Monday, November 12, 2007

let it snow

I spent the weekend in the Allgäu region of the Alps, in the tiny town of Buchenberg, my boyfriend's home since he moved to Germany from Poland over 20 years ago. Picturesque, tiny, and this weekend--full of snow! One of the best parts of the trip is taking the cozy ALEX train from Munich, especially when we snag seats in "ALEXTreff" with the comfy Edelweiß-decorated seats and can sit with warm paper cups of coffee and watch the buildings of Munich dwindle, the cow population increase, the Alps come into view, and that slightly unpleasant but also nostalgic smell of cow manure creeps into the train car. Ah, a weekend full of relaxation is ahead of us.

The best part of spending the weekend with my boyfriend's parents is the food: delicious mom home-cooking. But this time newer things awaited us other than wining and dining: a cat! His mother has been famous among the cat population of Buchenberg for years for having an open door policy: whenever I'm there, various neighborhood cats drop by for warm milk, noodles with chicken, steamed dumplings (really, she's a regular gourmet!)... but this time, the cat had come to stay! Suri is her name, and she appeared on the doorstep screaming with hunger and was immediately adopted and cooked and cleaned into supreme health. Now she spends her days dozing on top of the heater with her head resting on a rose potpourri pillow--really!

The cat must have been relieved, because coinciding with our arrival came the first big snow of the year--two feet in 24 hours, blanketing the postcard perfect town and zapping me into premature christmas spirit. Suri ventured out once into the snow--and we laughed the whole time watching her take dainty steps only to fall through the crust of snow and disappear into its depths. Needless to say, she came back inside after just minutes. We acted much in the same way, venturing outside only on saturday to spend the afternoon with hordes of Allgäu teenagers in the Kempten mall, managing to survive the slippery downhill drive from Buchenberg. The rest of the time we sat and wined and dined with the spoiled little kitty...

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