Friday, June 17, 2005

Blabbedly Blab Blab

Thursday morning I was waiting for a shop to open so I could drop off some film for developing, and to kill some time I wandered to the window of the plumbing business next door. In addition to the usual collection of sinks and fixtures, there was a toilet, with a most unusual lid. It was painted in wavy stripes that forcibly reminded me of The Scream. Now I am having all these strange associations.

I also looked in the window of the drug store, and lo and behold, there were *cotton balls*. When D.D. was having some cold-related ear problems, I needed cotton balls to keep the drops in her ears, and I could not find them anywhere in the damn drug store. Of course, I could have just asked, but I generally avoid asking questions in German. Besides, shouldn't cotton balls be with the baby supplies? Right? But no, they are by the cosmetics, so it makes perfect sense that I have never seen them before.


Bikes aren't allowed in the main shopping/pedestrian street in town, so they all take the parallel street that connections many of the university buildings. German bikes have bells, and people use them to warm dummies who walk 5 across while they chat to get the hell out of the way. I have to say that I feel much safer walking around here than on the UTexas campus, where I constantly feared the 2-wheeled messengers of death.

I also feel much safer on a bus. I know I have mentioned before how narrow everything is around here—the end result of living in a valley and/or an old, pre-auto town—but the buses can squeeze through the tiniest gaps without knocking off rear-view mirrors. It's actually kind of weird to be passing another bus (or a streetcar) so closely that you can tell the passengers on the other bus are also holding their breath. I wouldn't trust an Austin bus driver not to hit a traffic sign, much less pass a bicyclist on a narrow, twisty, mountain road.


When I take D.D. to school, we often see the man who delivers the lunches for the after-school-care kids (there's no lunch at school here otherwise). He cracks me up. He's this middle-aged, kind of dumpy man, but the radio in his truck is blasting dance music of the techno variety the whole time he's at the school. A Night at the Roxbury, anyone?


The grandparents and aunts and uncles will be happy to know that my Darling Daughter still says "fanger" (instead of "finger"). I believe she does it quite consciously, but it's better than no drawl whatsoever.

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