Saturday, 21 January 2012

My new obsession

Since March 11 2011, when Japan was hit by a heavy earthquake that was followed by a tsunami which devastated a large area, I realised how little I know about Japan, a country that is part of our lives every day. Think of all the electronic devices you have. All of them are either completely made in Japan or at least contain Japanese products. Here in Germany, one of the kids' channels shows animes all the time (not necessarily the good ones). When I was in my early teenage years, some of my favourite shows were animes. I still like watching Sailor Moon, although I now see how cheesy it is. But as a teenage girl, I loved all the romance in it and the idea of having a soulmate that you've loved throughout different lives and worlds.
One of my favourite shows even today is Detective Conan. I love detective stories (I'm a huge fan of Monk and Psych, too!) and Detective Conan is very losely connected to Sherlock Holmes, one of my all time favourite book heroes. Unfortunately only the first 300something episodes were translated into German. Some fans sat down and translated the other 400-500 episodes with subtitles on youtube, so I listen to the Japanese conversations while reading the subtitles.

Anyway, since the catastrophy I also made it a major topic in my Geography classes and got more and more caught up by the fascination with that country. I bought several books on Japan and when we visited this year's book fair, Japan and Japanese culture was one of the big topics. I bought several mangas there and found several series that I like reading.
I even got myself some self-learning Japanese language books, but as with crafting, I am just lacking time to sit down and learn the two alphabets.
The whole cosplay idea is still a little strange to me, especially when boys dress up as female characters. Some kids, however, put a lot of time and money into their costumes and I wouldn't mind wearing one during carneval, too. But I guess with being almost 29 I am too old for walking around in a costume at the book fair. *sigh* ;)

I've always loved Asian food, too, and I have now several favourite Asian restaurants we go to on a regular basis. One of them we discovered during "Japan week", an event in cooperation between Frankfurt and Japan that has taken place several times in the past few years. For me, it was the first time I've been there. We discovered it accidentally on our way to the museum to visit an Egyptian exhibition. They had several places throughout the city with Japanese events all week. As we didn't know about it we didn't get any tickets for the tea ceremony or the theatre, but we still visited the open air stage to see the performances there. Around the stage you found a mixture of Japanese and German food booths. Of course, during Japan week I am not going to eat German Bratwurst, you just have to try the Japanese food. And what a good decision that was! Our new favourite restaurant MoschMosch had a booth there and immediately won us over with their Red Curry, a wonderfully mildly spicy chicken and vegetable dish on noodles and curry sauce.
They also had a booth there from Osaka that sold octopus balls. We had never eaten them before and the queue was so long, so it had to be good. The first time we waited in line for about 40minutes and my lovely husband almost started a fight. There was this guy trying to cut in line and my husband told him off. The group of people waiting right behind us jumped right onto that discussion because they were also annoyed by people constantly sneaking in somewhere before us. That moment I wished I didn't know my husband! Luckily, the guy was smart enough to leave. I am pretty sure the guys behind us would have beaten the crap out of him if he hadn't.
Now, y0u wonder, were these octopus balls really that good that someone would risk a fight for them? Yes, they were! They were deliiiicious! Their booth even had to close a day early because they ran out of ingredients so fast!

Now, why am I telling you all about my new obsession? Because my wonderful husband took me to Frankfurt today. We shopped at the Asian store (I bought a microwave rice cooker, which means I can make sushi rice to take in a lunch box! - and I bought 3 super big Japanese manga books that were on sale for only 3 Euros each), looked around the Manga department at the book store, and then we had dinner at MoschMosch. We got Edamame and, of course, Red Curry! Mmmmmm! It was a perfect afternoon after a rough week at work.
And tomorrow I will make sushi!


Friday, 20 January 2012

What a year!

Hey everybody!

