Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bickenbach Germany: Say Affenscheisse!

February was quite a month. At the start we were in 35 degree C (95 deg F) weather, practically on the equator and diving into Asia once again. After a few stops--Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, United Arab Emirates (4 hours), Egypt and now Germany--we are in the land of schnitzel und wurst, the autobahn and 0 degrees (32 deg F) mit snow!


While in Germany I’ve been fortunate to re-connect with my friend Ute who stayed with my family as an exchange student in 1983.

Ute came with 20 other students from Berlin to Columbia Falls Montana, which are as different as two places in the western world can be. Seven years later, in 1990 (about two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall), I visited Ute and her family and spent a fantastic three weeks in Berlin. Just last week, I dropped Ute an e-mail saying we would be in the country, and she invited us to stay with her. She is living in Bickenbach, about half an hour south of Frankfurt, with her four kids (Felix, Antonia, Constantine and Alexandra).

We’ve gone to see a couple of impressive castles, walked along the snowy streets of Heidelberg, have savored award-wining bread and lots of meat (it’s a carnivore’s dream), and caught up with each other’s lives.


It seems that once we get older, when the kid(s), spouse, parents, and job make demands on our time, the only way we can have time to reconnect with old friends is for one of us to show up on the other’s doorstep. If we can camp out in their home, and follow them around for a few days, catching conversation when we can, among the hours spent cooking, wiping noses and driving kids around town we not only get to remember what we loved about our old friends, but get mentally grounded in the process. If nothing else, when life seems especially crazy, you can do as the Germans do when they smile for the camera and say it’s all affenscheisse (ten points if you know what that means)!

We just got to France before posting this entry, and we’re staying in an apartment in Paris for the next three weeks. If you have any suggestions about things to do, see or eat, feel free to email us, post a comment on the blog, or call us on our mobile phone at +33-676063752 (we’re 9 hours later than US pacific time).

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mark Teppo said...

Go see Saint Chapelle late in the afternoon on a sunny day. It's around the corner from Notre Dame and kind of tucked away behind the police HQ (I think) but still on the island. Anyway, yeah, upstairs when the sun hits the west side of the chapel.

That, and the Gustav Moreau museum. I love Paris, but if I was only there for an afternoon, these would be the two must-see places to go.

-mark

March 03, 2006 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must have a crepe with nutella from any streetside vendor...delicious!

We have been following your adventures closely. Keep on a bloggin'.

A votre sante!

~patrick, katy, holden and kallon

March 05, 2006 2:50 PM  

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