Saturday, October 19, 2013

Flea markets, racing, and more

Today was soooo busy, but fun. Now I'm tired and sore, sore, sore.

This morning, I strolled downtown to check out the farmers' market. There was both curly and flat leafed kale this week -- score! I couldn't resist buying some curly leaf kale, even though I don't really have room in my fridge right now. That's an entirely unusual situation, but the lack of fridge room is because I'm having 20 people over tomorrow for a potluck.

In addition to the farmers' market, I checked out some "flea markets" that were set up as well. They were run by various charities and clubs. I wonder if they were set up because it's the Kaiserslautern kerwe week, since they are not a permanent feature.

A sweet lady at one of the flea market booths was telling me about stuff for sale after I asked her a few prices (we were both speaking German). I picked up a candy bar because it had Raphael's angels on it and I didn't realize what it was. I put it down, then she said something which I didn't catch/understand, and she smiled and dropped it in my bag. This is what tends to happen when I speak German with people: I do okay for a bit, then get confused, and then the person helping me gives me something or does something nice for me (usually). That's pretty good reinforcement and really kind of the person helping me, isn't it?!

After that, I hurried home to get ready to head out for a community 5K run/race. I'm not in shape but I knew I could at least walk that far because I trek that much or more almost every weekend during my travels. It was a super family friendly event; people even brought their dogs, which was cool (but seeing so many dogs in prong collars was not so cool). It was really fun and I was impressed by the work put into it. There were tons of community booths, a live band, a haunted house, pumpkin decorating, temporary tattooing, and even zombies to harass runners. 

Look! Star Wars peeps. The costume of the guy in black was funny because his "tank" on his back was made from an old suitcase or vacuum cleaner.

?? Mile Run. At the starting gate.
 The race itself was very enjoyable. The weather was just perfect with a sunny sky and a temperature of somewhere around 20 degrees Celsius. There were a lot of dogs enjoying the race too. I talked to one guy about his dog, who was really interesting looking -- something that was a Chow mix but didn't have the blocky Chow head or thick body. The owner told me that they purchased a DNA test on the dog for $50 and found out this huge list of mixed breeds he was. I didn't know that such a thing was available so inexpensively at the consumer level; it's really cool!

I also saw another guy walking a Pomeranian who was so tired that he had to pick up the dog (who looked really relieved after that!). It was pretty funny to see a tough, muscly dude carrying a fluffy little dog. Seeing all those dogs made me miss having a dog somewhat. However, I then snapped back to reality and remembered that I wouldn't be the right person to own a dog because I work/go to school/travel so much. Even poor Moo the Cat doesn't get as much undivided attention from me as he'd like.

One of the many dogs in the race.
 Toward the end of the race, I stopped for a wine tasting. Man, do I ever love living in Europe! I don't know that US races would do that. Even with stopping to try wine and talk to a dog owner, I did the 5K in 45 minutes. That wasn't too bad for someone who's totally out of shape, didn't practice ahead of time, and took time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

I had volunteered to help with clean-up. I was already a bit sore from the race and after an hour of stooping to pick up trash, I was really sore. However, it was quite awesome to enjoy the view of my work (and the work of others, of course!) when it was all cleaned up. Better yet was that there were two leftover pumpkins who needed a home. I happily scooped them up. I hope to have a friend who's from the UK over to try her hand at a really American activity. I'll carve the other pumpkin; I want to give it and some candy to my neighbor's daughter. They're German, so I'm not sure if they celebrate Halloween. Even if they don't, I'm sure she'll enjoy the treat.

Following the race and pumpkin rehoming, I drove home and worked on cleaning the house and cooking for a potluck I'm hosting tomorrow. So far about 20 people have RSVPed. I'm rather excited about that; I always enjoyed having people over to my house that I owned in the US. I love a party atmosphere and I'm looking forward to recreating it here in Germany. A small snag is how small my apartment is; we'll just have to get cosy.


  1. According to a friend of mine, additional to the booths at the farmers market there are also some at the Kaiserslauterer Kerwe that sell crafts from locals, spices, household items etc. and are probably worth a visit. I've never been there, though.

    btw: Your blog is really cool. :) I found quite a few places around Kaiserslautern that I curiosly walk past from time to time but actually never visited. Also it's interesting to get another perspective on the "german" aspects of life which I take for granted most of the time.


  2. The booths are fun at the fair! I've been to a fair earlier in the season, which my friend tells me is very similar to the one now. We had fun shopping at the broom/whisk booth and the spice booth too. You should go; it's a nice evening out, and you can always just browse, too.

    Thanks for the comment on the blog. I am such a nosy person that if I see a store I'm curious about, of course I need to stick my nose in! :) That usually leads to an awkward attempt at speaking German, but one day I will improve.