Monday, July 09, 2007


Yeserday we drove two hours south to Munich, where we visited the English Gardens. The gardens themselves were beautiful, and criscrossed by fast-moving streams that scared me even though people were swimming in them. They were also dotted with sunburnt naked Germans (mostly men), which was a little disconcerting to someone who looks askance at the Chicagoans in bathing suits who sometimes sun themselves in Wrigleyville parks.

We kept telling the boys (ages nine and nearly six) that we were going to meet my imaginary friend Ursula, who is blonde.

"Is she blind?" asked the younger one.

The day before -- on the way to Nurnberg's Medieval torture chamber and dungoens -- I had told him a story about a man who was reading the description of a woman he was going to meet, and mistook "blind" for "blonde."

We've also spent a lot of time singing and dancing to Styx's Mr. Roboto, much to the delight of a drunken man at the Eis (ice cream) shop; apparently it wasn't just a hit in Chicago, because Ursula's gentleman friend knew it, too.

Ursula looks just like her picture, only more petite. We went to the museum cafe (not far from the platz where Hitler made some of his most stirring speeches), and sat and talked for some time. It's so nice to have to pull people together from different parts of the world. And it's so fun to talk ad nauseum about yoga yoga yoga yoga. Her English is excellent, which made that possible. My German consists of about five things: schmuck (jewelry), Freitag (Friday), nein (no), fleishen (meat), Sparkasse (bank). Ursula's account of things is here. I am hoping that next summer she too will be traveling to Mysore.

Tato* took some pictures/video of the historic meeting, which I am hoping to post soon. Any day now.


*The other night, while waiting for the announcement of the seven wonders of the world, Tato (it means "father" in Ukranian) got out the telescope and focused it on a planet. It was Jupiter -- and three of its moons were visible.


  1. Thank you for your nice words.

    E. will love it when I tell him that you called him a Gentleman. Yes, he can be Gentleman.

    I'm glad that you liked your stay in Munich.

  2. did you know "domo" is an old fashioned word in japan? no one uses it anymore. arigato gozai mashta is much better.
    can't wait for your adventures in india. i'm teaching a girl who lives in mumbai who is visiting for a month. of course that is very exciting to me, as i hope to become friends so when november comes along....

  3. Indian Rupee Surges Unexpectedly>

    The Indian Rupee has been tightly controlled by the country’s Central Bank, which has not allowed the currency to fluctuate much. A few months ago, however, the Rupee suddenly and rapidly began appreciating against all of the world’s major currencies. Now, the Rupee stands at a 9-year high against the USD.
    It turns out that India’s Central Bank deliberately allowed the Rupee to appreciate in order to combat inflation. The reasoning is that a more expensive currency would make imports less expensive and exports more expensive from the standpoint of foreigners, which would hopefully lead Indian exporters to release more supply domestically, thus lowering prices. While it remains to be seen whether the strategy was successful in reducing inflation, you can be sure India’s Central Bank will continue to aggressively pursue a policy of Rupee appreciation, until it inflation has decisively been held in check.