Nov 11, 2015

Little weekend

So I finally booked our tickets for the US. Late, but not as late as last year. Unfortunately we have to disappoint at least one of our constant readers with the news that we will not be in Arizona this trip.

Saori has been in a crucible at her office, working really late hours and really really frustrated, mostly with her supervisors. One of her team coworkers, who I normally consider one of the most mild and even keeled GERMANS I know, is so stressed out and upset he can't even bring himself to talk about it because he gets too upset to speak, so I can imagine what a strain this is on Saori.

So Saturday was a bit of retail therapy. We actually do go out shopping shopping so much. So, we had fun shopping at COS where I bought Saori a late birthday present of a really cool coat.

Saturday night, Saori wasn't feeling well so I made Aloo Gobi and Daal and brought it with me to an Indian dinner party at Bala's place. I was wearing the Indian red long shirt thing they wear in the north, and there were actually two other native whiter than white Germans also sporting (more elaborate and fancier) versions of the same shirt. I found a great pressure cooker daal recipe and it was really really well received

There was much dancing but I am not so much for Indian dancing, so I practiced my German and small talk with some guests I didn't know, a young couple with very extravagant Indian attire (they admitted they got them through Amazon). The woman was from Turkmenistan and the guy was Russian-German. They both came from very small villages and talked about how Stuttgart really struck them as a big city with a great big city life.

I am truly spoiled- although I work hard (sometimes) to find the good in smaller cities, like St. Louis, it's hard to feel like we are living the big city life in Stuttgart after spending so much time in some of the biggest, most exciting cities in the world. Really I need to lower my standards.

Anyway, Sunday I made apple pancakes for breakfast and then around noon decided to hop out for a field trip to Schwäbisch Hall. Hall is a small city along a small river in a small valley with steep banks. The historic city centre was basically untouched for probably 200-300 years. I have never before seen so many half timbered buildings and massive old roofs. I changed our itinerary slightly, we actually rode one station beyond in a two car train which charmingly looked straight out of the 80s with orange spring-supported upholstery and brown plastic frames.

Our first stop was the Hohenloher Freilandmuseum Schwäbisch Hall-Wackershofen, which was a small farming village pretty much preserved as a historic park where you can see how people in the countryside lived basically unchanged from the middle ages through the turn of the last century. It was a lovely day to be out in the countryside and we wandered through the old Mill and the home of the Millers family above it.

Then we caught the retro train back to Schwäbisch Hall and basically had all our standards for German urban adorableness reset. Old covered timber bridges, winding and narrow cobblestone streets, an amazing view of the old city wall above the river and the half timbered city rising above it. We found our way to the church plaza which is actually a big hill filled with steps, and claimed a spot at a cafe table outside. Saori got coffee and cake and I ordered a beer. We enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine making its way to the ancient plaza and shining on the people sunning themselves on the church steps.

And an hour and a half of travel later and we were home.
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