Sunday, January 27, 2013

This weekend in review: party time, spending way more than is just on transport, with a side of lamesauce

This is how it starts.

He is not that literate so I would like to know why he feels the need to do this.

Now this is just uncalled for!

This weekend really featured a variety of events for me: some new, and others the same old daily grind.

On Friday night, I was lame and stayed in with Moo. I was tired and wanted to relax, as well as catch up on some newspaper reading and "computering," as I put it.

Saturday found me up bright and early in order to catch the bus to town. I had an appointment to look at some apartments. The first apartment in the building was totally depressing; the walls had been stripped bare of wallpaper, some of the flooring was missing, and oh yeah, the whole kitchen was gone (which is not unusual in German apartments; many are empty and the tenant must buy her own). The second apartment in the building at least had complete flooring and painted walls but I just don't want to deal with not having a kitchen.

The real estate agent had me cracking up, though. She told me (in half English, half German) that it was good that the toilet was separate from the shower area in the apartment because "mein Mann" could take a shower and even if he was taking forever, I could still at least use the toilet. My solution is just not to have a Mann period and I can use whatever I like, when I want to ;) Of course, I don't have enough German to tell her that.

After looking at the apartments, I walked to downtown Kaiserslautern to do some window shopping, visit the farmers' market, and hang out before a group hike I was going to join. I found some interesting products at the supermarket, but I'll write about those more later. 

I was supposed to meet a group for a hike in the woods just outside of town, but by that point I was tired and cold so I caught a bus home and slept for a while.  Upon waking, I grabbed a bus back to town (after spending much time on studying maps and timetables), ate dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (it had been too long -- a month, since I had Mexican food), and attempted to catch a bus to a party I planned to attend. After spending a cold period of time trying to get the bus, as well as some false starts, I gave up and hailed a taxi. A taxi is really a last resort for me; I'm frugal (cheap??), stubborn, really like public transport, and am not adverse to walking. At that point, I was cold, tired, frustrated, and just wanted to get to the party and avoid waiting another 45 minutes for the bus, so the taxi was a wise (though somewhat costly) idea. 

That's a misconception about this area (or even many parts of Europe?): that there is always plentiful public transportation. That is not always the case. Even in Kaiserslautern, which is not by any means a small city (there are about 100,000 people in the area), it is not always easy or timely to get to the edges of town. Rural areas or industrial areas might require a car to effectively travel.

I did enjoy the party and met some very nice new people. Following the party, I took an expensive taxi ride home with a very pleasant driver who called me "nice lady" and told me how lovely the area is and how he enjoys taking his dog for a walk in the woods, so at least I received some interesting commentary by a friendly local.

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