Travels with Bowser Posts

The last few days we’ve been in Schlaiten, a village in Osttirol with less than 500 inhabitants, located near the Italian border. Up the mountain, on a farm above the village, lives Bowser’s oldest relative: die Uroma. She’s been living here for hundreds of years with her cow Linde, who is now – like every summer – on holidays higher up in the Alps where she can run around in the grass and play with all the neighbour-cows. Die Uroma stays behind on the farm with her rooster, four chickens and fat dormouse. It is a peaceful and quiet place and the view from the terrace is breathtakingly beautiful: perfect for a four-day-stop on our way from Vorarlberg to Croatia.

“Are you drinking already? At ten in the morning?” I ask Anna and her dad. They are sitting in the garden, cleaning the mushrooms Anna’s dad found in the woods, drinking a glass of white wine while doing so. At the exact moment I hear the words come out of my mouth, I realise my mistake. There is no such thing as drinking in the morning in Austria. It simply doesn’t exist. What Anna and her dad are doing (and what I’ll be doing two minutes later as well), is part of a very old tradition. And so I already know their response to my ignorant question: “No, we are not drinking in the morning. This is Frühschoppen! Do you want a beer or some wine?”