For the past four days or so, Abdul has been bringing us various juices in wine glasses. We can see the other guests asking each other, "Who the hell are these guys?"
I like watching the guys working on the building next door and I'm constantly amazed at the amount of work they get done in a day. Unfortunately, there are days like today when the noise level borders on unbearable.
And speaking of people working, yesterday as we left the hotel, we saw a guy preparing to tow a car. It was the strangest towing setup I've ever seen. There were three girls standing there watching, one of them was the owner. She said they had just driven 250 kilometers and now it won't start, so the guy is taking it to the shop. It should be ready in five days, but they're not waiting. They already have another car and are going home, the car will be delivered to them. It has something to do with a program for people with children, but I didn't quite get how it works.
And that's another thing, why can't they make shoelaces that aren't three times longer than necessary?
We caught the tram up to the Zeil where we had iteded to go to the H & M store, but I had seen a C & A just across from the tram station and we like C & A (it's a store, what's not to like?) so we bopped on over there. Robb was hoping to buy a light jacket like the one I bought in Toulouse several years ago. They seem to have switched from their fall line to their winter stuff, and the closest thing he could get was fleece-like jacket. We were simply amazed at the prices. His jacket was just €19. I bought two very nice shirts for €4.50 each and Robb bought me a long-sleeve shirt for only €9.
It was raining lightly when we left the store to await the tram. When it came, we got separated. I found a double seat in the back, but Robb was no where to be seen. A guy with a young boy tried to sit the boy across from me and take the seat next to me. I was sure Robb was on his way, so I wouldn't let they guy have the seat. When I saw Robb going the other way, I shrugged and offered the seat to the guy, but I guess he was pissed and wouldn't take it. He and the boy eventually moved to other seats where they could sit across from each other. I've seen parents do that a lot here and I haven't a clue what it's about, but they'll take up four seats just so they can do it.
Robb had an appointment at the apotheke (pharmacy, again not like a US drug store) but when the stop came up, I wasn't sure he would know where to get off. I got off anyway and found him standing there waiting. He got his stuff at the apotheke and we went next door to a variety place where we both bought itty-bitty umbrellas for €2.50 each, because the rain had gotten heavier. Shortly after we entered the room, the rain stopped and the sun came out.
It rained off and on, hard and light, for the rest of the evening. A little after 20h00 we went to dinner at the Cosmopolitan in the bahnhof. We both had the "special", salmon with potatoes and a small green salad. We drank Pinot Grigio. The waiter tonight was a Chinese guy. They closed early for some reason, but we took our wine and sat at one of the outside tables, from which we had a fantastic view of the train station, the trains and the people coming and going. Have I mentioned how much I like sitting in European train stations and watching the ebb and flow of the trains and the passengers?
After we finished our wine, we took the elevator down top the main level and walked a while. I even dared to board an ICEand take a picture. Then we boarded a local double-decker. I say we dared to board those trains because they don't stay in the station for any more than twenty to thirty minutes. On the way out, we stopped to check the wetter (weather) on theinfoscreen.
August 24 (Dienstag) - Today we took the river cruise we almost took the other day. It was coolish and we thought it might rain, but it turned into a fantastically beautiful day. We bought our tickets and awaited the arrival of the boat. The cruise was to last 100 minutes, but it was better than two hours in fact. We left the dock and headed upriver. They sell food and drinks on the boat, so when the waitress came, I ordered two small bottles of champagne. We really enjoyed drinking the wine while cruising. The boat docked at a famous hotel/restaurant where a number of people got off. They will have to await the next boat to get back. There are way too many pictures to post a comment about each one, so I'm going to point you to the Main Cruise set.
For dinner, we hopped the number 16 tram and rode to Schweizer Straße in Sachsenhausen and Trattoria Casa Mia. We both had the Bucatini all'Amatriciana. If you're not familiar with it, bucatini is like a very thick spaghetti. It was excellent. The wait staff was also excellent. They were mostly young Italian girls who changed languages as easily as most people change their minds. It was very interesting to hear. The girl who waited on our table easily switched between Italian, German, French and English. We drank pinot grigio. After dinner we walked around a bit but not for long because it was quite chilly and there was a brisk wind. Of course, you wouldn't have known that by looking at all the people in short sleeves, drinking and eating on thr terraces at the many restaurants we passed.
Speaking of Robb, he bought a really great man-bag at Woolworth. Am I jealous? You bet, and I will have one tomorrow.
We went back to Sachsenhausen for dinner at Zum Gemalten Haus. It's interesting because you have to enter this part that looks like an alley. Then you come to wide place in the alley, and then you enter the restaurant. From our seat this is one of the pictures we could see. We both had Russische Eier mit Fleischsalat (Russian Eggs with Meat Salad). It was fantastic! Robb told me his father used to make this all the time, but he never made it when I was there. Robb drank apfelwein and I drank (surprise!) champagne. Champagne is so inexpensive here, I'm almost sorry we have to go to Spain in about eight days. But the REAL excitement of the night happened when a guy came to our eight seat table and asked if it was okay to join us. I said, yes of course. His name was Willgo (or something close to that). He was here on business from München and he spoke very little English. The three of us had a great time. He has never been to the US but he loves Bavaria and recommended it to us as the best place inn Germany to live. Then he bought a serving of handkasse (hand cheese), which Robb said tasted terrible, but when he offered it to me, I thought it was quite tasty. When Robb tried his portion, he agreed and said it was a lot better than he remembered. All too soon, Willgo had to leave and we said auf wiedersehn. Shortly after, we left also. I LOVE nights like this and hope we have more, both here and in Spain.
August 26 (Donnertag) - We boarded the 16 tram and went to Sachsenhausen. Got off the tram and walked to Woolworth where I bought my "Bob Bag". We then went to Scheckler, which I had mistakenly remembered as a realtor. It's actually the closest thing they have over here to an American drug store with hair, shaving, beauty stuff as well as a small assortment of snack stuff.
We caught the 15 tram, but only went a couple of stops and got off because it was just too crowded. We finally got one that wasn't quite as crowded and rode to the end of the line, where we got off and walked to the one already sitting there and rode back the way we had come. It was kind of disappointing because it was almost exactly the same route the 16 tram had taken the other day. I do wonder why they would have two trams covering the same area when there are areas to which there is no tram service, like the Alte Oper (old Opera). I guess if we want to see it, we will have to walk.
We had planned to go to Sachsenhausen for dinner, but as we were getting ready to leave, it began to pour. It stopped for a few minutes and our hopes were raised but soon dashed as it startig coming down again. So it was dinner at Gaylord. We are blessed that it is such a good restaurant. I had Butter Chicken, although one would be hard-pressed to distinguish the butter. Even so, it was very good, as we have come to expect of Gaylord. Robb had a lamb dish that was extremely spicey.
Susan arrives tomorrow. We are going to take the S-bahn to the airport to meet her, and we'll probably return by taxi.