The Weekly Spazieren: Mannequins, Suggestive Foliage, and Snow White’s Dwarf on a Roof

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Last week I fell off the blogging wagon.  I’m not sure why–all I can say is that every time Laken went down for a nap and it was my usual writing time I either suffered from writer’s block or found something incredibly important to do.

But this week I’m ready to be back on track, and I have pictures to share as part of my definitely-not-regular feature called ‘The Weekly Spazieren.’ I think by weekly I meant ‘taken throughout any given week of walking’ and not ‘I promise to post this every single week, as in I’m making a definite commitment to you right here, right now.’

I’m not normally a commitment-phobe, but am becoming one as of late.

In fact, on Monday we’re leaving for the States and I’m already wondering if I’ll be able to keep up the blogging habit while we’re gone. Todd and I tend to be pretty decadent while we’re on vacation. We’re prone to eating at restaurants three times a day (I mean, it’s the States–can you blame us?) and filling in the gaps with beer breaks in the backyard.  I might be too stuffed/drunk to feel creative.  But, I’m going to try my very hardest to continue writing on a weekly basis.  After all, I love doing it.  And, at least in my world, all it takes is one little break and it becomes a lifestyle.  Story of my last six years.

So, let’s go spazieren, shall  we?

(Just as a recap, in The Weekly Spazieren I share pictures of all things quirky, beautiful, or thought-provoking that I notice on my strolls with Laken.  There’s nothing like pairing mindfulness with a German suburb to find great photo ops.)

Todd and I took the baby out early last week and we weren’t even fully around the block yet when we spotted a couple of people staring at us from a neighbor’s window.

20160602_190505For a split second I thought they were real people, keeping guard.  But if you zoom in…

20160602_190505Nope.  They’re mannequins.  And, I do appreciate the “real” mustache and hair on the male.  Quite often female mannequins get all the glory of lifelike hair and men are left with Ken-head (i.e a plastic cap of brown waves on the skull.)

One thing I love about some of the quirkier things we spot on our walks are the questions you just can’t help but ask.  What’s going on here? Did our neighbors mean this as a practical joke? Something to make you smile as you walk by? Are they trying to beat back the stereotype that Germans aren’t funny? What’s the story there? Are these mannequins designed to look like the owners of the house? Is this a hairstylist’s home?

Anyway, I saw this plastic couple in the window and felt borderline creeped out, but also inspired to write a story about it.  Some day.  When I have time.

A bit later in our walk Todd (who often notices things before I do) pointed out something on a neighbor’s roof.

20160602_192650It looked like the very tiny profile of a person, so I zoomed in with my camera (and by camera I mean the not so fancy one on my Galaxy 5 cell phone.  I’ve dropped and broken the last three camera’s I’ve owned so I’m swearing off of them for a while.)

20160602_192646One of Snow White’s seven dwarfs made its way up to the top of the roof! Now, again–a story is here.  What prompts someone to purchase a statue of one of the dwarfs (can we make out which one he is?) and place him at the very top of the roof?

Is it a social/political statement of some kind? Is it another example of a German being, dare I say it, funny? What does this say about the people who live here?

It definitely made me curious, just like I’m sure people visiting my family’s house back in the day were curious about the dead frogs holding instruments in our china cabinet.

The story to that is my father bought them in Tijuana, Mexico on a family vacation.  (Probably shortly after he agreeably took a swig of tequila from a complete stranger’s bottle.) The frogs were dead but preserved through some type of plasticization (think Body Worlds if you’ve seen the exhibit.) Their stiff limbs were wrapped around miniature electric guitars and banjos, and if you don’t think the Blackwood family needed to come back from the west coast with this one-of-a-kind souvenir, you’re crazy.

However, I don’t believe the china cabinet was exactly where my mom preferred them to be.  Waterford crystal and dead frogs are certainly an eclectic pairing, but possibly not the look she was going for.

And yet there they made repeated appearances.

Anyway, on this very same walk, Todd and I turned yet another corner and saw this.

20160602_191858Okay. I mean, I’m not a pervert or anything–but you try to tell me that’s not a penis. Here, let me zoom in for you.20160602_191858I understand that people sometimes miss spots when trimming down the bushes.  But…? That’s a pretty pronounced shape.

I hope this post is proving what I’ve known all along.  Germans not only have a sense of humor–they are hilariously inappropriate, even when it comes to foliage.

On a completely different note, check out this person’s house (hope they don’t mind it’s on the internet.)

