Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day 16: Picnic

After breakfast, we (Chris, Venice, and myself) went to the farmers market. It didn't take as long this time, as we had experience under our belts! However, that doesn't mean we didn't make mistakes or learn anything new.

For example, Chris got slightly chastised for taking green beans on his own (they usually do it for you). I realise that Venice and I grabbed basket of berries on our own, at a different stand, but the women filled a "cone" with cherries for us. I think it's ok that we grabbed the berries on our own, since they were in baskets, but I also saw people asking for them and the person behind the counter picking the baskets themselves. Venice and I didn't get in trouble, like Chris, but we'll have to keep your eyes on this to see if we're doing the right thing or not.

We bought more fresh noodles. The family liked it so much, so more super long fettuccine. And a few others to try (spinach ravioli and some sort of "meat pockets", who knows what it really is, we just picked by looks). The woman we had serving us our pasta, today, did not speak any English. But she gave us a brochure for their pasta that tells us how long to cook each item. Which is good, because the "meat pockets" need to cook for 20 minutes! Not like some of the other pasta which is only 4-6 minutes. Needless to say, we're excited to try the new noodles.

A few days ago, our neighbours from the fourth floor put an invitation on our door. Being the introvert that I am, I was hesitant to go. But, I know it's something we really need to do. We are here for a long time and we should know our neighbours (for friends, for emergencies, for questions, for whatever).

The kids were a little reluctant to go, as well. Both are a little shy around new people, and in addition, Venice tends to always be the oldest there. She decided to take her drawing materials down with her, just in case she needed to entertain herself while the "little kids" played.

Chris was ok going, I'm thinking the biggest thing is that we were thinking of doing some items on our "list" over the weekend, and now we might not get to do them.

But, turns out, it was a great afternoon. Idyllic, really. The weather wasn't hot, just perfect. The kids all played together, including the shy and the "old". Two of the kids didn't speak any English, but that didn't seem to matter. Everyone seemed to be included and find something to do or someone to play with.

The backyard behind our building (private area).

As for the adults... similar. The best thing is that everyone spoke English. So, yay for us! It was great to have easy conversation and understand it all. At one point, one of the friends slipped into German and I guess I was staring. He apologised and switched back into English, repeating what he was saying. I thanked him, but I really enjoyed listening to his German and trying to get a feel for what he was saying. But, it was also nice to actually know what he was saying.

As Chris mentioned, the conversation was all over the place, including so many subjects. Sometimes, it was a bit crazy how "worldly" these people are. Living here and then there, traveling all the time. It seems like they have all been everywhere! Chris and I are the least traveled in the bunch, that's for sure. I do think they are mostly all wealthy (at least doing well) and a lot of their travels seem job related, so a very educated bunch as well, I think.

As a count, there were about 10 or more adults (at any one time) and at least 8-10 kids. Random side note, it was a bit distracting, to me, as one of the friends looked like Woody Harrelson and one looked like Crispin Glover. I can pretend I was meeting the stars.

Chris also mentioned, "brot, bread." Yes, there was a discussion about who makes the best bread in the world. According to the German, there is no discussion, German bread is the best. She did say that some people are starting to manufacture the bread in off-site plants, freezing it, sending it to markets who then bake it. Crap, she says. But all other German bread... is the best. No discussion.

After the picnic, we took a break upstairs. Xander wanted to fix the Bailey server for Minecraft so he could invite a new friend from the picnic to play on it with him. So, Chris and Xander worked on that while Venice and I took some quiet time to rejuvenate.

Apparently, we took a little too long, as we were all hungry (and cranky) as we left to go find dinner. It didn't help that the restaurant we set out to patronise... wasn't there when we got to the address. Not sure if there is a mixup, or if it's gone. Not sure why Yelp wouldn't be updated. Whatever the reason, we couldn't find it where it was supposed to be, so we walked (and walked and walked) to find a different ramen restaurant.

So, a very nice day, feeling happy with the neighbour connections.

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