Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Two Buttons

Absolutely nothing of interest happened yesterday. I was tired and sleepy all day and went to bed early. :D

My city, as seen from the eastern end. The roundish red spire off to the right of the main cluster is the Dom, and I live smack dab in the middle of all those skyscrapers.

Substitute teacher at the language school today – we have Beatte Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and Marie on Thursday and Friday, but Beatte was apparently ill, so today we had a woman who originally hails from Turkey. I don’t think she quite realized our level of comprehension (or lack thereof) and we barely managed to follow along with the lesson. I say “we,” but there were two or three who seemed to completely be at ease with her rapid-fire speech, and then a few who were completely lost. The poor guy next to me, Santosh, comes with his wife Jeena from Nepal. All throughout the class I could periodically hear him muttering, “Confused. So very, very confused.”

I actually enjoyed it, though. It was hard, sure, but it made the day pass much faster, having to pay attention to every word, inflection and hand-or-face gesture to keep up with what was happening. And I think that, if we had this daily, we might progress faster – but it would be much, much harder.

After class, I had originally intended to just come home, but there was enough low-level adrenaline running through my system that I ended up walking way out of my way to explore. I crossed the river to the southern bank and wandered along that until I came to this church (they were doing a lot of construction and I couldn’t see any of the signs telling me what the name of it was), and then back across the river on a footbridge covered in love locks. Couples get their name engraved on a padlock and then lock it onto the bridge and either keep the key or throw it into the water. It’s somewhat romantic, but the trend is apparently causing some trouble for bridge maintenance, and one of the most popular bridges (in France, I think?) recently had to go and cut off all the locks because the weight was too much for the bridge.

I also went back to the old city and took a picture of these guys for you: they hold up a bridge/building/thing crossing the street, and their fellows on the other side seem to be looking down the road in either direction, watching for danger – but these two, I swear, are going, “Man, what are we doing?” and “Dude, I have absolutely no clue, but I can’t move.”

It poured this afternoon – Anna says she’s never seen such a stormy summer – so no playground. But we came home and goofed off and played and generally had a good time until the bitties went to bed. And now I’m writing this, so – yup. That’s my day.

I feel like there are a lot of other things I should be writing – thoughts, impressions, weird stories, people I’ve seen (like this guy yesterday who was walking a pair of dogs that looked like the perfect half-and-half mix of a Husky and a Greyhound. The build of the Greyhound with the markings and long hair of the Husky. Beautiful.) Or telling you random facts, like that most of the tourists here are from Asia (seriously – massive groups of them that don’t seem to understand that you cannot simply stand blocking an entire walkway in a busy city district) or that the German fashion style for women is all about legs – wear leggings or skinny jeans plus flats – and loose, billowy blouses. Or that German kids call all emergency vehicles (but especially fire trucks) “Ta-too-ta-ta” because of the sound of the siren. There are so many little things that I don’t think to write about because they don’t seem noteworthy – but they’re the interesting bits of everyday life, not the blank facts of when I went where to do what. I’ll try to be better in the future about having those in here.

Here’s a random info-bit for tonight: German toilets do not have handles to flush. Instead, there are two buttons (usually, though some older toilets only have one) on the top of the toilet or attached to the wall behind. One button is bigger than the other – it flushes more. I’ll let you figure out the rest for yourself. :D

In other news: a) I’ve lost almost 13 pounds since I came here, thanks to all the walking I do (hallelujah!) and b) I found a Pizza Hut today. Good thing it’s pretty expensive, or I’d get those 13 pounds right back. LOL!

Goodnight, all!


  1. Glad to hear about your weight loss. The walking is good for you for so many reasons, and now that your blisters are better, you will be enjoying it more. I am living vicariously thru you so keep those little seemingly unimportant observations coming. I may never get to see where my ancestors lived but you are, and that is exciting for me. Love you, Gramma

  2. Congratulations on your weight loss! I LOVE the pics! Hope you keep them coming. pt


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