Sunday, July 09, 2006


Passau is such a cool little town. Not much to do, but plenty to see. Everyone is really chilled and the weather has been fairly peachy with some great storms to break the heat up. The place I'm staying has a great vibe, with several floors filled with fun people and a nice little yard out the back to sit and read in. The river Inn is about 10 metres away from the back fence and there is a little bar/cafe next door where one of the girls in the house grudgingly works at. Most of the girls here all study cultural economics or something like that. There's no consistent English translation of the subject, but it involves economics and how cultures interact with it. They all find it boring, but because they are all dong it, it seems to dominate the topic of conversation.

Okk.. so here's a role call of who lives where:

Nora - my contact through hospitality club. I'm not sure if she has given up her bed for me, but she doesn't seem to have a room. Defiantly the blokiest of the girls, with a rough and ready attitude towards life. A great laugh and seems to have the ability to find the fun in any situation.

Elli - Good laugh and great smile. She has a cool personality with a dry sense of humour that reminds me a lot of Karenski back in A-Town.

Marscha - Has been the one who always shifts the conversation from German to English so I can understand. The time she spent in Canada has given her a rather strong Canadian accent. A good person to talk to and very attractive.

Vera - The reserved and clean girl. Has some really nice things and has a slightly arty side. Likes pretty things and keeping things clean. This house would probably fall apart with untidiness without her.

Katha - Really relaxed and easy going. She has been up for little adventures to entertain the Australian even when she has had to study.

What have I been doing the last few days.

A few nights ago some of the girls and I went to a German Poetry Slam. We got to the outdoor venue, only to be greeted by a nasty storm, so we all moved around the corner to a crowded bar. This was always going to be a misadventure, as none of it was in English. But with the help of gesticulating performers and audience responses, I got the gist. The girls convinced me to get up and read some Australian poetry, so in the break we rushed around the corner to a friend's (Tim) place and printed out a few things from the net. I picked out some stuff by Geoff Goodfellow, partly because his work talks about where i grew up in Adelaide and partly because he had a crack at my mum after my folks split. While we waited for the big moment, I played with a few of the glowsticks the organisers had handed out at the door. While trying to make a few of them into a glowing pair of spectacles, one split and squirted Nora right in the eye. Painful, yet somewhat ironic stuff. We spent the next 40 minutes outside the club washing out her eye with water while we stood in the pouring rain. I missed my big moment but I was more concerned with saving Nora's eye then massaging my ego in front of strangers. All ended well and Nora got a fresh set clothes at her friend Tim's later that night. He even fed us. I did win a wind chime for not understanding anything that was said, which is now hanging from some of he stairs outside the apartment.

My phone smashed. It had been playing up the entire trip and in a burst of frustration I smacked it against a window sill, cracking the screen and rendering it completely useless. I don't usually get angry at tech like that, but I had just reached the limit of the joystick not working properly and deleting an sms accidentally for the umpteenth time. I now need to find a replacement for the following things: an mp3 player, a watch, a compact camera, a bluetooth toy and an alarm clock. Oh yeah, and a phone might be handy as well.

I managed to make it out to a little farm just over the border which sells homemade cider and honey collected from their own hives. Exquisite tasting stuff. The cider had a slight wooden taste and the honey had such a subtle flavor that didn't give that slight sugary burn that most honey does.

A group of us went Karaoke hunting on Friday, and found the place that does it, only to be disappointed that the singing only takes place on Wednesdays. It was pissing down with rain, so we headed for another club close by. The Dj was playing premixed mash ups downloaded from the Internet, but pretended to be mixing it live. I pointed this out to some of the girls and gave them a quick tutorial in the limited djing skills I know.

I went to the local flea market and picked up an old compass which works really well. Not that I know where north is, but it seems to point towards what it says is North even while being spun around. Kartha bought me a stein, that has the logo for the Bavarian wing of the Socialist Party of Deutschland printed on it. It's from 1976, and while the SPD wasn't popular in the rest of Germany, it was hated here in Bavaria, with some of its members being locked up or mysteriously disappearing during the Cold War.

Last night I cooked up a big Mexican feast for the house as thanks for letting me stay for the last week. It was really tasty stuff and we sat in the back yard and enjoyed the food and wine. I bought some Australian wine, but that got the thumbs down from some of the girls, so we drank some stuff from South America instead, which wasn't too bad.

I was going to leave for Austria on Friday, but Nora insisted that I stay at least until Sunday night for the grand final of the World Cup. Her sister (who has an uncanny resemblance to Sarah Masters), has just arrived, so the fun should keep going for a few more days. And after finding about Wednesday night Karaoke, Nora wants me to stay for longer.

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