This is the actual sign in front of the kiosk in the Underground station that sells newspapers, magazines, cigarettes, lottery tickets, and, I guess, ‘real wieners.’ Giggle, giggle.
“I’m a real one… 22 cm long, 200 g heavy, and recently increased in price to 2,70.”
In Germany, we might not have Valentine’s M&Ms in the stores right now, but we do have something just as tasty and fun. May the Force be with you!
As the dreary post-Christmas winter settles upon us here in Düsseldorf, I’m sure I will start complaining about the weather again. While I’ve been lucky and haven’t had to ride my bike in the rain in a while, my biggest point of contention is still the lack of sunshine for what feels like days (and sometimes weeks) on end.
Nice people who can’t fully fathom my climate-related distress are always trying to pep me up with statements like, “but it’s so nice to be inside and cozy and warm while it’s gray outside,” or “cloudy days make you appreciate the sunny ones that much more” (see more here). Oh, you poor people, I always say…
To put my obsession with sunshine and generally good weather into perspective, I grew up in the second sunniest place on the face of the planet, really. www.currentresults.com says so.
And, while researching sunshine stats, I also ran across this on weatherspark.com: “The median cloud cover [in Düsseldorf] is 85% (mostly cloudy) and does not vary substantially over the course of the year. On June 17, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 17% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 40% of the time.”
Numbers don’t lie. I’m not crazy after all.
And a final word, for all you pepper-uppers, “Düsseldorf has…no dry season.” (weatherspark.com)
|Average hours of sunshine for the ten sunniest places on earth
||Las Vegas, Nevada
||El Paso, Texas
Germany is a nation of walkers. Sure, in general, people travel by foot way more here than other places I’ve lived. But spazieren gehen, to stroll or to go for a walk, merely for the walking itself, is an actual pastime, a way to actively enjoy your free time. ‘Hey, want to go spazieren?’
There doesn’t necessarily have to be a destination in mind or even a set amount of time to be spent walking. You just go and see what happens. Maybe you meet some friends, maybe you stop for a coffee, maybe you just sit on a bench and watch the people passing by. The idea is to just be out in the fresh air.
Yesterday was the perfect combination of sunny and Sunday, so Toby and I headed out for a two-hour Spaziergang, walk, along the Rhine in the afternoon sun. We certainly weren’t the only ones! Here are some impressions:
Inspiration from Theodore Roosevelt for this year’s resolutions…
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
A new project of mine has led me on a journey through my old photo albums and diaries. What an amusing, eye-opening, and (mostly) enjoyable trip it has been.
While I value the ease and practicality of digital pictures, I miss photo albums. I love the feel of the albums, heavy with memories – proof of a life of fun and adventure, a life worth documenting. Pull one from the shelf and instantly be transported to a different time and place, even a different you. Celebrate old successes. Remember people you maybe haven’t thought about in years.
The accompanying diaries provide a more balanced picture, telling both the good and the bad stories, the everyday stories. It’s interesting to step back into a younger version of myself and see the world through those eyes again. I can see where I’ve grown and where I’ve (stubbornly) remained the same. I cherish these old musings.
I think I will keep a diary again, for my future me. I think she’ll appreciate reading about the good times that made me happy and the bad times that helped me to learn and grow. If nothing else, she’ll probably get a good laugh out of it, and my time will have been well spent.
Here are a few of my raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, just because…
Go ahead rain. Do your worst!
A good excuse to shake your booty on a Tuesday night and now also Wednesday morning!