour and then four times for the full hour with one bell and the number of hours with another bell after that. So like Cinderella you can count the bell strikes at midnight before your fancy car turns into a pumpkin.

Since being home just walking through town is a bit hazardous to my health due to the fact that I meet people every few yards or so and get invited to beer, food and long chats, and one has to be polite and cannot say no.The amounts of beer and wine I have consumed since arriving here would sustain an adult quite well if you looked at it from a caloric standpoint. Beyond that if I count all the pretzels, cake and rolls I had to eat since I really should not live from alcohol alone, I would need to start working in a rock quarry or similar in order to use up all the 'energy' I consumed.
On the flip side our town and in particular my home sits on top of a hill, quite a steep hill and this allows me to look at this as two rock quarries ( going by the afore mentioned theory ) and so I am eating accordingly. I have already enjoyed plenty of sausages, and roasted piglet, horse sausages, blood sausages, Pommes mit Mayo and real smoked Wieners not just colored ones, Suelze with all kinds of odd bits from a pig and many more.... but I probably will not get a veal's head this year since my mother hates to cook it and there is not a butcher in town anymore who would have one to explain some of these odd food choices you need to know this was a very poor, hilly farming country and not a thing was wasted. You could not afford to; in order to survive, any critter and most of its bits were used and very successfully so, and in a most tasty way.
But this area also has an abundance of tasty sweets. The reason for this is the catholic church who has been trying to keep the people here on the straight and narrow with mixed results.
We have some strange customs and also many pagan ones that the church learned to live with. Not eating meat on Fridays has resulted in a fantastic assortment of very rich and tasty sweets many of them can be eaten as a main course and naturally I have to test everything and make sure it is still as good as always. Zwetschgendatschi, Bienenstich, Nussecken, Teeblaetter, Kaesekuchen, Striezel, Rohrnudeln und husband who loves sweets is no help whatsoever in holding back on sweets, if anything he buys more and then I have to at least try and end up eating half of whatever he ordered. You need to google all these goodies and I am sure you'll find a site. Olli Leeb also has a great Bavarian Cookbook that was once published in German and English that has recipes and stories of old customs.


The house I grew up in, ( the one on the right in yellow or in the very top picture / the pink one was my dowry) has a new cafe that opened in 08 and I have to say I like it. I am sitting in what was once my parents' old living room. The kitchen as well as my playroom downstairs are now also part of the restaurant/cafe. called Clemens which is my father's first name.
The town has really grown and you can check it out on and currently we have a nationally known yearly theater production going on which you can check out under

Below is one of the older houses in town - downtown on the banks of the river.

old Hunger Turm and part of the castle walls with the Main church. The town was first mentioned in writing somewhere around the year 1100 AD. It's been around a while.

Shopping is another matter though, my credit card company runs these lovely ads enticing you to travel all over Europe and shows these idyllic little towns that accept nothing but my card, well let me tell you not my town of 7,500. A little while ago I left a stack of baby clothes in the biggest department store in town, due to the fact that all you seem to be able to pay with anywhere is Eurocard. When I asked the somewhat disinterested young lady at the register what a person not coming from Europe should do, she shrugged her shoulders..... Oh I miss my American customer service. Here there was no smile or a ´I am truly sorry`, or´ there is bank down the street` etc... no just a shoulder shrug and then she kept pricing product which I interrupted her from.
This was not the first store I had this issue with and I understand the fact of higher fees for the store owner but since 99.999% of customers do have Eurocard why not accept at least one of the world wide cards most overseas tourist have all three or four major cards in their wallet.
I am seriously debating a letter to the editor in one of our 2 newspapers here in town.

For today I have to come to a close, tomorrow we are off to Furth in Wald for the Drachenstich the oldest Festival in this corner of the world. I have more pictures that I have to post and put some captions with it.
I will do this over the weekend if all goes well
Now I need to figure out what's for dinner..............

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