Category: Culture Vulture

The Holidays Are Truly Over

It wasn’t too long ago that I was getting the house ready for Advent, Christmas, New Year, and most importantly, the arrival of my daughter from Florence. Once she was here my world was whole again, and whatever was missing or felt hollow was suddenly filled. But all good things come to an end, and

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Commuter Adventures: Selective Deafness

The photograph above was taken last night at the Berlin Rathaus Spandau subway station, to me one of the most beautiful and charming stations of the Berliner subway. There are a lot of interesting stations around the city, no doubt about that, but this one never ceases to enchant me. Call it home turf pride

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Christmas Countdown Day 2: Girl Power

When in Berlin for the holidays, my daughter inevitably visits her best friend. M and M have been friends since Pre-School and in spite of the fact that we moved away from Berlin in 2006 the girls managed to keep in touch in the most marvellous way, which I attribute to the magic of the

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Christmas Countdown Day 4: Enjoyment (or 'Twas The Revised Night Before Christmas)

Twas several nights before Christmas, when all through our streetEvery creature was stirring, even the crow, that cheat.The dogs were howling by the gate without a care,In hopes that the St Bernard from nearby would pass without a snare. The guards were nestled all wrapped and bound,While visions of chappatis danced in their heads around.And Mulan in

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Christmas Countdown Day 6: Funny Bones

It is quintessential Filipino to first fine the humour in tragedy or adversity. Whether it a political debacle or natural disaster, or even personal loss, the Filipino family will strive to find a way to continue to laugh together. For those who are not familiar with this peculiar trait, or who are married into it

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Christmas Countdown Day 9: The Right Tools

One of the aspects of living in Germany that I had to come to terms with very early on was this overwhelming DIY culture. This is the land of precision tools and exact measurements, and where carpenters, plumbers and painters can become certified masters in their own craft. The value placed on tools, trade and

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Christmas Countdown Day 12: Faith & Perseverance

December 12 is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For Catholics living in North, Central and South America, the legend of the Mexican Virgin Mary who appeared to Juan Diego has been part of everyone´s faith since 1531. I certainly grew up with it, and my parents adopted a special devotion to Nuestra

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Commuter Adventures: All Black Mornings

Maybe it is because I grew up in colourful countries and and lived most of my life among cultures where colour plays a major role in daily life, but what makes winter in Europe incredibly depressingis the fact that most people choose to wear dark blue, dark grey or black jackets and overcoats. For the

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Santa's Pole Dance

If Santa were allowed to have some fun on Christmas and were let loose around the German Christmas markets for some mulled wine (Glühwein), he would indeed end up doing the pole dance on one of Berlin’s numerous old-fashioned street lamps, especially if he visited all 80 Christmas markets in the city! Christmas in Germany

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Second Sunday of Advent Musings

Every day is ChristmasWhen you have the kind of mind,That stores up all the goodnessAnd the sweetness it can find.When you don’t need an occasion,To spread a bit of cheer,But just keep on a-giving,Of yourself throughout the year. Every day is Christmas,With a gaily wrapped surprise,When you’ve learnedTo see the friendship,In someone else’s eyes.When you

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