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Sunday In Germany: Where in the world is everyone?????

by Ken Yeager

It’s too cold to be at the beach so everyone who can must be off skiing or partaking of some such winter activity.  Me?  I’m just trying to stay indoors and warm, counting the days until I can unhook the trickle charger from my beloved motorcycle and hit the road.  So what do I do all days being fully retired as of 1 October 2010 you ask?  Well, you didn’t but I’ll tell you anyways.

I get up at 0745, clean myself up and start the house, raising roll-down shutters, filling the tank of the humidifier and bringing in the papers.  I get a copy of the International Herald Tribune (an overseas edition of the New York Times – yeah, I’m a Democrat).  I’m responsible for breakfast which is yogurt and fruit five days a week and brötchen with butter and jam the other two days (Sunday calls for a soft boiled egg as well).  I also help out in the kitchen for lunch, which is our main meal of the day and I have the pleasure of doing the clean up (consider it K.P.) after meals.  I also do a bit of ironing during the day to help out, just the simple stuff like napkins, t-shirts, etc.  Our housekeeper gets to do the more difficult items.  I enjoy sitting at the computer and reading some news items, looking at the Saigon Kids sites seeing if anyone has reappeared in our lives or written something witty or interesting, check my Army sites to see if any old Army contacts have “joined” up, and read some of the local news sites as well.  Living in Germany I have developed a minor interest in local & national German politics.

Monday is laundry day at Chez Yeager and I try to give my wife at hand with that, carting stuff up and down the cellar stairs.  Plus it is usually spaghetti day for lunch with yesterday being a mushroom sauce, homemade of course.   And come 8:40PM I head out to my once a week evening exercise class for older men.  I sure wish I knew what the former occupations of some of my class colleagues were as some of them are really in good shape and most of them are at least 70.

Tuesday is a shopping day at the local store, stocking up on bottled water (why I have no idea), yogurt, and other typical store-bought items.  Tonight my wife is off to her yoga class for and hour and a half.  She will be stiff tomorrow for sure after the Christmas/New Year pause.  Lunch today is sautéed shrimp with asparagus risotto and salad…I do the risotto and Gisela the shrimps.

Wednesday is market day in Volksdorf, a suburb of Hamburg about 15 minutes away by car.  We like to go there to do our food shopping and we know many of the vendors.  Our usual purchases are fresh vegetables, cold cuts, chicken (wings, breasts, whole, etc.),  potatoes, loose sweet butter, cheeses, fish,  meats (beef, pork, lamb), fruits, rolls (Brötchen), smoked or grava lachs (salmon), small shrimps (not available in the U.S.), and matjes (young herring).  None of the above is Frankenfood meaning that it is hormone free, non-generic engineered or any antibiotics.  The Germans are absolutely against the bastardization of their food and for that I am pleased.  Lunch is usually something simple like apple pancakes or matjes and boiled potatoes or a trip to the local Italian restaurant for pizza.

Thursday is pretty much an open day with the occasional trip to one of the shopping centers (malls) about 30 minutes from our place.  That usually results in a lunch of sushi in the food court after my stomach starts growling with all of the foods on display.  Or we might drive to Ahrensburg for some shopping or to raid our bank account for some money.   We do little shopping in our local stores, much to my chagrin…I suspect it is more a lack of parking than any other reason.  Plus Grosshansdorf has little to choose from in the way of stores.

Friday is pretty much a repeat of Thursday without shopping.  I refuse to shop on Mondays or Fridays due to the mob scenes.  It is just a good day to do nothing…read the paper, a book, listen to music or watch some TV.

Saturday is again market day and the better of the two days….more vendors plus parking is free at the U-Bahn’s “Park and Ride” garage.  It also involves a walk into the town to buy a new lottery ticket and perhaps pick up some items at the super excellent candy store (l love chocolate) or some items health food store ( I suppose those two stores ought not to be in the same sentence, but there you are).

Sunday may or may not be a restaurant day.  Last Sunday was a trip to Kelbg Restaurant which is located near the cemetery where Gisela’s parents are buried.  We usually park the car, walk to the grave site,  clean it up a bit and put a new candle in the candle housing.  Then off to the restaurant where we usually have an excellent meal and a glass of wine.  I ate a delicious sole this past Sunday.  This part of Germany has a bunch of good restaurants.  Just a few weeks ago we tried a Chinese restaurant near the main train station in Hamburg which specializes in Dim Sum and boy, it was great.  A place we will be returning to many times in the future when shopping in Hamburg.

Our Sunday starts with fresh Brötchen, a soft boiled egg, jam and tea.  There is a children’s program on the 1st TV channel (ARD) that I enjoy (OK – knock it off, I can hear you snickering from here) because a part of it explains how things are done or made or whatever…you know, the sort of things you don’t know and always wanted to find out and the other part is an animated cartoon with sheep in the style where the characters are done in clay and moved about just slightly and then photographed and put together to make a video.  Anyway, I find the video very funny and get a big kick out of the show.  That is followed by a news program of interest to my wife.

Just about every day involves at least one nap.  I can usually manage, on a quiet day, a brief post-breakfast nap (10-15 minutes?) and of course, my after lunch nap of about 30-40 minutes.  I gotta tell you, the nap thing was picked up in Saigon.  I have never been able to shake it and trying to squeeze in a nap in a working environment was never easy.

OK now that you know what the hell I do, what do you do all day long?  Most of “kids” I knew in Saigon are well into their ‘60s and probably lead lives not too far from what I do (or don’t do) all day long.  Let’s hear from you.  Get off your lazy retired “a—“ and write.  And if you all are nice, I’ll tell you what I do in the summer, later.

Just me sayin’.

2 comments to Sunday In Germany: Where in the world is everyone?????

  • Mike McNally

    Ken, if it’s heat and humidity you be needin’, I’ve heard that both are still available in Saigon. You can even rent a motorcycle. LOL…Mike McNally

  • Frank

    Wow! My mouth waters every time Ken writes about German food and I picture myself walking through the German streets and markets.
    Me! I am totally rebuilding our house (I sometimes wonder how long it will take to finish what I’ve started. I also then wonder how much time I have left! He!He!!. I’m also rebuilding my old ’54 Chevy Pickup (drove it when we lived in Oklahoma back in the ‘80’s .. to blend in with the natives of course! lol). I should be rebuilding my body instead!
    I have been teaching U.S. History full time of late. I’m substituting for a friend who is out recovering from cancer surgery. (I do not know why I keep teaching for I have discovered that I am allergic to teenagers!) However, I had planned a trip to Hawaii several months ago. So right now I have a substitute teacher substituting for the “sub”! So, at this moment I am writing from my kid’s house in Honolulu. I’ll be here a week and then back to the “salt mine”. Yesterday I worked on my daughters ’68 Mustang and listened to old records. My kids have all my old 33 1/3 and they play them regularly ( all 750 plus). The good things about the “good ole days” were fast music and fast cars … and girls that liked ….. well …. Uh! … “slow” gin! He! He!. I’m not so sure the rest was all that great.
    Our house in Arizona is about 15 miles from Mexico. Yes, I see it from our front window. It was 2 degrees outside the morning I left. According to my wife, it never got above 40 that day. She also said that our house was one of the few that did not have frozen pipes! Well I will be on the beach today and later eating some Pho. Frank

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