Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I just had lunch with Sara and she had a pizza. Here in Germany, for the most part, when you order a pizza you get your own individual pie. Its unsliced and you eat it with a fork and knife, the pizza slowly becoming a waning moon on your plate. Its eaten in a sit down restaurant and its all very civilized. Yes I can get a greasy square in 2 minutes at Moritzplatz and there are places in NYC where you can eat pizza with silverware but for the most part I'm used to sharing a giant pie between 4 people which has been sliced into triangles that I eat folded with my hands now dripping with grease and onto my lap. I miss the "miss, ya wan extra cheese on dat?" song, the throw away paper plates, cheesy table tops...

Friday, March 27, 2009

grandmas overtaking

The other day I was riding my bike up a hill rather slowly lost in thought when I became aware of a rider behind me who then passed me. It was a grandma on a bike. Her hair was white, her face wrinkled, her clothes were sporty. She was definately 70 plus, but she was fiesty. She was putting in her all to pass me and I appreciated that because when she slowed down midway up the hill I didn't pass her. This was not the first time and elderly lady got competitive with me and I think its great she's still riding her bike. In fact Ive seen some ladies so wrinkled and frail looking on bikes that I couldn't imagine them standing without a walker. And perhaps they can't! But at least they are still riding. Go ladies! This would never happen in the USA. My grandma was driving a car until she was 90 but a bike? Never.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


So today is my birthday. Its cold and raining but I'm inside my cozy studio painting and listening to my favorite program, New Sounds.Check out this episode, its with Guy Buttery. He's amazing! (http://www.wnyc.org/shows/newsounds/episodes/2009/01/24)

But today I have some pangs of guilt. In Germany it is customary on your birthday to bring in sweets to your workplace. You host your birthday party. But alas I did not bring in a cake or cookies to work like I planned. I had over ambitious plans which naturally fell through.

In America your boss throws you a little party.However Im the American (or British) tradition I did receive presents from my boss and students and that was very nice. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


So tomorrow is my birthday but don't wish me a happy birthday just yet. In Germany its a no noto wish someone a happy birthday before the actual day. And you definately don't have a party before the actual day even if it's convenient. You just might not make it till then! In America, I'd say you can birthday it up from up to a week before the actual event. I mean if I die on my birthday, in America at least I could have enjoyed a big party the weekend before!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

doctor visit

Today I went to the doctors for a check up. I walk into the waiting room and I am greeted by all the waiting patients. I am startled by all the gruß gotts I am getting. I look down at the floor and say gruß gott softly, I don't think anyone heard me but who was I supposed to direct my greeting to anyway? A woman leaves and the chorus sings, "Aufwiedersehen!" I say Aufwiedersehen uncomfortably to myself, no one can hear me. These are the only words said in the waiting room. An introduction and a conclusion but no body. Whats the point? In NYC you just don't acknowledge anyone and if you do say hello usually a conversation follows.

Monday, March 16, 2009

answering the phone

So when I answer the phone I say hello. This really irks Germans...even when they call me on my cell phone. Like, who else is going to answer my cell phone? In America when the phone rings and you pick it up, you just say,"hello". I'm not going to identify myself unless I'm at work because what if a telemarketer calls? A stalker or one of my ex boyfriends? I want them to identify themselves first so then I can decide if I want to say, "yes this is she" or "no she's not home right now" or "sorry you have the wrong number!" In Germany picking up the phone and saying,"Lisa Goldfarb" just doesnt give me this option.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Perhaps its just my perception but in New York and Pennsylvania, when it snows the weatherman keeps track of how many inches has fallen. We get excited when we learn that yet another inch has fallen during the hour. Its in the newspaper. "5 inches of snow has fallen in Allentown PA today!!"
"Wow can you believe it? says the weatherman, The last time 5 inches has fallen on this day was in 2006! Wow so long ago! I wonder how many inches of snow will fall this entire winter. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!"
Here in Bavaria it seems no one cares. Its snowing all day and I ask my boyfriend how much it snowed and he just shrugs his shoulders. He doesn't even care! I want to know! I don't know if its because my German is so bad that I cant find how many centimeters of snow has fallen in the newspaper or internet or that I don't have a t.v. but I feel like no one seems to care. Next time I'm getting out my measuring stick and sticking it in the snow. I'll find out myself!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

clothes shopping

I wanted to buy a pair of jeans in Augsburg so I went to Yeans Halle. I tried on a pair and asked the sales clerk what she thought. I thought they looked good and was just looking for false confirmation. To my surprise she said, "hmmm nicht so gut. Ich finde Sie andere." Well she said something like that but in better German. And off she went to look for a better fitting pair. At first I was horrified by the negative feedback but then appreciative that she cared as much as my best friend to tell me the truth and actually look for a solution. She didn't find a better pair in the end but I was happy to know I didn't walk off with a 70 euro ill fitting pair of levis. In America this would never happen. The sales clerk would tell me I look great, I would feel happy and walk off with an ill fitting pair that my best friend would later make me return.

art show

Tomorrow I have an art exhibit in Glonn, a small village between Munich and Rosenheim. Its at 7:30pm and the details are on my website www.lisagoldfarb.com. If you just happen to be in the area drop by!
So since its my show I will be expected to give a speech about my work. Ill also be expected to show up promptly at 7:30pm. These are 2 things that don't happen when you have an art show in the US. In the US you are undercover as the artist. Only people "in the know" know who you are. You will probably show up late or not at all. You are the mysterious artist. I must say its a lot easier being the mysterious undercover artist. Tomorrow not only is my work on display but so am I. I have to appear confident, be punctual and prepare something to say in GERMAN...that makes sense, like use German grammar correctly akkk!

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Today is Sunday and everything in Germany is closed. I just can't get used to that. In New York, that when I did all my shopping. I cant even go food shopping. Stores even close down in the middle of Saturday. My copy shop closed down yesterday at 12:30. Damn it! I miss food shopping at 2am. I dont like this Sunday day of rest imposed on me, Im just bored! In New York I lived in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood and everything was closed from mid Friday to Saturday night and that was annoying. But at least all I had to do was go to some goy neighborhood and get whatever I needed.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Today it is sunny in Augsburg and everyone is outside sitting in cafes. This would never happen in NYC at this temperature of 10°C or 48°F. OK that's not that cold but it does happen at colder temperatures on the rare sunny day in winter. Cafes even give you blankets. Today hordes of people were even eating ice cream. I'm just not prepared yet to eat ice cream when I'm still wearing gloves.


Its rained and snowed the past couple weeks here in Augsburg, yet in town amidst the white was a sea of colors. Blue, green, yellow striped umbrellas...Colorful rainbow umbrellas , the kind only weirdos in NYC use to stand out amid the sea of black umbrellas.


It took me about 2 years of living here in Germany before I realized what these bird stickers everywhere were for. I thought it was an art exhibit or some sort of street art. But no, its just for the birds and perhaps people too who are prone to walking into windows. They don't do this in NYC but how cool would that be to have bird stickers on every window of every skyscraper in town..maybe in psychedelic colors...