Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weekend Wanderings

I can imagine that most people who happen upon my little blog would find the idea of a weekend in Germany a grand sort of event. I remember my twenty-ninth birthday when I made my first trip across the border just to add another country to my list. It was the sort of occassion when everything was worth recording. Sitting on the train, which is quite different from a typical Czech train) was an event in and of itself. If you're bored enough to flip back through the pages, I'm sure that in November '07 you can find said pictures. Now, however, I find myself actually having family in Germany. This means that, rather than being a trip designed for exploration and sight seeing, heading across the border means spending time in a little flat full of people. It means hours of sitting at the table chatting while food is being cooked and watching tv. It means games of memory or Skip Bo. It means a set of twins gone wild. In short, these visits are now just another normal part of life. Granted, being able to sit on the futon where we sleep, looking out on the steeple of an old Catholic Church does add to the effect. German architecture is also different than the Czech variety, so you can feel those little cultural differences, not to mention the multiple language overload, but I just don't take so many pictures. All that to say, this post is going to be more a highlighting of events, rather than a photo filled extravaganza. It was quite a long weekend that we spent in the little village of Neunkirchen, Germany. We were driven over on Thursday at speeds that ranged all the way up to 180km, (yes that is more than 100 mph) which reminded me of the hectic ride Crystal and I once took with a random German man in his very fast Mercedes of BMW or whatever. Anyhow, we made it safely and spent the afternoon relaxing and watching a very stressful movie called 172 Hours. It was with Czech dubbing, but it wasn't hard to follow. That also means the title might be different in English, but I'm pretty sure that's right. Then in the late afternoon the house was filled with kids and noise and all that goes along with them. Friday the kids had school again, so the morning was pretty quite. Got to go shopping with the girls in the afternoon which was fun. I've spent enough time in the area now, that going into Weiden was all very familiar. Shopping is always enjoyable, and I got my fill of fresh clean packages, and a variety of products you just can't find in American stores. I had to pick up some Milka with Daim (which is a kind of toffee) because it's just that good. Saturday involved another trip to the ice skating rink. The husband was feeling under the weather and, therefore, avoided the outing. This meant I got to practice my "skills" without so much pressure. I didn't fall down at all, and also managed not to stick close to the wall the whole time. I even had Nathalie make a little video so I could prove to Mark later that progress had been made :) It was nice to feel confident enough that when I watched another lady clearly having her first experience on the ice, I felt like I could show her that it really does get better. On Sunday, we celebrated Nathalie's birthday at a huge swimming pool complex. A few of her friends were there, so the girls were well entertained. Again, Mark wasn't feeling well, so he only swam for the first hour or so, but I still had a chance to enjoy all the different pool varieties. All except the diving pool... There was a lap swimming pool that Mark and I were in for a little while. The water there was around 25C which would be like around 75 or so I think. It was pretty cold in comparison to the other pool that was 30C which felt like a nice warm bath. In tat second pool, there were different areas that bubbled or showered, or did any number of different things. It wasn't very deep, and it was where most people passed the time. It also had a place where you could go into an outdoor swimming pool of the same temperature. Keep in mind that outside it was about -7C which is like 10 or so F. Basically, really cold. It was fun though, and there was a rapids pool there, much faster than the one in Moscow. They also had a giant waterslide that I went down once. It wasn't super fast, but that suits me just fine because it meant no going underwater at the end. They had reserved a party area as well, so we were able to go back and forth and nibble on muffins and pretzels and watch the ice hockey practice going on right outside the window. It was really quite odd to sit there in a swim suit looking at snow and watching ice skaters. Monday morning we headed back hoome and since then things have fallen back to their usual routine. I'm working on the editing process for my novel right now. Trying to make sure everything makes sense and fits together before I seek out the next step. Perhaps it's my propensity to follow rules that makes it hard for me to know how to go about doing things for myself. I remember feeling so frustrated when I had a college degree and no idea what in the world to do with it. It's sort of the same thing now. I've got a book, so what. At least I've got something, now I'll just work hard and hope to figure out the rest.

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