When we travel, we make plans to see national landmarks, great museums, the crown jewels. And then we get there, and we remember things like one of our German guests last week, who, when asked about her impressions of America so far, mentioned the toilets.
Apparently they have a button system in Germany – one button for liquids, another for solids. Kate immediately chimed in, having traveled there last summer: “Yes! The buttons!”
So I guess that’s how memories are made: In the room you visit multiple times a day.
Later in the week, Johanna showed us an aerial photo of her house, and I asked what the crops were in the surrounding fields. “I don’t know the word,” she said. “It is a seed for making oil.”
Soy? No. Canola? No. She reached for her translator, pecked out the word and blanched.
“Oh, rapeseed,” I said. You can imagine how awkward.
Speaking of Germans, here are ours:
Johanna and Henrike are the ones on the outside – ours. The inner pair stayed with a friend, and this was the day we took them to Comerica Park, duh, where they capered under the big Tiger and took many pictures. We didn’t take them to the game, because they would have been bored, so we took them to the mall, where everything is so cheap! Their suitcases were already hernia bait when they arrived, and that was before two shopping trips, with Windsor and Boston still on the itinerary.
So it was a fun trip for them, I hope. The first night we went to a bar in Hamtramck where Kate’s band was playing, but the music was delayed and the bar is one that doesn’t enforce the smoking law, so they mostly stared at their phones.
“I dunno, I thought a couple of German kids might want to see an authentic Detroit rock club,” I told a friend afterward.
“Oh, come on,” he said. “You know there are pictures of that place all over German Twitter hashtagged #fuckyeahdetroit.”
If only. They mostly seemed to enjoy the shopping, and watching “Mean Girls” on Netflix. (German-dubbed name: “Girls Club.”)
And that was just one part of the last action-packed week. There were also trips to and from Port Huron and Mackinac for the race. Kate took off for the weekend, so there was an airport stop-off. Essentially, this weekend was the first down time I’ve had. Did some yoga — man, did that feel good after a few hundred miles of driving — and took a long bike ride. We ended up at the Eastern Market’s new Sunday market, where the vegetable stalls are replaced by crafts and other summer-festival sorts of stuff. I had a booze-infused popsicle and headed for home.
This week, and the next few, threaten to be just as crazed, but I will strive to keep up here. Thanks for being such great commenters in my absence. You all are the best.
In the meantime…
Pro-Russian separatists are said to be collecting the bodies of the dead plane-crash victims and? Holding them. Who ARE these people?
I can’t stop watching this Elaine Stritch performance of “The Ladies Who Lunch,” and I thank Roy for finding it:
And another crazy week begins. In English.