20160607_102927

Something I love about European homes is the artistry.  Houses can be more than just functional.  How about pastel colors? Paintings? Even some text here and there?

How about a dwarf leaping from the roof?

Speaking of art, my next picture actually comes from downtown Heidelberg.

Walking down the city’s main street, you see any number of street artists. One of my favorites (who hasn’t been there in a while) is this guy who recreates masterpieces of art in chalk.  He’ll be down on the his knees all day long, drawing the Sistine Chapel ceiling or Mona Lisa or any number of things by Monet (chalk’s a good medium for him) and the likeness is just incredible.  You just watch this guy work and can’t help but feel anxiety on his behalf because…rain.  It does do that here and there in Germany.  Every day or so.  And if not rain, then feet, spit, spills, vomit.

The chalk man definitely gets a Euro or two from me.

Aside from him, as you walk down the Heidelberg Hauptstrasse you might see flutists, German guys in their twenties playing guitar and singing American songs in very thick accents (and often incorrect lyrics,) and people doing things like this:

20160605_183805I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had this phenomenon explained to me, and I still just don’t get it.  Apparently there’s a thingy in the sitting guy’s arm that goes up the back of the other one, holding him up? He’s sitting on something?

I don’t know.

But they’ll stay like that for a very long time.

What do you think–would these guys earn a Euro or two from you?

I’m going to wrap up this week’s Spazieren with a couple more pics from the doll shop near our house.  There’s no display on earth that creeps me out more than this one.  Notice the clown.  And the screaming baby head.

Hope your week is off to a great start, and I’ll be posting again later this week because I’m sure I’ll have all kinds of laundry and packing to do and I’ll be looking for any way to get out of it that I can.

20160602_19344820160602_193443

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19 thoughts on “The Weekly Spazieren: Mannequins, Suggestive Foliage, and Snow White’s Dwarf on a Roof

  1. Damn. I need to come and walk with you. Ha! I LOVE that you put the foliage. That is totally penis shrub.

    I agree the peeps are creepy/cool – kind of like the baby heads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are always welcome to come walk with me!!!! And, yes, isn’t that foliage crazy? Most of those pictures were from one walk. We kept turning the corner and thinking, ‘now what’s going on, HERE?’ Crazy. 🙂 I have to go read your post from this week (or was it last week??) I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I’ve been totally out of the blogging loop this past week!

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  2. I’m pretty sure the dwarf on the roof is Dopey. Or possibly Grumpy. I wrote a story a couple of years ago about the dwarves going to live on another planet (following the announcement that astronomers had discovered a “dwarf planet”) and they left Grumpy behind.
    The street artists and performers would definitely earn a Euro or two from me. Many years ago when I was in London I saw a young woman playing a flute in an underground station. She was playing a sad song and only had a few pennies scattered on her satchel. I was borderline impecunious myself but tossed a pound onto her satchel. Then from the train window I saw her pick up the pound and hide it.
    “You shyster!” I thought. “You’ve probably got £50 in there!” And then I realized she’d switched to a happy tune, maybe because I’d just given her the most money she’d made all day.
    A busker also told me that leaving out a large amount of money is just an invitation to a mugging, something I hadn’t thought of.
    Also there’s a Mexican restaurant down the street from me that has statues on its roof of frogs playing instruments. Now I’m curious about the significance of an amphibian Mexican Mariachi band.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What an awesome comment (as always! Thank you!) Great story about the flutist in London, and I hope her kidding away the pound was for the positive reasoning behind why she hid it! (I tend to be a bit weary of people, sometimes, and I like the way that you seem to rethink people’s intentions. 🙂 London street artists are on another level. I lived there for a couple of years and was always struggling to make it to work on time because it was so tempting to stop and watch them. :-)And, there’s a roof of frogs playing instruments at a Mexican restaurant near you?? I’m definitely intrigued now to know if there’s a connection to the dead ones in our cabinet! If you find anything out, please let me know. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • In Mayan mythology frogs were “attendants and musicians of the rain gods”, according to The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics by Gilbert M. Joseph and Timothy J. Henderson. I never would have thought to look that up if you hadn’t mentioned your father’s taxidermied ones but now I’m pickled tink to know.

