Thursday, September 3, 2015

Day 21: Board Game Search

Part of the rose garden I walk through on the way home.
Today began as our "new normal" (walking Chris to work). We have tried to establish a bit of a routine. When Chris is having breakfast, Xander and I join him. We wake Venice up and she sits with us half the time (other times she snoozes in bed). Then, when I am walking Chris to work, the kids have two computers and can work side-by-side (they are working together to code an on-line game, as well as, creating their new world in Minecraft). When I get back, I use my computer to complete Nagai Photography work, and the kids have to share a single computer again.

Computer set up at the dining table during the day. 

From our favourite
burrito place!
When Chris can't join us for dinner, I tend to like to go out to lunch instead of dinner. This allows me to go out while my energy is still high and lounge in a casual setting for dinner. And, it has come up, that Chris will be gone for dinner again (third night in a row, and should be the last for a while). So, the kids and I went back to the burrito place for lunch. This time, we decided to do Take-Away.

Side note: I had leftovers which made several quesadillas the next day! Perfect!

Another side note: I said U-Bahns are underground. While this is true, we have proven that they also go above ground at times. So, the bigger difference between an U-Bahn and an S-Bahn is that the S-Bahn makes less stops.

While we were waiting for our Take-Away, we were enjoying the freshly-rained-on view and smells. Venice mentioned, in a wistful manner, that the recent rain reminded her of home. I asked if she was feeling a little homesick, to which she responded, "Maybe." But mostly, she was feeling reminiscent of playing board games on a rainy day. We decided right then that we would search for board games here. It's something I wanted to buy (as souvenirs) and now we're motivated to make it happen.

My research for board games came up with limited options. No Barnes and Nobles here. The bookstores I've seen here are very small. Anyway, the options I found were either a store that seems like a Target (sells household items, clothes, and all sorts of items) or a Toys R Us. I was worried, that after a 45 min travel to the "Target" store, we might not find what we're looking for. I figured, while Toys R Us is not optimal (when trying to be German and not American), but I also figured it was a guarantee to find something that would satisfy our needs.

So, to Toys R US, we go.

An underpass that really spoke to the artist in me.

On this trip, we had the opportunity to take an "R" train. There are two "R" trains. The 41 goes around Mitte (central part of Berlin) clockwise and the 42 goes around counterclockwise. Now you know.

Toys R Us was a good call. We were able to buy the German version of a few games that we own in English. I love this. We'll know how to play, but all the cards, etc. will be in German. We also purchased a few new games. They are for ages 6+, which I figure increases our chances of understanding how to play (instructions only in German). Also good news, we bought ping-pong paddles and balls!

Side note: I saw (online) that there was a German version of Apples to Apples. I became obsessed with finding this game, because I think it will be fantastic for helping us build our vocabulary. Basically pre-done flashcards in a fun game... but we couldn't find it at the store. I came back and decided we'd just buy it on Amazon... but it's no longer in print, so a new copy is 80-100€ and a used copy was about 75€ .What? Never mind (sad face).

Our loot from Toys R US (including hot dogs from the market,
silly kids added those and our "french fries" forks to the photo.)

It was dinner time when we left the store, so I asked the kids if they wanted french fries before we left. YES! So we stopped at a food cart to get some. I did order in German, but when he asked if we wanted ketchup, I responded, "Yes, I mean Ja!" He asked where we were from. When I said, "America," he cheered, "America? I love America! You know TJ Maxx, Marshals? I love those stores. Here, it's only Eddie Bauer, and shoes are 250€. Same shoes at TJ Maxx are much cheaper!" I laughed and showed him my fake Converse shoes I was wearing. He said, "Those are very expensive here, where did you get yours?" I said, "Target." He looked blank, so I added, "It's just like TJ Maxx." He contemplated this as he filed it away in his memory bank.

Turns out he's heading to Florida in a month to start a German food cart with his uncle (who lives in Florida). He's very, very excited, he loves America, you know. Anyway, made me think of some Russians I met the last time I was there... "I love America!" I feel like a Rock Star for being from America.

Walking out of our U-Bahn station, heading home.

Home. Dinner. German round of Machi Koro.

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