The Soaring Kiwi and the Sauerkraut is the offbeat travel tale of a hang gliding New Zealander who makes the mistake of marrying a grumpy German and moving to Munich, the city of big beer and Lederhosen you couldn't whip a high ranking motorsport official into wearing. A big life style change for the kiwi known to most of the world as:
a) a small brown furry fruit b) a brand of shoe polish c) a motorcycle helmet
but is in fact a small brown, nocturnal bird found only in New Zealand. And can’t fly. Perfect prerequisites for our Soaring Kiwi, on his quest to become the world’s worst hang glider champion.
• pinnacle of the dedicated dot.com entrepreneur with a cunning business plan, to the tedium trough of the underemployed with an efficient German employer that isn’t
• climax in every teenage petrol head’s wet dream of piloting a big black car really, really fast, legally, to the pit of despair while being overtaken by a Mini
• thrill of the first proper sentence in German, to realising said sentence could have been uttered by any good international man of mystery
• relief of freedom from pain, to the tortures of Germany’s modern medieval medical establishment
the Soaring Kiwi and the Sauerkraut is a germane journey through the highs and lows of adjusting to life in a new country with bad coffee.
The Soaring Kiwi, aka Phil Southward, is a wannabe competition hang gliding pilot and author. Phil was born in the small town of Lower Hutt, a suburb of the big, for New Zealand standards, capital city Wellington.
After completing an unremarkable few years at school, he went on to squeeze a further forgettable number of years in the IT industry while travelling, skiing, windsurfing, surfing, hang gliding and mountain biking whenever he could. Making the mistake of marrying the Sauerkraut, a grumpy German he met in Wellington, Phil moved to Munich where he lives today.
Phil has two great little girls, a hang glider, paraglider, windsurfer, surfboard, mountain bike, motorcycle, three pairs of skis and a number of toy Porsches.
You'll read this book thinking Phil the author is actually speaking to you personally- a kind of New Zealand Bill Bryson. Laugh out loud at his antics settling into a new culture - a great read for anyone who has moved countries and encountered bureaucratic nightmares or just travelling through. He's obviously a genuine petrolhead from a long line of petrolheads and he's in car heaven - or is he? Those who have experienced the Autobahn at a standstill or had Autobahn car envy will empathise with him. Funny book, funny man.
The Soaring Kiwi and the Sauerkraut was an enjoyable read and at times had me laughing-out-loud on my train ride to work. Any expat who's moved to Germany will relate on so many levels with this book and will surely make a great gift for those friends who live here...
I highly recommend this book and plan on buying it for friends too!
An enjoyable, tongue in cheek amusing read describing his new life in a new country. His attempts to master a new language, culture as well as getting to grips with the countries bureaucratic minefields. Extremely funny in parts and a perfect book to take on holiday to while away a long plane journey.