Monday, April 13, 2009

Frohe Ostern in der Schrebergarten

So, no hot cross buns for breakfast this morning, but thankfully plenty of chocolate. And also a strange cakey-thing that looked like a sphinx covered in chocolate, but which was apparently a chocolate-covered lamb cake, which in itself is a pretty weird idea. Mads was less disturbed by it than I was, and happily ripped its head off and shoved it in her mouth, before dashing off in search of further chocolatey goodness. Eggs turned up in the strangest of places (shoes etc) but I was impressed by Mads' thoroughness when she carefully checked both toilets.

Mid-morning we joined our upstairs neighbour, L and her son V for a picnic in the private garden they share with some friends. This is quite a common thing to do in Frankfurt, apparently. You put your name down at the local council and after a year or so you are matched up with a garden that suits your needs. They are called Schrebergartens - although no one today seemed to know what 'Schreber' means exactly, and if they don't know, being Germans, I can't possibly be expected to know either.

It was a very nice spot - sort of like a large backyard with no house, designed for people who live in flats, like most people do here, it seems. This particular schrebergarten was fairly wild and loose (perfect for Easter egg hunting) but apparently there are some gardens which are only rented out on the condition that they are maintained precisely. Very precisely. One third of the garden is for vegetables, one third for flowers, one third purely for grass. 'Yeah, and if you mess it up, the garden nazis come and get you,' one of the German guests explained. Thieu and I tittered nervously. Are we allowed to laugh at nazi jokes so soon after arriving? We really weren't sure.

It's a public holiday tomorrow, of course, and we don't have any milk. I asked a few people if they thought there'd be anywhere I could get some. There were a few suggestions, but no one seemed very confident. I really need to do some stocking up.

There were two Indian mums at the bbq today too, and they told me how their daughters eat nothing and I told them how mine eats everything, even strange-looking chocolate sphinx-lambs. Then the three of us ran around, basting our kids in suncreme, while the German mothers looked at us in mild confusion.

All in all, it was a very pleasant way to spend our first Easter here. Then later in the evening, as I was making Mads' dinner, the doorbell rang. One of the parents from the bbq had brought us around some milk. I only wished I had some chocolate lamb left to offer him as thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mads - this is Mar - I'm pretty new in Frankfurt too and I found your blog on google and read it with much amusement. Yup, I bought *those* oddly named chocolates in the supermarket also...

    Wondering if you know (or could ask your neighbor) about how to put one's name down for a schrebergarten? I'm desperately wanting to plant!