nicht “mist”, nebelig


a week or so ago, we had some very warm weather that made the thick layer of snow vanish before our eyes, after lying on the ground for two frozen weeks. i was quite surprised to see that the grass under the snow hadn’t died at all, but came up green & happy looking. the warm weather also encouraged the spring bulbs to start tentatively poking new shoots out of the ground, & for several mornings we heard the knocking of the local woodpecker. but then temperatures dropped again & for several days we’ve woken up to thick mist. “mist” auf deutsch is a more polite version of “scheise”, so one must be careful when speaking helledeutsch – heute ist nicht “mistig”, es ist “nebelig”.

Surfing on the Eisbach

i’ve also learned the word for “muddy”, which is “matschig”, prounced pretty much the same as “magic”. this word was required during the warm weekend, when we walked (“spaziern gehen”) in the enlglischer garten, one of the world’s largest urban parks. practically everyone in munich had been drawn out by the sunshine, & the recently frozen earth paths were crowded & extremely matschig. as well as the walkers, their dogs & their prams, there were groups playing football, hackysack and badminton, an ancient acordian player, dreadlocked drummers, tourists being driven in stylish antique horse-carriages, & of course the surfers. yes, it’s true: “man kann in münchen surfen”, 500km from the sea! a special wave is somehow created at a narrow point in the eisbach, a tributary of the isar, & bold wetsuited surfers take turns to leap from either bank of the river directly onto their boards and go back & forth across the small space, turning quickly before hitting the side. it’s something of a performance sport, as only one person can do it at a time, & the bridge in front is always packed with an audience of curious onlookers.

but aside from ein matschig tag, munich has had a very dry winter; the humidity must be so much lower than nz in general. clothes hung on a rack in the bedroom, without heating on & by an open window, will always dry in a day or overnight. i’ve only had to use my umbrella for the snow this winter – & der schnee has been particularly satisfying but now i’m starting to think about compost, & tomato plants, & whether we have room to grow a zuccini on the balcony …