Sunday, September 28, 2008

Highlights from Germany, pt 1

Sleeping on the plane was not a highlight, and struggling to get to Munchen does not deserve mention, but we have had some highlights:

- An unbelievable breakfast at our hotel, which though really ridiculously expensive, was pretty amazing. It was an "American" breakfast which included Pfannkuchen (sort of between pancakes and crepes, filled with a sweet cheese and folded in half), muesli with yogurt, wiesswurst, bacon, fried and scrambled eggs, and some other things I've forgotten (but who cares, with what I've named)? Thomas liked the Pfannkuchen a lot and also ate two bowls of plain yogurt with jam on the top (the first in a tiny cup like an ice cream cone that was edible, but he got bored with that and just wanted more yogurt). Thomas loves plain yogurt. It's pretty remarkable.

- The Englisher Garden: Thomas can point to the place on the map of Munchen where we saw the ducks. A German girl came up to ask Matt and I for permission to give him a cookie at the (charmingly rustic wood) playground. Matt quite reliably managed, "I don't speak German" in German, at which the girl looked at him with complete incomprehension and repeated herself. I managed to work out the meaning from two words and the context and we gave permission, so Thomas got his cookie. He fell asleep on the way to the Chinescher Turn. I parked his stroller, coincidentally, in what turned out to be the front row for the arrival of the Hofbrauhaus bier wagon, and managed to wake him up just in time to see the first horse, all tricked out in the regional blue and white. "Do you see the horse, Thomas?" "Yeah, horsey..." and he was asleep again. Today we asked if he wanted to take a nap, and he said, "nap. horsey." I think he thinks that anytime he falls asleep in Germany he has a chance at seeing a horse!

- Lunch at Pommes Boutique in the University quarter. They sell "bio" currywurst, which the server, who spoke very good English, struggled to explain was meat that "the farmer treats well" and Matt and I went "oh!" and realized that although we knew exactly what she meant, there really isn't a nice concise English equivalent. We also had the namesake Belgisch Pommes (steak fries) which come with a staggering variety of choices for sauces, and a crudites bag of great vegetables (to balance the junk food, I guess). I really like just wandering into great restaurants on trips on accident (although this is also how we ate the worst food in Europe, in Florence).

- Watching Thomas watch the rides at Oktoberfest. It was so crowded by the time we arrived, and Thomas and I were so tired, that we didn't spend a lot of time here, but he was entranced by all the action.

- Mass at the Cathedral of Munich (Frauenkirche). Thomas slept through this too, but I enjoyed being able to go to mass here.

- Thomas's favorite part of lunch today was the weisswurst (he didn't have any yesterday). Matt and I have gotten tricky about this. He'll sometimes refuse strange food, but if you tell him it is like something he likes, he gets curious and if you tell him its name, he will then ask for it by name. So we told him it was "sort of like white hot dogs," (he only just started to like hot dogs) and then he tried it and liked it quite a lot.

- After lunch Thomas started thinking about home. He's definitely homesick, and he wasn't feeling well (although we didn't realize this for a little while). So he rode through the old town of Munchen saying, "I miss Paci, miss Paci. Poor Paci. Poor Paci. Poor poor Paci." When we realized he was hot, we brought him back to the hotel, where he took some Tylenol and slept for a couple more hours. He seems to be doing better now.

- Thomas wanted pizza, so I searched and found a pizza place right down the street. They were clearly amused by the internet order to deliver to a hotel room one block away, and the man seemed thrilled by the novelty. He wouldn't take a tip and told me the menu was a "souvenir" with great enthusiasm. The pizza was awesome, way better than room service and cheaper than we could have gotten an equivalent pizza for back in Chicago (even after exchange rate!).

New pictures, including a few of Munchen, here.