Whew, was this week busy! I had German lessons, a meeting with my tandem partner, and a jam-packed weekend.
-Three of us attended a night wine hike in Bad Dürkheim, the Weinbergnacht (literally, the "wine mountain night"). We hiked up the hills above the town and sampled wine and local cuisine. A light show illuminated the vineyards. Tickets sell out every year (the coveted Saturday tickets sold out at least two weeks before the event, if not earlier) and even on Friday, we were swarmed by the crowd. Despite that, it was a lovely evening. I was envious of the people wearing special purses (for lack of better word) to hold their wine cups. Little did I know...
The three of us sat on some stone benches to eat dinner. An older woman sitting behind us was quite curious about us speaking English with various accents, turning around and asking where we were all from; we answered the US, France, and Germany. She thought that was very nice and seemed pleased to practice her English. When she was leaving, she shared how great she thought it was that international young people (har - I'm definitely not so young) were friends and gave me a handmade wine purse that she had made. How cool is that? I told her, in German, "thank you" and that she was very nice.
-I volunteered at the Pfennigbasar. Whew, it was fun, busy, and a lot of German speaking for me! I spoke German about 60% of the time overall, and about 90% of the time with customers. I did experience a slightly awkward situation: I asked a shopper if I could help her with anything and she started telling me some involved story about...um, I think her family living in the US and them trying to buy her an expensive purse. There was something about her granddaughter and maybe not setting the dinner table. At least that's what I think she was telling me.
Since I couldn't understand the whole thing (and I didn't really want to know such personal information from someone I had only met 30 seconds before!), I just kept nodding and desperately hoping that she wouldn't ask me any questions. About eight panicked minutes later, she said she had to go and patted me amicably on the arm. I wished her a good day and thought, "my, wasn't that interesting!" She was quite nice though, but it's slightly unusual behavior for a German as it is not always customary to make small talk nor talk about very personal matters with strangers.
One of the funny things I heard this weekend: Me: "I eventually want to
get a piece of cake." M, a German member of the club, eying the cake booth: "You better go now."
Me: "I can wait." M, "No, you must really go and make...what do
they call it. A reservation? You need to make a reservation for cake.
Germans like cake, you know, and there will be none left." We looked
over at the cake table, which was surrounded by Germans munching on
cake, and laughed. I went and bought a piece.
Some of my friends from Mannheim visited the sale. They brought me some Turkish pastries from Pasa, which I will enjoy later.We had a laugh because Ma. of course had to buy a box for himself and as he was making his selections, he even ate a pastry while doing so, perhaps to allow himself to think better.
-I had a house guest who was a delight. She invited me to visit in the Eifel region of Germany, where she and her spouse live near a LAKE (!!!! squee!!!). I am really looking forward to a visit this summer for swimming and kayaking because this Great Lakes gal really misses lakes and rivers.
It was a great weekend. I was able to visit with friends who made special trips from out town, meet some interesting new people, and volunteer.