Voelkers Playing ‘Dress-Up’ In Salzburg


Today it rained, but yet today couldn’t have been more perfect. Today taught me that if one fails to find the warm and comforting rays of the sun from the sky, one needs to look in the hearts of the people around them. Souls can shine too, most times brighter than stars.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” — Buddha

Shining Soul #1: The Boss of Trattoria da Pippo in Salzburg

He shared with us that he came from Napoli (Naples), Italy, and after having told him that I had recently been to Naples, we had the most lively and fascinating conversation about Herculaneum, Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, Amalfi, Capri, the port Molo Beverello, Gino’s Sorbillo (which he said that it was ‘absolutely top’). As we spoke, he rubbed his arms and shivered, showing us that goose pimples had appeared as a physical response to his nostalgia of his birthplace! He’d say “Mamma Mia!” whenever he saw unfinished dishes and loved having Luciano Pavarotti’s tunes played in the background. Such energy, such joy, such refreshing friendliness. I’d be back, not only so I could say hi to him again, but also because the veggie pizza I had was ‘absolutely top’.

Shining Souls #2, #3 & #4: Mum, Dad and Sis

They derived so much joy out of a Colour Change Umbrella and laughed so much that the rain became more of a joke than anything else.

“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”
― Andy Warhol

They took on the extremely jiggly Salzburg Nockerl like champions although its sheer size and incredibly foamy texture wasn’t something they enjoyed very much.

Then Dad spontaneously decides that we should take a family photo. The catch? The theme would be ‘the 1900s’. How is this possible in the middle of modern-day Salzburg? Nostalgiefoto Salzburg. “We’re all over the world and this might be one of the last few times that we’re together, we don’t know when we might get to do something like this again…” Their was a certain sadness as Dad said that. He’s having difficulties letting us go our own ways and I understand, I’m having difficulties letting him go and venturing out to live my own life.

“Why not seize the pleasure at once?
How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!”
— Jane Austen, Emma

What a burst of emotions it was — none of us could hold back our laughter. It’s not everyday that we see our parents dressed up in outfits of the 1900s and making a fool out of themselves. Mum could barely sit still and the lady photographer had to say ‘come on’ as she hold back her giggles. Can You see just how tensed Mum was in the picture above? Also, this. My dress was a little oversized but es war mir egal, we had priceless fun and we made incredible memories. If we couldn’t laugh, I’m sure we would all go insane.

“Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness – the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.”
― Seán O’Casey

Shining Souls #5, #6 & #7: The Gruber family — Stephanie and her parents

The 7 of us shared an evening together over drinks and pretzel sticks. Stephanie, who lives, studies and works in Innsbruck, had just arrived at Zell am See to visit her family. It was our first time meeting her — she is blonde, loves Italy, labradoodles (a cross between a labrador and a poodle), Aurora Borealis and strawberries more than anyone I know, has incredibly beautiful blue eyes, and has recently begun mountain climbing. She is passionate about growing things in her backyard — she began with tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries this year and will continue with salad greens next year. She tells us it’s been great but when she needs to harvest everything all at once and ends up with 30 tomatoes… not so great. She tells us that Salbeigrün is great for sore throats and that the concentrate of a rose plant’s roots, when consumed as a tea, is amazing for calming one’s nerves. She forgets what Salbeigrün is in English, so she runs out to the garden and comes back with three leaves for us to smell. It was sage!

We learned that the family has a cat named Seppi who used to be frighteningly friendly to others. I say ‘frighteningly’ because she would jump into people’s cars through open windows… she could have been taken away! Seppi is safe, Seppi stares at us from outside while we have breakfast everyday now.

When Stephanie’s Dad, who loves drinking coffee with cold milk, was once in Italy, he ordered, “Kaffee with kaldo! Kaldo milk!” ‘Cold’ in German is ‘kalt’ so he tried to italianise ‘kalt’ and so ‘kaldo’ came about. Plot twist: ‘kaldo’ means ‘hot’ in Italian, thus he kept getting coffee with warm milk and thought everyone was ‘verrückt’ (crazy)!

‘Cold’ in Italian is ‘freddo’.

Dad then shares his experience during his first two weeks in Indonesia, when he called a penjahit (tailor) a panjahat (gangster) by accident because his nerves rattled him. Oh language… little alphabetic nuances, drastic disparity in definitions.

There isn’t any questioning the fact that some people enter your life, at the exact point of need, want or desire – it’s sometimes a coincendence and most times fate, but whatever it is, I am certain it came to make you smile.”
― Nikki Rowe

More of today’s shenanigans…


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