Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 9: a casual tour of Heidelberg

Josie, the daughter of Max and Andrea, let me sleep until 10. I joined Max, Josie, and Leo (Andrea went to the gym) for breakfast: bread and spreads. I finally got up the gumption to try the strange looking meat that I have been avoiding until now. I've been having schinken: very thinly sliced cured pork, like prosciutto, only German. There's been other stuff on the cold cut platters though: looking like balogna or head cheese. I chose the processed meat with visible specks of what I hoped were chilis, and added a slice of peppered cheese too, just in case the I needed the spice to drown out awful flavors. It wasn't terrible, but I think I'll stick to the schinken from now on.

Max also asked if I wanted tea or coffee. "I'm happy with either." I had told Max and Andrea last night that while in Germany, I'd rather do as the Germans do, I can act American once I return back to the states. He told me that Germany was a coffee country in the morning. I drank a cup, couldn't say no to a second, and got the jitters. I'll be addicted to coffee when I get back home, and sick until I get there. Once I had stuffed myself silly with all manner of rolls, croissant, nutella, butter, marmalade, jelly, cheese, and sliced meat, Max took Josie to her tap-dancing lessons and I did my best to clear the table without taking away Max's unfinished food and anything else he might have felt like eating upon return. When he did return, he told me, "Eat, eat, we won't eat again until supper, so eat!" I did. The elasticity of my stomach will never cease to amaze me.

After Josie got back from tapdance classes, we left for Heidelberg. We tried to find free parking, and Max's GPS took us way out of town, but there was a ruin of a thousand year old abbey, and rather than heading back into town, we explored. The foundations were still there, so we walked around on them and tried to figure out where was what. There was also a tower, rebuilt sometime in the 1800's, about four stories high, and we went up and enjoyed the amazing view of: fog. Still, I got to imagine I was a monk-knight-princess, and I'm sure Josie at 10 was thinking along the same lines too.

We drove back into town to find paid parking, finally found it, and decided to explore the castle later, but walk around town while we had no rain. I treated the three of us to French cookies being sold at the French market, and we continued to window shop along the Hauptstrasse (main street). We shopped and windowshopped so far and wide that we never did get up to Schloss Heidelberg, but that was perfectly alright with me. I realize I am becoming more laid back and accomodating, or else maybe I was just agreeable today. Max even bought me the best coffee I ever had: Coffee crema. I think it was just a cup of joe, or an Americano, or a sludge cup, and I asked for cream, which he added for me. Still, it was utterly rich and smooth and delicous, and I wonder if the amount of cream he added was abnormally large. I took a lactard pill just in case.

On the drive back to Bensheim, we started teaching each other tongue twisters. I finally made use of my fancy new iPhone with no reception, by using the notepad function which Josie and I typed foreign tongue twisters into. We picked up Andrea and Leo, and headed off for dinner. Every place was either packed or closed, so we finally went to a Chinese-Japanese-Mongolian restaurant and got the buffet. Kangaroo meat is chewy and gamey, fried plantains may be good, but battered and fried bananas are delicious.

The only two English tongue twisters I could remember are below, along with the only German one I can remember. I'll add the other German ones to the bottom of this post next time I get online. Please add your favorites if you have any!

She sells sea shells by the sea shore.

I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's son. I'll be finished plucking pheasants when the pheasant plucker comes.

Mahen aebte klee? Aebte mahen ni klee. Aebte baten. (Sounds Dutch, is old Deutsch)
(Do monks mow grass? Monks mow no grass. Monks pray.)

1 comment:

  1. Ob er aber ueber Oberammergau, oder aber ueber Unterammergau, oder aber ueberhaupt nicht kommt, ist nicht gewiss.