The Motherland!!!

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Feb 02, 2011

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Where I stayed
Ochs Family House

Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Thursday, February 4, 2010

For our first morning in Kieselbronn, Harald took us for a tour of the town. It's been much warmer then we were expecting – around 4C, the perfect temperature to go walking outside. It is such a small, friendly place, as an outsider it has the feeling of a strong community. There are a lot of clubs and groups here such as sport, outdoors and gardening groups. Walking through the street is so different to an Australian town. The streets twist and turn gently around the hills and the buildings in the older part of town come right up to the street, leaving only a narrow footpath. There are piles of snow all along the roads and there was a man selling chicken and chips outside the mini supermarket. A lot of Harald and Ute’s family live in Kieselbronn – it is only a short walk to Oma Hilde and Opa Karl or to Herbert and Connie (Harald’s brother and sister-in-law), It really reminds me of the Cameron community in Heidelberg West, the way we can just pop around or walk over for dinner or company if the house is feeling empty.

On the evening of our first day, we were invited Hilde and Karl’s for dinner. Hilde is my [Floss] grandmother Ruth’s sister. We had visited them earlier on our tour and Karl had brought out a collection of pictures my sisters and I had done for him when he’d visited about 15 years ago. He also gave me a collection of pictures from when Mum and Granny had come to Germany when Mum was about 13. It’s quite amazing how much Mum’s girls look like her.

For dinner Hilde had made Spatzle and Potato Salad. This might sound innocent enough but eating this dinner at Hilde and Karl’s was one of the most amazing moments. Before I even tasted the meal I had expectation of how it would taste because Mum and Granny have made the same meal so many times before (as have Jelly and Michi when we lived with them). When I tasted it, it was the strangest thing. It tasted exactly as Granny made it. Here I was sitting in a completely new world, in someone’s house I barely knew, surrounded by voices and a language I barely knew but from the walls familiar faces looked from their frames at me and the food tasted exactly how I imagined it would. My first feeling was that a piece of home had followed me here – but a second later, I knew I was experiencing where that piece of my life had come from. Felix had told me – before we even planned to come to Europe – how being in Switzerland had helped him make so much sense of his culture and the way his family lived and did things, especially in his Grandparent’s house, and I didn’t understand what he meant. Having dinner that night with my German family I understood exactly.

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Maria on

I love reading your entries, and the photos are great - but would love to see some of the lovely family members you're describing?

David on

A wonderful insight ,Floss, into the origin of cultural influences which can't be understood or even pieced together like the pieces of a jigsaw to make a picture until you see the place of origin of all those subtle influences - I'm so glad you can share that experience with Felix - now you can both respect those seemingly crazy influences coming from either family background

Kiana on

Awesome photos!

Janine Frede on

What beautifully written words - a real pleasure to read. I'm glad there's still a bunch more that we can explore now......

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