Saturday, December 29, 2007

Here are some answers to some of your questions . . .

(This photo is taken from the hills above Baumholder where we were taking a walk on a sunny morning.)

Some people have asked, “What do you think of the food in Germany?” Well, the bread is wonderful. The bakeries bake daily and the fresh bread is the best. There are hardy and heavy grain breads, most of which are very delicious. Even the real German rye bread is quite good. Rye bread in the States is not even similar. And then the sweet breads and desserts are also very good. Apfelstrudel is one of our favorites. We can buy it at the local market in the freezer section and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes and it comes out superb. It costs about $1.80 and serves 4-6 people. We have also noticed the potatoes have a nice flavor. They are always good any way we fix them. The meat is leaner and packaged in airtight packages, which keeps it fresher. Although our little refrigerator hovers just above the best temperature we have to cook the meat and eat it quickly. Even the produce, most of which comes from Spain, is also quite fresh. We haven't eaten out in any German restaurants, although we would like to do that. They don't have any non-smoking sections and my going into a coughing fit from the smoke is not real neighborly to the people sitting next to us. We will manage that problem in one way or other. We see there is an Eis Cafe here where we plan to have ice cream on a warmer day. We also know of a Kapob cafe where they serve special Turkish sandwiches. That is many people's favorite also. And everyone raves over the "Doner" (two dots over the o please). We have much yet to experience. When we first arrived in Baumholder it was after dark and we had no food so we stopped in at the local McDonalds for 2 plain hamburgers. That cost us the equivalent of $11.00. Food at the local market is pretty reasonable and we have some testing to do! The chocolate certainly passes muster!

Oh the Autobahns are fun! Most of the cars passing us are going about 100 mph. The Germans know how to drive. Licenses are not allowed until age 18, and then they must take an intensive driving course. If they pass the test the actual license is the equivalent of $3000. They take it pretty seriously of course. So drivers stay in between the lines while driving in a lane; they don't weave in and out or cut you off; you need to stay out of their way if you are not going their same speed; and it is the law the have snow tires on your car after Nov. 1st. When traveling on the Autobahns we usually stay in the right lane unless we have to pass a truck. There are occasional speed limits but only when one is close to a city. The busiest Autobahn is #6 and it is often full of freight trucks. We travel that way when we go to Kaiserslautern for meetings. It is a relief when we get off #6. It is still not as bad as Interstate 15! We are in the process of obtaining German driver's licenses. First we have to have our Utah licenses translated at an automobile club (ADAC) which will take about 2 weeks, and then we have to go to the driver's license bureau here in town. Hopefully we won't have to surrender our Utah license before we have our German one. Otherwise we will be walking everywhere. Bruce does most of the driving, which is okay with me. Germany has a special agreement with some of the States and accepts that state's driver testing. Fortunately, Utah is one of those states. We don't have to pay $3000! Thank goodness. The mission rents us a mission car for $75 a month. It is a nice little red 2007 Opel Corsa. It is a 4 door, 4 cylinder compact car. The transmission is of a "centrifugal" nature and one can either drive it in automatic or shift. Bruce isn't too impressed with the transmission. We are pleased with the 30 mpg though. With fuel pricing at $8.40 per gallon we try to be conservative.

Germans love to recycle and insist on minimal garbage. We have a small outdoor garbage collection can and it has a divider in it that allows us only to fill it half way. This regular garbage is picked up once every 2 weeks. That allows for two scrunched down tall kitchen garbage bags. We put all "green" garbage - fruit peelings, leftover food, bones, etc. in a biodegradable corn plastic bag and deposit in another large container. They empty that once a month. Then they collect paper garbage and plastic garbage once a month also - and we have to have special bags to place this garbage in. And then there are the "junk" days - which we estimate to be once every 6 months. You wouldn't believe what people set out! We picked up a beautiful (well, it is pink) desk chair, a desk, a chest of drawers, a full length mirror, etc. Yes, we are Scroungers! My mother would be so proud. The Germans are neat and orderly and often sweep the streets out in front of their homes. The Americans here, and there are quite a few, are the real slobs. It is embarrassing. We plan to pick up trash along the sides of the road as we walk. Maybe there are some younger Germans that are the litterers too. It is mostly fast food containers (McDonalds!).

We can receive mail up to one pound at the APO box on post:
Box R
Unit 23812 Box 7817
APO AE 09034

or at our apartment:
Auf Pfadsback 44E
55774 Baumholder

We had a great Christmas but missed family and friends sorely. We hope you all will have a wonderful New Year! If you want to send an email, send it to:
If you want to visit a great website go to:

Sister and Elder Karn