I know it's been a while, but since my last post a lot of things have happened: I found a new job, I moved, and I got married! My husband is now living with me in Germany and he went through several language classes with the Goethe institut. I am very proud of how much German he has learnt, even when he feels like he should have accomplished more. I think he is doing just fine and he will get better over time now that he is interacting with people. Although many of them switch to English as soon as they hear his accent. ;)

But let's step back a few months. Our wedding was fantastic and aaaabsolutely perfect! Everything turned out just the way we wanted them to. For it being the end of September we had wonderful summer temperatures.
We had two weddings, one was the civil ceremony with all the paperwork, the other one was on the castle I wrote about last year. The first ceremony was quite long and not very solemn, because all the official documents had to be read out in German and then again in English through the interpreter. That took a lot of time and there wasn't really much of a wedding atmosphere. But the party afterwards was great.
My dog team was there with all the dogs, my mom's friends were there as well as lots of neighbours. We had sparkling wine and orange juice outside the civil registry office and then rode back in our neighbour's horse carriage along the fields, waving to people who drove by in their cars. I wore a beautiful red gown with a golden vest. Both I got at David's Bridal in the US, just like my wedding gown. A friend of mine did my hair and make-up and she used the flowers I made as a very nice side accessory.

A woman who used to live in the village and owns a flower shop made my very nice bouquet. Of course I wanted to have my dog included in the wedding pictures, so I got him this very nice suit-neck-thingi to make him look more festive, too.

Back home we finished preparing everything for the polterabend and I had to finish the menu cards for the reception the next day. But eventually we got everything done in time with lots of help from the villagers. From what I've heard my new American family enjoyed themselves tasting all the wines and drinks at the village's hotel and made lots of friends. Everybody just loved the "crazy Americans" who were a lot of fun to be around with. My mom got congratulated for getting such a great new extention to the family.
For those who don't know what a polterabend is: it includes lots of people, lots of food, smashed plates that the couple has to clean up together, silly games, music, and people enjoying themselves.

The next day was just wonderful. Again great weather and I loved my wedding gown. The owner of one of the local hotels are friends with an oldtimer fan who rents out his cars. We got a very nice black car that he drove himself, we got a wonderful flower piece on top of it that matched my bouquet. We also got small bouguets for my bridesmaids and for the two mothers. The guys all got small flowers to attach to their suits. All of the flowers were red and cream, just like the rest of our colours. My bridesmaids were supposed to wear the same dress. I brought the one for my sister with me when I returned from the US, the other one had to be ordered. Unfortunately they messed the order up and delivered a junior size instead of an adult size. So my maid of honor got a dress in the same colour but in a different cut. It still looked fantastic!
The ceremony was also great. Our village's priest did great by making it a bilingual ceremony. She didn't really repeat her own words, but the message was close and very harmoneous. And of course everyone loved the castle and the rose garden with the grape vines hanging above us like a roof.

The view down onto the river was just beautiful. A guy I know from my teenage church group played the keyboard for us and he chose some very good songs to underline the ceremony.
After the ceremony we had our photographer take lots of pictures. We have so many pictures now that we love and we can't really decide which one's our favourite! The castle offered so many great locations to take pictures in.

After the castle we drove to our reception. All the menu cards were sitting there on the table and every guest got a little wooden treasure box filled with wedding almonds and M&Ms. We had packed those a week before and handed them to the reception people along with the menu cards. The cards matched again our colour theme and the invitations cards, they were just a little bigger and had more food related pictures on the cover. :D
The food was great. We had a buffet with lots of different entrés to choose from, we had 3 different main courses, and a huge ice cream pyramid as desert. Everybody's favourite was the crispy duck. Oh, and a wedding cake, of course, that was served along with the ice cream.

People are still talking about what a great wedding it was and that we put the bar up quite high for all the other weddings to come. My sister as well as my cousins, and my husband's cousins are not married, so they'll have a hard time matching our magical fairy tale wedding.

Oh, but as this is my crafting blog, I also have to mention that my wedding jewelry looked great on me as well as on the bridesmaids! ;)

Since then I haven't had much time to create. Work just kept me busy, along with helping and checking my husband's German homework for language class every evening. I didn't even have time to make my own Christmas gifts this year. Thank god to Amazon online shopping and gift shopping is so easy!
We spent Christmas in the US this year. All the family was there as well as our friends and their four big dogs. So you can imagine that it was quite an event! My husband got an iPad for Christmas, so since then he was quite wrapped up in exploring all the functions of his new toy. ;) After 2 days of me not being able to get him away from it I picked up knitting again and started a new scarf project. Originally, I wanted to make a hat as I got a hat for Christmas that I really liked and I wanted to make another one of that kind. But I was quite out of practice. That's why I started a scarf. I am still working on it. It turned out a little wider that I thought it would be, so it takes quite long to get some length to it. Hopefully now that we're back in Germany and I've been back at work for two weeks I will find the time to finish it bit by bit.

So much for now. I am not gone, just a little quiet. :)