Food: Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus (potato pancakes with applesauce) & Butterkuchen
Okay the potato pancakes were maybe a bit of a cheat; we were coming off a week break due to traveling. I used a box mix from the store (but imported from Germany!) and we had applesauce in the refrigerator. I’ve attempted potato pancakes in the past from potatoes that I grated which I mixed with an egg, salt…yada yada yada, they just didn’t work out for me. These were fast to mix and fry and probably a lot better than what I could have done attempting to do it from scratch.
To compensate the small lack of effort on the dinner side of things, I made butterkuchen for dessert. Simply, a German butter cake comprised of copious amounts of sugar and butter and eggs…and flour, yeast, vanilla, milk, salt, sometimes cinnamon; when baked it is this very gooey cake. This was all kinds of amazing, especially with strong black coffee, and I can’t get it up to feel too bad about the nutritional value. All the recipes I found were very similar (found here and here).
Erleuchtung garantiert (Enlightenment Guaranteed)
Quite literally Enlightenment Guaranteed is about two brothers, both in the midst of a mid life crisis, who travel to a Buddhist monastery in Japan seeking peace and…enlightenment in their lives. Uwe’s marriage is not in great shape, and when the movie begins, his wife packs up the kids and mostly of their belongings and moves out while Uwe is a work. Gustav is a Buddhist enthusiast, however can’t quite find his inner peace as he seems to trip himself up trying to be perfect, but he is pumped as his approval to spend time at Sojiji Monastery (just outside Tokyo) has just arrived. Uwe totally distraught, cries until Gustav agrees to bring him along on the trip to Japan. The brothers arrive in Tokyo, check in at their hotel, head out for food and then get utterly lost. With very little money after taking a cab to the wrong location, they decide to gamble what they have in an attempt to win some money. Long story short, they end up sleeping the night in some boxes. The next day the brothers renew their search to locate their hotel, are unsuccessful, however run into another German living in Tokyo. She brings them along to work (a German restaurant in Tokyo) where they earn a bit of money busing tables and gives them a place to sleep for the night. Finally they make it to the Sojiji Monastery where they spend their time praying and cleaning the monastery. Gustav struggles, which is disappointing because he had planned to waltz in and be completely in his wheelhouse. Eventually, with help from the monks, they both find peace and clarity within themselves and leave the monastery to head home.
The language was not too advanced, however due to loud background noise at times I found myself really relying on the subtitles. Otherwise, I really liked this movie. Then again I have a soft spot for movies where people travel and are completely out of their element. And it was so interesting to see travel from a foreign perspective – er, I mean usually isn’t someone from the States running around the UK, Europe, Japan, etc.
From 1927-1941 there was a famous German harmony ensemble called the Comedian Harmonists. Formed by Harry Frommerman, the group was very popular in Europe, even touring the US, before disbanding in 1941 due to increasing professional pressure from the Nazis (three members of the group were Jewish). This movie was about the history of the band – formation to when they broke up. The actors did lip sync to original recordings of the group.
This was easy to follow along without focusing on the subtitles; however I ended up reading them anyway because this movie was so interesting I didn’t want to miss anything.
bis später, alison