The Mountain Lodge, Oberursel in September 2019

This is a visual tour of the Mountain Lodge and its surroundings. Since the first tenants/owners moved in around 2015, not much has been written about this historic building.

Mountain Lodge Oberursel
Mountain Lodge Oberursel

Coming down on the right side of the building, towards the meadows.

The chapel (center) is still there.

Yes, and there is some graffiti too.

Oberursel Photo Calendar 2020

As I am about to prepare a care package with local souvenirs for our daughter in Tallahassee, FL, I ran across this picturesque photo calendar.

With Oberursel being an expat town of its own kind, there are plenty of residents who come and go, including my own family. This makes it a great souvenir for anybody who has ever lived here.

I bought this calendar for € 12,95 at the newsagent Tabak Carree Rhode at Camp King, Oberursel.

Photos and Design by Petrus Bodenstaff, a taxi driver from Frankfurt.

A Stroll Through Oberursel Old Town

The historical part of town of Oberursel is usually referred to as the Altstadt by Germans. We had another out-of-town visitor, and a trip to the Biergarten included walking back to the parking area An der Bleiche (At the Bleaching Grounds). In the old days, women washed and sun bleached the sheets right there.

St. Ursula Church

 

The Witches Path, Oberursel

It’s an old tradition around here that when a baby is born, the family hangs out baby clothing to announce its arrival.

 

 

Old and new can stand very close together.

We have arrived at our destination:  the parking lot An der Bleiche.

This fountain woman represents the women from long ago, who used to bring their laundry to this area – the washing and bleaching got done here.

Gender Equality in a Good Partnership

While researching the significance of being a ‘Good Wife and Wise Mother’ (ryosai kenbo) in the Japanese society, I found some noteworthy articles on this topic.

In the early 90s, I was called a ‘career woman’ for working in Japan, which occasionally came with a  negative connotation. For some, I should have stayed at home, being a ‘kanai’ (Japanese for: in-house person), looking pretty, and cooking well. And yes, maybe wearing Snoopy socks while fixing my husband’s meal.

Gender equality is far from being the norm in Japan — the country ranked 101st out of 135 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index in 2012.

For the longest time, it was the norm for a Japanese woman wanting to achieve the ryosai kenbo status in society. This has changed though. Japanese women are less likely to get married these days.

Surprisingly though, even as late as 2016, the Japanese man is still looking for these traits in a wife. If you look at the men’s expectations below, it will become clear as to why fewer Japanese women opt for marriage.

Based on this article 10 Qualities Japanese Men Want their Wives to Possess from 2016, this 10-point list really puts Japan’s gender inequality in the spot light:

——————————————-

10. She has good “money sense,” and knows how to manage the household finances. It is not acceptable if she overspends.

I want the same good money sense from my male partner too.

9. She knows how to cook well, and can make good meals for guests.

Yes, my husband can cook a good meal. Especially on the weekend, if he has time to scour the New York Times recipe section to cook something new for us.

8. She is good at housework, and can make a clean and comfortable living space.

He’s not around that much to do housework, and I work from home. I do most of it.

7. She has a successful career, and a good education.

This is a rather high demand on a Japanese man’s wish list. Have a successful career and raising successful children too..? Is the same man capable of having a good education, a successful career, and raising children on the side as well? No, these are double-standards.

6. She has a positive attitude, and speaks to people with a sincere heart.

We all like to be surrounded by people with a positive attitude.

5. She has a good character, and excellent social skills.

My husband has a good character, and since he is a working man, he also has developed good social skills.

4. She is gentle, kind, and obedient.

I like a partner with a gentle heart too, but I would not expect him to be obedient. This would not be a partnership. Definitely gender inequality.

3. She has a healthy figure. She loves sports, and is good at one sport, or can play an instrument, or dance.

Don’t overdo it here! After a full day at work, raising successful children at the end of it, you expect your partner to do sports, dance, or play music…? I’ve read the Japanese wife is supposed to bring your slippers, run your bath, and fix your meal when you come home at 11 pm. Sorry, I won’t play the Shamisen for you that late.

2. She must be nice looking, and is willing to raise children; the more, the better.

My husband is nice looking. Thank you.

1. But the most important quality is a good family background; that is what most Japanese men put as the first priority. A good family background brings lots of benefits to the future family. Well-raised kids will get along with other family members, and there will be a harmonious family life.

One of my former students in Japan told me she had to write something similar to a CV and resume before she could be asked out on a date by the man of her choice. He submitted her paperwork to his parents. When it was approved, she could go out with him.

Yes, the family background is still a first priority.

Take my input with a grain of salt, but do keep in mind that we hope for respect, dignity, and equality in any relationship.

Here I played the role of a ‘Good German’ really well: dressed in Bavarian clothing, selling German goods in a Japanese department store. These career women… 🙂

Selling German goods in Japan

More articles to read on this topic:

Three Versions of the Good Wife in Japan (article in the JapanTimes)

Joshiryoku-How is Girl Power defined (women’s ability to look after their appearance and being insightful enough to care for others by savvytokyo)

Wash Your Honey Jars Before Drop-Off at the Bottle Recycling Point

Our local beekeepers have  issued the following reminder: Do not dump unwashed honey jars into the Glass Recycle Containers. Rinse them out really well.

Any honey remnant left in the jar can contribute to the transference of the

  • Amerikanische Faulbrut (German)
  • Paenibacillus larvae (Latin)
  • American Foulbrood

which is one of the most detrimental bacterial bee diseases of its kind on a global scale. 80 – 90% of all imported honey contains spores of this disease, which is an additional threat to our local bee population.

Please rinse the jars very carefully before dropping them in the container.

The next step is:  the introduction of the requirement that imported honey be analyzed to detect the possible presence of American Foulbrood bacteria.

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