There are many ways in which I feel that I am already quite German. A love of sensible footwear? I've been wearing Birkenstocks for years. A reluctance to drop in on people unannounced? Makes perfect sense to me. A passion for carbohydrates that borders on the evangelical? Yes, oh yes. A hatred of plastic bags? We'd been here for a month before I even realised that our local supermarket was bag-free because I had always brought my own bag anyway. In my opinion, the concept of the beer garden borders on genius, especially those with a well-equipped playground (nothing like setting a good example to those future drinkers). So there are lots of things about being in Frankfurt that make me feel like I belong.
Yet there are some things that confuse me. I don't understand the German love of smoking - everyone here is so sensible that the local fixation with smoking puzzles me deeply. I've seen people smoking while eating, smoking holding their babies, kissing someone else's babies, while jogging. Well, maybe not quite. But almost. The same goes for the lack of bike helmets. I don't understand it. And after having heard C's story of being knocked off her bike, sans helmet and ending up in a coma for three days, plus losing her sense of smell for an entire year, I'm a committed wearer of the helmet. And if there was anywhere in the world I expected to see others who felt the same way it was here. But no. So Thieu and I are the only big old dorky mushroom-heads riding around. Well, we will be, once we locate our helmets.
Then there's this, which I simply refuse to understand:
It is called 'spaghetti eis' and every ice-cream shop offers it. Why anyone would want to eat something that looks like spaghetti bolognese for dessert is beyond me. I feel nauseous whenever I see one. So I say nein to spaghetti eis. NEIN NEIN NEIN!(The picture came from wikipedia by the way, so that's not my spaghetti eis or my boob either).
I am not sure about this either:
It is a pub on wheels. One person sits in the front and steers and the other twelve people sit along the sides, peddling and drinking beer. I don't get it. Why would you want to ride a bike and drink beer simultaneously? It sounds simply awful to me. Yet all weekend we see the bier bike trundling up and down outside our window. Not a single bike helmet to be seen, either. Maybe it's for tourists. That would make more sense to me. And maybe once they've finished cycling and drinking they seek out the nearest ice-cream parlour and down a couple of spaghetti eises.
We are going to Munich this weekend. And then it's less than a month before Mads and I return to Melbourne for a visit. Talk about time flying.