While we were in the Philippines, we came to a startling realization: we haven't been accomplishing things on our Bucket List very quickly. We both worry that *poof* it will be the end of our assignment here and we won't have much to show for it (and empty passports!). With that thought, we had originally planned to head to Basel, Switzerland for a night the weekend after we got back from the Philippines. Well, life managed to get in the way, planning was too rushed, and so we decided not to go to Basel at the last minute. Instead, we caught up on the boring stuff - laundry, cleaning, sleep, that sort of thing.
Jet lag had the better of us that weekend too. On Saturday we were up at 6 AM and Sunday we only slept in until 7 AM. To those with kids, this is normal. To those of us without kids, this is early. We bummed around in our pajamas for a few hours before dragging ourselves out in public. On our walk there and on to a few other places for errands, we noticed that while we were gone, Mannheim was busy being transformed from a normal city to a Christmas wonderland. We counted no less than FOUR Christmas markets being set up. With their opening on November 26, I can understand the feverish pace with which the were working. I was looking forward to checking off an item on the bucket list - drink Glühwein at the Christmas markets.
We headed over to Saturn (not the planet, an electronics store pronounced Za-turn) and bought a Roomba that day. Aaron has been talking about getting one for years (something about me vacuuming during his TV time bothered him....), so we decided to pull the trigger and get one here since we will be able to use it back in the States too. And that was the end of our weekend. We went home and just watched the robot vacuum all afternoon. Just kidding. It wasn't all afternoon, just a couple of hours. And not all at the same time. Ugh, what has our life come to? Waking up early and watching a robot vacuum, apparently. #gettingold
Not gonna lie though, the Roomba is nice. I honestly can't believe, and am slightly grossed out, by all the stuff it has picked up. And after it has already vacuumed a room once before. I expected the first pass to be kind of gross. I was not expecting it to continue to pick up a bunch of crud from the floors, stuff I couldn't see and didn't even know was there. I swear, we aren't slobs.....but, it is nice to not have to do the vacuuming or sweeping and let the little guy do it for me.
The other thing I wanted to get at Saturn, a slow cooker. They're heavy so we figured we would just buy one over here instead of using our precious, and limited, air shipment (and also dealing with the voltage issues using an American one). Well, guess what? The Germans apparently don't like slow cookers. I even asked one where I could find the langsamer kocher and he looked at me like I had the plague, said something to me in lightning-fast German, bumbled around a bit, showed me where the rice cookers were, and then left. I did ask him to slow down when talking to me in an effort to better understand him, but in retrospect, he probably thought I was a stupid American and kept repeating langsam because I really wanted a slow cooker, not because I needed him to slow down when speaking to me. Oh well. The fact still remains though: no slow cooker for me.
Our Sunday was slightly more exciting - we visited a really old city nearby called Speyer. Check back in a couple of days to read about our visit there!
- Meghan -