Today, the neighborhood really started feeling a bit like home. We started out at the park this morning, as usual, with the intention of walking over to the mall and ended up finding out that just past the bird zoo was...dunh dunh dunh...the mall! Guess we took the loooong route to get there the other night.
When we were there the other night, we saw a little hut set up inside the mall with kids painting easter eggs. The kids were dying to join in, but I didn't know what the setup was and who was allowed to get involved and whether there were official start and end times and if one could just jump in mid-stream, so we dragged them past it and moved on. But, today, they were clearly getting set up and there were a few parents and children hanging around waiting, so I put my big girl panties on and let them step up to the plate. I was nervous about whether the girls working there would say no because the kiddos didn't speak German or whether you were supposed to sign up ahead of time and especially nervous they would try to explain all that to me and I would just answer back with the blank look I've been mastering all week. But, the girls just spoke German to them - throwing in lots of hand gestures - popped some aprons on them and led them over to the tables. I can't tell you how happy that made me. And the kiddos!
Here's another cultural difference - once the kids were situated, the German mothers each said something that was probably like "be good, or no Easter for you" and wandered off. One of them even left what looked to be a two year old in the care of an eight year old and never looked back. And even more suprisingly, they all totally behaved. Like, perfectly. I was totally impressed with the kids, and actually with the moms, too. Total antithesis of helicopter moms.
And thank god mine behaved, too. They're good kids, but they bicker a little and I was just worried because goddammit i'm a helicopter mom. Sigh.
We bought some bread, some gelato, some lunch, some veggies and fruit, some antipasto peppers and shrooms, and really all I've bought since coming to Germany is food. Because it's goooood.
I ordered everything in German and fucked most of that up royally but I at least bask in what seems like appreciation from those who can see that I'm trying. The gelato dude got a serious kick out of my attempts and that made me laugh, too.
We also discovered there was a pool in the hotel and El Niño spent most of the afternoon dramatically suffering the loooong wait until pool hours. It's a lovely pool with a serious spa feel and I could not believe I didn't think to pack bathing suits for myself and Cheeseball.
All in all, Day Vier was a good day and I love it here even more every day. Now, if I could just win this battle with stupid #$@#@!$%% Army housing, everything would be golden. Or goldfarben.
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