Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Dr. B, Lucy and I boarded the train early Monday afternoon at the Gare
de l'Est, on our way to visit R and P in Saarbrücken, Germany. This
followed an eventful trip through the metro with Lucy, who was not
happy about having to wear a muzzle (I was dripping with sweat by the
time we actually go on the train, from having to physically stop her
from ripping it from her head with her front paws.)

Happily, the train to Germany was not full, so Dr. B was able to move
to another seat to give us room for Lucy. The people on the car were
all smiling at her, and she calmed down soon and stopped trying to
take the muzzle off. The train trip was smooth and comfortable
(except for when another train would pass and nearly give me heart
failure; my seat faced backward so I never saw them coming.) I knit
the whole way, but ended up frogging the whole thing because I messed
up my pattern. (Oh well, it kept me busy.) [Frogging=ripping it out, unraveling it] We changed in Metz,
France, (saving 40 euros instead of taking a direct train), and were
met by R at the station platform.

R and P are very happy in Saarbrücken, which is a lovely little town
of 300,000. They both work as orchestral musicians, and Saarbrücken is
half way between their respective orchestras. The forested hills and
steep roofed houses are beautiful, and right now I am enjoying
watching the snow gently fall and cover the rooftops and trees. R has
lived in Essen, Kaiserslautern, and now here during the 8 years she
has lived in Germany. She says that this area is very different from
up north--the people are more relaxed and friendly, and she really
likes it.

Lucy loves it here. Not only do they have GRASS (she was very excited
about this), but their apartment is big and very luxurious (I think we
could fit our Paris apartment in here 3 times), and they have huge
windows and a terrace where Lucy can walk out and sit and watch it
snow. She is so happy and relaxed here--she must think we moved back
to Wisconsin!

We spent yesterday seeing the Saarbrücken sights, and doing some
shopping (I got some wool clogs known as "house shoes" for in our
apartment), and today are relaxing, as R is in Kaiserslautern working
(she has several rehearsals). P is here today, but said the roads
were terrible last night returning from rehearsal in Metz. OK, so we
stay here. To just sit and relax--it is a nice vacation!

Interesting note about shopping--found out why everything is so
expensive in France. I guess I didn't realize it, but the TVA (value
added tax) really drives up the price. Lotion that would cost me 11
euros in France was 4.50 here, and the same for many other products.
The 14 euros contact solution, here in Germany, costs 5. R promised
another trip to the store before we leave!!! We heard many French
voices around us--the french in the area must drive to Germany to
shop, and save a lot of money!

However, when people address me in German, I don't quite know what to
do--I end up answering in French! So far, all I can say in German is,
"Danke", "Ich spreche kein deutsche" and "Tchus!" (Thank you, I speak
no German, Bye!!!) If you compare it to my vast knowledge of Spanish
("Donde esta el bano","Pulpo" and "Una cerveza, por favor" which means
"where is the bathroom", "Octopus" and "one beer, please"), I am doing
OK, I guess. A lot better than my Italian, where all I can do is give
music terms. I don't think "Grow gradually louder and then slow down"
will get me very far, unfortunately.



At 7:49 AM, December 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We travelled to Germany in the late '90's and absolutely loved it...took in a couple major cities and did a lot of travel to the country. Found it so clean and beautiful and people so very friendly. Enjoy your vacation and friends there! Bobbie

At 8:06 AM, December 28, 2005, Blogger MagE said...

Ohhh!!! good you made with Lucy and all. Wunderbar! (wonderful), yet another german word for you to use. :P
Saarbruken sounds great. Glad you are getting to see other places while over in Europe. Its a good thing to do!
One thing... I realize you are a world class knitter these days... most don't know what frogging is (what is it? - I am a crocheting fool - dont know the knitting jargon)... just asking silly questions. Enjoy your vacation!

At 12:05 PM, December 28, 2005, Blogger La Rêveuse said...

Frogging: Ripping it all out. I guess it came from "Rip it, Rip it, Rip it" that sounded like "Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit." Dumb, I know.

I think I figured out the pattern I want to do, and am trying again tonight while we watch movies on Canal+ (French cable--it rocks! Regular French TV, not so much. And here, we can choose to watch American movies not dubbed--so in English--and they have the BBC.) I realize now how much I miss American TV. Sad. I had a ball watching Conan O'Brien last night, and it wasn't even that good of a show. Oh well.

At 1:07 PM, December 28, 2005, Blogger L'Amerloque said...

Hi Mrs. B !

So glad that there is snow for y'all ... (wide smile) ... take advantage of those German sausages ... somehow they taste better there ...


At 8:51 AM, December 30, 2005, Anonymous Nikkibird said...

Oh how I envy you.

Please give big big hugs to R for me.

And e-mail me some pictures, please!!!!

Miss you guys.

At 4:36 AM, January 03, 2006, Blogger Sammy said...

Glad to see you found some grass. Or at least Lucy did.

Enjoy your shopping. That in and of itself, I am sure, has to be a huge break.


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