Monday, April 19, 2010

Einundzwanzig und Zweiundzwanzing

We're back in America! Or at least the hotel that feels like it's in America and also in the current decade. The hotel we moved to was very European and also very, very eighties - which don't usually go hand in hand. So, I'm back to blogging.

First, a note from Outliers which I read recently. The author touched on the subject of varying math acheivement by culture, noting that in Asian languages, numbers have two key characteristics that enable math skills. The words are short, allowing children to say a bunch of numbers in the space of ten seconds, optimizing memory retention. Also, the numbers are spoken as if they are equations (forty six would be four tens and six), making it a lot easier to add. Four tens and six + three tens and two = seven tens and eight. Etc... German numbers are neither of these things and I wonder where Germans fall in the scales of math achievement.

That was apropos of nothing I suppose, but I'm finding it harder to remember the numbers I need for post titles these days.

Yesterday, we moved back to the old hotel. We came up to the hotel around 10:30 with a serious party going on out front. There was a huge, double decker bus, loud club music blaring, hundreds of people drinking beer and the entire baggage area of the bus stacked full of case after case of beer. And this is outside of a hotel that feels very much like a businessman/business convention hotel! The Stuttgart Frühlingsfest (Springfest) brings people in from all over I guess and we ran into a tour group about to head out to the festival. It made for a super fun return to the hotel!

Today, I finally bought my bike! I got the mid-range, no frills bike that I had always intended and is all I need. Once again, phew for the no mastercard/visa accepted policy at the spanky, giant bike store! After pushing Cheeseball in the giant two-person bike trailer that I just had to have for two and a half miles and NO JOKE straight uphill the whole time, I was so stoked to ride home. I thought maybe I was imagining the whole straight uphill the entire way thing until I really didn't have to pedal for most of the trip back. There were a few uphills on the way back, though, and I learned that I have almost nothing in the way of leg muscles. Sheeeew, Cheeseball and her giant trailer are heavy.

It was fun though! Right up until I ate it on the pavement, bare knee-ed. Ouch. Luckily, that was right in front of the hotel, so I just had to hobble the bike down in to the parking garage and call it a day. I'm seriously considering getting knee pads. Would that be extravagantly dorky?

Technorati tags: Germany, biking, festivals

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