Friday, February 17, 2006
Bochum mit Christiane und Herwig Niggemann
Apologies fot the delayed news my beluvved people, i've been busy (or not, just having a ball here in Bochum Germany.
Just to give you an idea, I cme to accompany Matile Tausili on her trip to visit two music school in Germany.
At the moment, we are staying with the most interesting couple you could think of, Christiane and Herwig Niggemann; theyre charismatic, well-travelled accomodating people who have taken us into their gorgeous home and we truly feel 'smitten! overwhelmed'.
We arrived on the 16th feb, at frankurt after 27 hours from auckland.
Upon arrival, we went to catch the train at the Train station within the airport, so it was rather accessible and easy to reach despite our crazy luggage.
The train arrived, at 8:09 headed for Koln (pronounced Cologne) so we hopped onto the nearest exit, but halfway through, the train officer came to check our tickets.
He looked at me, looked at Matile, back to me, Matile, then the luggage, shook his head and said 'You know youre in first class area and you paid 2nd class?"
Me looking shocked 'Oh is that right? I wasn't aware of that, sorry sir'
'Yes, but we are almost there, and you have too much luggage, by the time you get to 2nd class you'll be in Koln already'.
Then he was asking us, 'Why Bochum, do you two sing?", so we relayed the same story to the train employee, the same story we told the information personnel at FRA airport.
So we remained in the first class area, hopped off at koln, after the same guy helped us unload our excess baggage.
We switched train for Bochum immediately, where we were awaited by the impressionable Christiane and Herwig.
I must admit it was so comforting seeing such a friendly reception!
Upon arrival at their lovely home, we noticed the Samoa flag draping the doorway...!!!
We are definitely at home!
Both Christiane and Herwig have been to Samoa on numerous occasions.
Christiane's great uncle is Otto Tettens was based at the Mulinuu Observatory in 1902-1905.
Today, they hold an amble collage of photography from that era, few are staged, majority are stunning images of samoans at home, at work (weaving, rowing, living life), interactions between the German residents and the locals.
It is fair to say that this collection is the finest i have seen because it truly encapsulates the era in its true state.
I am indeed left yearning for more clues, more facts about what it was like back then?
YOu can't help but feel transformed back in time.
My interest is further fueled by the material wealth in the images.
This includes elaborate tuigas, nifo oti, siapo, mamanu o le siapo that are no longer seen, hair accesories, skirts fashioned with pandanus, in various different styles.
I am inspired!!!!
Back to reality.
Last night, the Niggemanns hosted the Rotarians of the area in a casual get-together to kick start the year 2006.
In preparation, they had various dishes on hand for the evening,...now hold your breath especially you Gui and MOm hahahaha...
lemme start: cheese from Spain, Italy, France
fresh salmon from Norway
ham from Italy
exotic salads made by Christiane..coucous-like, tasty, yum yum!!
lobster soup need to ask where...
salami from italy...(Gui, i took a pic for you, and ate heaps for you!)
breads from the nearby bakery, now thats something i truly love here...real bread!! not the mass processed pre-sliced machine generated sorry state of bread we know so well in aotearaw.
It is fair to say i loooooveed it all.
Its strange really when you eat fine foods, you dont feel bloated, but rather pleasantly gratified.
I realise now that my tastebuds have taken a gastronomical leap which will be lowered considerably upon my return to Pak and Save cuisine, immature NZ cheese, frozen salmon, stubborn ham, and pitiful murderous fush and chups takeaway.
Today, at 2pm, we meet with the Director of Essen Folkwang Academy, Dr Micheal Mills. so Matile is next door with the cd speakers on full blast going through her pre-singing ritual of listening, singing, sipping lemon tea, listening, sipping lemon tea, sitting....so help us God!!!
I will report back to you after the audition, but for now...
Coming soon, tonight, we visit the Brewery....YES!!!! i'm being called home!!!
Broste oh broste!!!!(ahem, bad spelling, but thats how it sounds after a few,..hahah)
Now wipe youre chins people, and let me go,....hehehe