This blogging gets in the way of life. Yet when I look at older posts it’s always such a nice reminder and memory. So I stumble along and do my best.
The last days, since Monday, Stephen is by my side. He thinks he’s got jet lag beat with a special diet, or rather a fast followed by a high protein meal if I understand correctly. Yet he fell asleep during a boring conversation in German I had with an official at the former dementia home my father was at before he died. I kicked Stephen under the table afraid he would fall out of his seat.
As Stephen keeps saying, we could be tourists and enjoy ourselves visiting various sites, but it’s also good to just be part of life here. A day going to the bakery and grocery store, strolling along the river that runs through town, discovering some adult size swings and finding out Stephen never learned how to pump a swing. Lots of food here and there and realizing that an Eiskaffee has nothing to do with an iced coffee but is a magic concoction of vanilla and chocolate ice cream with unsweetened coffee and topped with whipped cream and a thin wafer. I believe Stephen had one every day since.
He got to visit infamous spots of my youth. Visited with friends where I ate all their pretzels and we might not be welcome back.
We always did errands to various government offices and found out how all important data protection is here, unless they want something from you.
Finding my brother has been one focus today. At the office they offered his whereabouts after he left home as a youth, over 30 years ago. That would be €10. Of course he has moved many times since and I’m supposed to go from town to town until I reached his final residence, unless he’s homeless and without residence. Can’t you just tell me where he is? Data protection.
In Mannheim today at a homeless hangout I asked about my brother. Everyone was so friendly and word got around quickly at the square, but no one knew a Robert.
Stephen had an introduction to a Döner and likes them. We also hit the organic store and ended up with tons of new teas. Oops. A refreshing drink of apple juice with rosemary and other ingredients totally fit, as they say here: es passt.
We’re loaded down with photos from my fathers belongings. Everything else I donated, from furniture to about 10 tubs of clothing, some of it still wrapped and never worn. The photos were emotional baggage enough. If you visit us you’ll see a photo of my mom as a youn’un on the ancestry wall.
We visited the Turkish section of town and found a vegan place. It’s so sad we’re not here long enough to eat at every interesting place we see. Vegetarian and vegan food has taken off in this area, not just fries and a side salad anymore.
I’m running out of energy and typing with two fingers on an ipad gets old, old, old.
Friday we’re heading to Heidelberg where our friends are waiting. I’ve known them since I was 17 or so. Lots of history and stories.