Thursday, November 4, 2010

The New Normal

I am realizing now that some of the differences of life over here will not hit me until we return home. I came to this conclusion while riding my bike this morning. I needed to pick up a pair of workout pants at H&M today. This was my experience....

I bundled up and headed out to the bike rack to grab my bike. While riding off I passed four cafes, on our street alone. I am starting to notice some of the regulars that sit outside, under blankets and sip coffee. I then turned onto the main street and carefully darted around all of the other people on bicycles (the riders are pretty aggressive over here). I past two accordion players and then a three man 80's cover band playing on a busy corner. After riding a little bit further I passed the fifth bakery on my route which just happened to be baking shortbread filling the air with a rich buttery smell. It took everything I had not to stop and sample a small piece. I should add that this all occured in the 1.5 miles that I biked to the store.

As I arrived at H&M I was greeted by an older gentleman playing the bagpipes. It was beautiful and so I sat on a bench and listened for a few minutes. Once I walked into the store I walked straight to the workout section. H&M is one of the cheapest shops on this particular street and it is always packed. I grabbed a pair of pants and got in line. The line was long but I did not mind since there was so much to see. I am often amused by German fashion, especially when that fashion includes lederhosen and dirndls. On this particular day there were two older men in line in front of me wearing lederhosen. I love that some people still dress in this attire, even when there is no festival in town. After waiting in line for about 20 minutes I checked out and grabbed a pretzel, using my limited German vocabulary and rode home.

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