Monday, February 9, 2009

Social Weekend!

We were social butterflies (german word: schmetterlings) this weekend. Today (sunday) was awesome. We spent it with a German family...a typical german sunday. It really felt good to be in Germany today. We met some great people, saw how a real german family lives, and Mayzie played with a girl her own age. Oh, and I drove a Smart Car!What a great car. I had actually driven one in England back in 2002, and today re-inforced my love for them and my dream of owning one someday. Not now (we have a kid and no job haha). It's as close to biking as you can get while driving legally. Anyways, this morning we took the train south to Zuffenhausen, only two stops (HQ of Porsche, the factory is hard to miss). The mission: to have brunch with Bettina's friends Matthias and Annette, who have a 3 year old daughter named Lara-Joy. Matthias picked us up from the station and we arrived to their beautiful little German house. We arrived to a feast....pretzels, salads, sausages, breads, meats, cheeses, fresh OJ, amazing mustards, hard boiled eggs, and even cake (Lara-Joy's birthday was january 28, so she re-celebrated with us). We had awoken at 9 and walked the 30 minutes to the train stop and then trained it to their stop, got there by 11....we were worried about being hungry. No need for this was a feast fit for kings.

We ate and ate and talked. Mathias and Annettte had lived in China for 3 years, so their English is good. That sounds funny, I know, but that is the case. We talked all about kids and they answered so many of our questions about where to go, and what to do with Mayzie...it felt really good to talk with somone who understands our situation and can give us advice. We connected with them on the kid level and the travelling level, so thats pretty good. They were dissapointed in my blase attitude about baseball--they love the Yankees, who else. We learned a bunch of new German words, and I have a new plan of attack when I need to converse over here. Lately I had been asking straight up if they spoke english, but that is not a good way to go about learning the language. I feel I know enough small, key words now that I can just start speaking German--they will figure out very quickly that I am not fluent, will switch to English, or will use sign language. That is the best way. By asking right away "Sprechen Sie English?", I am putting them in an uncomfartable position and I am not learning anything new. So we'll see how that goes.

After the feast (we ate liek half of the spread that was prepared), we talked and had some sparkling wine, while the kids played and played. Mayzie and Lara Joy got along very well, and seem to be able to play despite the language barrier. LJ has an awesome room and Mayzie was in heaven with all the new toys. 

She towered over this kid...I think LJ is small. Or else Mayzie is just GOLIATH haha.

So me and Jenna are not small people, right? Well we were completly stuffed after the brunch feast and were about to request a ride back to the train, so we can go home and veg out the rest of the evening. But our hosts insisted we go and eat some more at a local restaurant that they frequent. Insane. It was cool being in public with them so that we can ask what the menu says and see how to act like a German in public (civil and polite, like us haha). We all had schnitzel (it was their specialty!). Mine Bombay Schnitzel (schnitzel with curry), Jenna's was Kase Schinitzel (cheese schnitzel) and Mayzie had plain old schnitzel. It was heavy after the brunch, but we forced it down. A nice, local dunkel weizen helped mine go down better, for sure. By the end of the evening, we had spent 7 hours with them. Car, train, bus, walk, and we were home. We have plans to meet at the zoo on tuesday so that the girls can see eachother again. We will be seeing alot of these people, I hope....it was a good experience and I know Jenna felt good being able to talk with people that relate.

On saturday, Jenna met up with a gaggle of knitters at a small knitting shop in Backnang, like 40 mins on the train away. They loved having her and were very nice to her...they were all Germans, but one, and only a few spoke good enough english to talk with Jenna, but she is invited back next time (first saturday of every month), and a lady that lives near us in the group will even give her a ride out there. I guess when she arrived, they rearranged all the seating so that she can sit and knit next to some english speakers. Funny. Me and Mayzie walked around the town and played in the park while mommy knitted...its a beautiful, quiet little hamlet. We stopped in at one point and all the ladies stopped the clicking of the whatchamacallits and looked up at us, it was a bit unnerving but I didnt cry. Jenna was the youngest in the group for sure....I think she had a good time....Jenna, did you? Maybe you can post something on here sometime!?!?!?

Not much going on tomorrow--probably hang out, maybe go to the pool. Take Osky for a walk, poor guy was stuck in all day.

I gotta sit to pee? No Way, Bro!

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