makeover whaaaat?!

Dear awesome blog readers,

As you may or may not have noticed, I've been on a pretty long hiatus. This is because I am a lazy bum, but also because I have taken to knitting and bible study and otherwise occupying my time with non-blog-content-producing things.

But I'm back! With some big news: a name change! The blog you once knew as La Saloperie can now be found at belle + compass, where I will resume regular posting shortly.

In the meantime, do feel free to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram! See you soon!

Isa

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architectural highlight: Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt

purity is a mythSorry for the intermittent posting but I've been buslazy lately. But to try and make up for it, here's a million pictures of pretty walls!

On my one day in Frankfurt I found myself wandering into the MMK after I felt I had thoroughly explored the Altstadt (around 2 pm) and, while some of the art was certainly cool, found myself thoroughly blown away by the architecture. If this place were my room, I would most certainly clean it on the reg just to keep all the perfectly clean lines and shapes in their place. Also if this place were my house I would never leave it. I would get a bunch of fish and play Palestrina super-loud so it echoed off all the angled white walls.

In short, if you're in need of an architect anytime soon, you should probably definitely give Hans Hollein a call.

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bird's eye view: Frankfurter Dom

MAN-GOYLE tee heeI really only spent a single full day in Frankfurt last week, but even though it is a major metropolis, being a major German metropolis it's just not that big a city. (This is a country where Mainz - a city with a population of around 200,000 - is generally considered to be "a pretty big city". In other news: I grew up between NYC and Bangkok. Let's not talk "big cities".)

Even so, the few attractions I visited in and around the Altstadt* each seem to be pretty deserving of their own posts, and so here you have the view from the Dom.

If we're to talk about the Dom itself, the million-dollar question is, as usual: how in the hell did they build these things?! Just climbing that tower was wholly dizzifying, not to mention one hell of a work-out (at least I'm working off some of this beer?). Can you imagine carrying the top steps all the way up the bottom steps?! You would die, I'm sure of it.

It's worth mentioning that Frankfurt is really the only city in Germany that has skyscrapers**, but it seems more authentically badass to climb an ancient stone structure with indoor wind than to just pick one and take an elevator. Plus there are man-goyles (see 4th photo)!


*old city center - all German cities have these
**LEARN GERMAN! skyscrapers = Wolkenkratzer - literally, "cloud-scratchers"

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Mainzer Weihnachtsmarkt

Almost overnight, all of Europe seems to have burst into CHRISTMAS. Actually, in Mainz it was very nearly overnight - one day all these wooden structures appeared in the center square, and then a few days later those plain wooden structures erupted into so much tinsel and hot wine and light tourists it can only be described as an assault on the senses. A cheery, heartwarming assault on the senses.

But, of course, as these things are, all the pretty things are too expensive anyways, so you get left with all the affordable things like Bratwurst and pommes frites (instead of calling them "French fries," Germany has decided to call them "fried potatoes"... in French) and tons and tons of Glühwein which is, of course, only good when hot, so chuggity chug chug.

If, of course, the lady you order it from doesn't think you're under 16, WHICH ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME THE OTHER DAY.

Honestly, though, I can think of worse ways of procrastinating on studying German grammar (plus I am picking up plenty of holiday-themed vocabulary!) and wrapping up college apps. And, if you follow me on instagram, it's probably clear that I've been procrastinating a whole lot.

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want

1 Under Armour ColdGear 'Cozy" Running Tights | Nordstrom $60
(because it's just to cold to run in anything that's not cozy right now)
2 Marc by Marc Jacobs Bunny Tiny Bracelet & Enamel Eye Bracelet | Shopbop $58 & $38, respectively
3 Crimbleberry Wood Cookie Cutter Ornaments - set of 4 | Marks & Spencer $13
(pretty and practical!)
4 Mignon Memory Ring in Rose Gold | Catbird $48
(because I'm really into these mid-finger rings now.)
5 Gorjana Marni Mid Finger Ring | Shopbop $25
(because I'm really into these mid-finger rings now.)
6 Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita | Sephora $26
(because this has been conspicuously missing from my face this holiday season)
7 'The Chelsea' Leather Camera Bag in Black | ONA $369
(I want this so bad I would buy it myself... if it weren't for the price tag.)
8 Pendleton, The Portland Collection Tartan Mug Set | Shopbop $58
(because tartan. & tea. And that is totally what I would call my paper goods shop if I had one.)
9 Falke Merino Wool Tights | Saks Fifth Avenue $69
(because your legs need to be warm when you're not running, too.)


Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, I've put together the official list of Permissible Things To Get Me For Christmas. Weirdly, it was hard to find nine whole things that I actually want or might find use for - I feel like I've reached a point in my life where I'm mostly over things, by which I mean I don't care if I wear the same outfit twice in one week, judgers gonna judge and I'm gonna be happier not agonizing over not having things I want. Yes, I still reeeeeally want a camera bag even though my backpack is still perfectly functional, and yes, there are bracelets on this list even though they have become completely irrelevant in this all-sleeves-all-the-time weather, but nobody's perfect. But if all else fails I can always throw in the towel (and everything else I own) and become a Buddhist monk.

But my new motto/model for Thing Acquisition can be summarized pretty succinctly in six words: don't buy what you don't need. For holiday season generosity, that translates to don't buy someone something you don't think they might ever actually use. Just think of the landfills!
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old soul

Since I arrived in Germany, nearly every German I've spoken to has asked me why - but why? - I would ever want to come here, of all places. What could possibly be appealing about Germany? The people are unfriendly* (as I have been amiably told on multiple occasions), the scenery for the most part is dull, and the food isn't even particularly remarkable, right? It's a mystery.

But then an old middle school friend of mine, in recounting to me how she once got stranded in Mainz, said to me, "I love Germany - good for people who are elderly at heart - and if not there's always Berlin!"

Which got me thinking, maybe that's why I've always been so fascinated by Germany. I am regularly told by everyone else I've ever met that I am an old soul, and it's true - after all, I would almost always rather stay in than go out and I listen to jazz and drink tea on the weekends - and yeah, Germans like beer maybe a little too much (I hear alcoholism is pretty prevalent here), but... who doesn't?

But anyways, as I may have mentioned, this past weekend my cousin C flew in from London and, after subjecting her to a full day of turkey and pie and dishes on Saturday I felt it was only fair if we took Sunday off to explore the city. Where, it being Sunday and Germany, everything was of course closed. But the decorations have started to go up! I foresee Glühwein hangovers in my future.


*since I've gotten a couple comments on it, I feel I should clarify: it's the Germans themselves that keep telling me they're unfriendly, although I wouldn't entirely disagree. However, it's important to make the distinction between friendly and nice - Germans are not very friendly, but if you strike up an interaction with them they're nearly always very nice. Unless they work in customer service, in which case they are usually inexplicably terribly grumpy.

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early thanksgiving, & on international tastebuds

So... we pulled it off, many thanks to my beautiful cousin C who flew in from London to spend her Saturday slaving away over the stove and sink. There was a bit of a cultural miscommunication - I scheduled the meal for 2, by which I meant I was hoping to have it ready for 4, but of course all the Germans took that to mean that the meal would be on the table at 2 pm sharp which was most certainly not the case.

But this was my second Thanksgiving hosted in a foreign country (although last year, the Brazilians all arrived punctually late-ish), and what is most interesting to me is which flavors seemed to appeal to each group the most. Last year, the Brazilians went batsh*t - batsh*t - for the pumpkin pie, which was unexpected as pumpkin, much less cinnamon-nutmeg-ginger-clove pumpkin, is not terribly common in Brazilian cuisine. Here, however, the pumpkin pie was graciously accepted but quietly left uneaten on several plates - curious when you consider how much pumpkin is floating around in Germans' soups - but the stuffing was a huuuuuge hit, as was the apple pie.* In Argentina on varying occasions I have attempted both carrot cake and gingerbread and both were rebuffed. The one time I brought a (Swiss) friend along to Thailand with me, he adored all the savory food but just couldn't seem to wrap his tongue around the desserts.

I guess all I'm saying is, it's interesting how the flavors we grow up with shape our tastes. If you think about a bit deeper it probably really applies to everything about our cultures. Tastebuds are just closer to the surface. But in honor of Thanksgiving, I guess I should mention how thankful I am to have been able to experience so many flavors and people and places.

P.S. Everything else was eaten before I got the chance to take pictures, but... turkey, right?!
P.P.S. I would be interested to discover what new flavors any of you may have encountered along your travels and which you found both most delightful and most offensive.


*even though it couldn't hold a candle to my dad's.

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