        Here’s a picture of the ones on the restaurant:

        Liked by 2 people

      • Did I not reply to this comment?? I’m losing my mind these days, seriously. Anyway, I love that you look it up and told me! I can’t wait to share it with my family and I’m sure my dad’s frogs are going to be given an even MORE prominent role in the china cabinet after he learns there’s a connection to mythology. 🙂 That’s great. I am embarrassed to say I just accepted those taxidermied frogs at face value and never thought to look any deeper into it. That’s where blogger friends come in and prove that there’s another story in that story! And who best of all to present ‘another story’ but you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dropped in for the suggestive foliage and was not disappointed. Poor hedge dong, it looks so forlorn.

    I really should start doing regular posts about the oddities I see in my neighborhood. We live around some weird and wonderful people, it would be a shame not to exploit them somehow.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, please! Exploit away! Seriously, I don’t know if my suburb has always been so wacky, but it’s so fun to walk around and seek it out. (And it’s definitely not hard to find things to share!) I’d love to see these weird and wonderful people show up in a post. 🙂 Also, I’m glad I’lm not the only one who saw a dong in that hedge. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just me…? But there was something very deliberate about that shape!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! The art on that house looks so cool. It must be very fun to walk around such a quirky neighbourhood. On a side note, mannequin head with facial hair wins some serious creepy points (and I’ll probably have nightmares about the doll head display).

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is amazing what you see in this neighborhood. I’m wondering if this quirkiness is specific to Eppelheim, or if it exists in all neighborhoods if you look closely enough? I’m not sure. But, I’ve been having a lot more fun on our weekly walks because I’m much more aware of my surroundings. 🙂 And YES, those dolls are so creepy, aren’t they???

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    • Absolutely! It’s strange because they never seem to be open but there are fliers outside…it looks like you make an appointment with the owner or something? I’m really not sure. But…we’re going! Trust me!!! Love you. 🙂

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    • That could be very interesting! Since my drunk texts are basically as long as blogs, why not put it all out on the internet! 🙂 Sorry I totally missed your comment, by the way! I don’t know how that happened but glad I eventually saw it, anyway. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes of course I instantly thought “penis”. And then of course the rest of the hedge just looked like a WALL of pubes! Lol. I love your neighbourhood! Though the freaky doll heads look more like leftovers from Halloween than anything; surely if it’s a hairdresser’s house the dolls would be facing INTO the room? Unless their owner was doing something they didn’t want witnesses to or is punishing them (“NAUGHTY DOLLIES!!”) or just has a warped sense of humour? Why don’t you knock on their door and find out? :’D

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not going anywhere near that door! 🙂 So glad that the penis hedge wasn’t just me! As soon as we rounded that corner I saw a green penis, and the validation I’m getting from everyone else who agreed is appreciated. 🙂 As for the mannequins and the dolls…yeah. I’m really not sure what the thought is, there, but I most definitely am interested! The idea of dolls being punished somehow doesn’t feel like an explanation that’s unlikely at all. This suburb has a lot going on–that much is clear by what I see as I stroll through! 🙂 Thanks for your comment. I always appreciate that and love these friendships we’re building up via our blogs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad you decided to write. I do love your walking posts. This one was no exception. Germans and sense of humor is definitely a misunderstood phenomenon. And yes, holy phallus in the middle of the street. I enjoy street performers of all stripes. I have a friend who HATES them and never gives money but I’m like: entertain me and take my money lol. Hope you guys have a great eat/drinkcation in the States 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! 🙂 Now I’m trying to see if I can write anything this week. Ugh–does that ever happen to you? I’m really struggling to feel motivated, lately. Anyway, street performers usually do me in, too. I love being able to just walk down the main street and see everything from artists to jugglers to singers, etc. 🙂 Some are better than others; I’ll say that. There was a Christmas market I went to one year and these teenagers were playing flutes (Christmas music) and they were pretty…awful. Perhaps new at learning the instrument. They were asked to leave by city officials. So, I guess there is a bit of a bar set and if you want to be a street artist, you have to meet it. 🙂 As for the eat/drinkation I am SO ready!! (I tried to sound all cool in my post, but if I have one glass of red wine per day I’ll be surprised/all set.) 🙂 I hope the start of your summer is great, too! I need to catch up on your posts. Not sure what’s wrong with me, lately–I’ve just been glued to the TV (all the news coming out of Orlando, especially…) It has definitely sucked the creativity/energy out of me, to say the least.

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  7. You’ve given me my next tattoo idea: “I might be too stuffed/drunk to feel creative.”
    That right there.
    It needs to be inked onto my skin for forever.
    Mwah!

    Like

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