Day 15: Monday, July 19 (more OS)

Today was a quiet day–no new photos!

We got up a little later than usual this morning, but I did go run around 7:30, and then we had a breakfast of yogurt, fruit, and a lovely croissant that I ran to get fresh from the bakery, together with a roll for Dorothee (partly just because it is such a delight to me to be able to go to this fantastic bakery just around the corner and get something within two minutes). It was much cooler today than the last few days, and we were mostly inside. We sat and talked most of the morning, with me showing Imke and Dorothee the photos from the last few days from the blog and talking art with Dorothee in particular. Mark and I went on a brief bakery / drug store run in the early afternoon, partly so that we would have cake for afternoon coffee with long-time family friends Maya and Wolfgang (my mom’s friends since the early 70s). That was fun, and we all talked about former homes and hometowns, and also about new ways of traveling–Maya and Wolfgang have gone camping with their small RV for decades, but now you have to reserve a spot at a camp ground everywhere, and the spontaneity factor has gone way down. I was better than usual about making sure I translated a fraction of what was being said for Mark, and we even talked about translations and translation apps. We also talked about the question of political correctness and when it becomes censorship / thought policing. Germans are rethinking some of the terms they use that include or could be thought to include racial slurs insulting Black people or Sinti or Roma people, for example–we settled on the idea that in the ideal scenario, the desire for linguistic change comes from below, rather than being dictated from above. What was interesting was that it was the kind of conversation that has become rare–different opinions along a complicated, mixed spectrum of conservative and progressive views, but with everyone listening to the others respectfully and all of us coming away from it feeling like we learned something new.

Much too quickly, it was time for Wolfgang and Maya to leave and for Dorothee to head to the bus stop (we walked her there to say good bye). Mark and I went grocery shopping afterwards (partly just to get another walk in). We bought some additional cheeses BECAUSE WE CAN SAMPLE SO MANY CHEESES HERE that I never get to eat stateside, as well as some more milk, yogurt, and bubbly water.

I fixed a salad to go with our bread and cheese dinner, and then Mark and I went for ANOTHER walk–this time taking Imke’s glass to the glass recycling containers. We took a new path along part of the old / restored city walls that I had not walked with Mark, and it was nice to be just by ourselves for a change. A nice day, but much quieter than any during the entire previous WEEK!

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