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Monday, January 13

Farmhouse in Pessenbach

The husband has mostly German colleagues; of which few are fun. One that he’s become friends with is a German woman. She is witty and sarcastic; I attribute partially due to spending time in England. This is unusual because Germans don’t understand sarcasm, so people say. I confess Indians also don’t understand sarcasm so a room full of Indians and Germans would be boring.

She has varying hobbies including hunting. She has talked about hunting with older German men in the middle of dense woods; men that have been in the “club” for years. She normally hunts for wild boar (pig) but has experience with rabbits and other small animals. She also enjoys hiking and being out in the woods. So you’re wondering, why am I placing a ‘match’ ad for this colleague?

In Fall 2013, she took us to her family’s farmhouse in Pessenbach near Kochel lake, south of Munich. The home is from her great grandmother and has been passed down the generations. We drove on Friday night, spent three days in the area and returned on Sunday.

In my opinion, Germany is slower-paced, excluding big cities like Berlin and Munich, than many cities. Let me define slower paced; state of living is relaxed, people aren’t constantly on their smart phones, they accept the35- 40 hour work week and maintain it to devote time to personal life, there’s a lot of green space for outdoor activities and people take time to enjoy being outside whether it’s hiking, running, skiing or long walks. In another words, Germans live simply and in the moment.

So even with that, they like spending weekends and vacations in a home that takes them back in time. The farm home has modern amenities like bathrooms and heating but it still has old-fashioned architecture and surroundings. There’s a wood stove in the kitchen to cook on and a walnut tree in the yard. The neighbor sells milk from his cows to a local supplier. It is peaceful. This home’s environment defines slow living.

On that Saturday we hiked on one of many trails nearby while enjoying the changing colors and a serene day. That night we drank local beer, ate boar she had hunted and gazed at the stars.

Before leaving Sunday, we cooked ourselves breakfast to eat outside. Eating breakfast was just an excuse to enjoy the scenery.

Weeks after our weekend trip, the colleague hunted boar again and shared a leg with us. I roasted the leg in the oven and then with the leftovers made a wild boar and black olives stew, Italian style. I don’t have a recipe to share because I don’t remember precisely but there was onion, garlic, carrots, red wine, black olives, half can of tomatoes and thyme. We braised the boar in a dutch oven with the other ingredients and ate it over mashed potatoes. This recipe is precise and like our dish.

Boar is lean meat and tastes gamier than pork. It is typical for winter months served with root vegetables. The husband and I enjoyed both versions of the boar but preferred the stew (perhaps because it was harder to get an even temperature on the whole leg in the oven without overcooking).

When we arrived at the farmhouse on Friday evening, the colleague said she anticipates visits to the farm home because it recharges her batteries. After a weekend there, we agree.


  1. Such lovely scenery!

    And I agree with the whole "work to live" (rather than live to work) philosophy... wish we can fully adopt it here.

    1. I am hopeful, it is bound to happen sooner rather than later. We hear so many stories or people saying they're burned out from overworking or stress so hopefully those people will realize personal time away from work is important. And I hear many companies are adopting flex work weeks or shorter work weeks, all positive and encouraging!

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