bentrovato (bentrovato) wrote,

Saturday in Northeim

We decided it would be a day of local exploration. It was a market day, and another day of pleasant weather, so lots of people were out. We walked, pausing at a school playground, crossing into town through the park where the old moat used to be. The moms and daughters did some shopping (they discovered a € 1 store!)The boys were kicking a soccer ball back and forth on the village green. Before long two other boys had joined them. I was called in to the history museum, and when I came back Jürgen and another adult were in goal. The fun really grew when two more boys joined the game. I was in goal for a while and even in the field passing and playing defense ineffectually.

We reunited at a sidewalk ice cream place. The service was efficient and not overly solicitous. In addition, customers could stay a long time at the tables, just watching and talking. Anabel saw people she knew - most from her parents' generation rather than her own. The children named the dishes they wanted in perfectly good German. Patrick even went up to ask and pay for an additional scoop.

The moms and kids went home after that and Jürgen and I went in search of a place that sold döner. It was a short search with a satisfactory outcome. I finished every crumb of the toasted bread, every speck of meat, shred of vegetable, and drop of sauce. "Ihr krieget keine döner mehr!" the Turkish fans had chanted at the semifinals, or so Jürgen had heard, but I'm glad to say all was forgiven. I'm also glad to say my basic German has been good enough for everyday exchanges.

In the afternoon, the weather continuing fine, we drove a short way into the forest and hiked to a place where the drainage from a farmer's reservoir ran down a half-pipe and turned a small water-wheel. The children waded in and began damming and channelling the stream. J and I had come prepared to run, so we stretched and set off once again through the forest - 11K by his estimation. Even though we began at 6:00, the sun was still high and made running on the open farm roads uncomfortably hot. I had to take a few short walking breaks to bring myself back below the anaerobic threshhold. We arrived home to find Simon making lasagne and the children just out of the bath.

We enjoyed the best night of a wonderful trip on this day. To begin with, Simon's lasagne were fantastic - one meat, one spinach with pine nuts. At my request, Alfredo brought up some red wine - Chianti Classico - and we sat outside on the back porch. The conversation flowed as ever in three languages with plenty of laughter. Before the dishes were cleared someone brought down an old steel-string guitar from the upstairs hall, where it had been leaning in a corner. It was hard to tune and play, but serviceable for a sing-along. Simon had the bright idea of looking up the words on a wireless laptop. Lyrics on the computer screen proved a great help. He even found versions with chords indicated for guitarists. Carol made a video of us singing "Pharoah, Pharoah" - one of several songs in the early going in which the kids participated too. We kept going until darkness fell - 11:00 or so. I played some and sang a lot. The laptop kept the party from running out of gas. We sang "Bésame Mucho" and got to hear Merche's voice.
Tags: Döner, billy jonas
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