The World Cup ended today, and we watched the final at my favorite spot for footie on the telly, Lorettobad. Lee was the only one rooting for France, but no one seemed to be that bothered when Croatia lost. I was more troubled by the rain that began around the 60th minute. It is helpful to be wearing a swimsuit when it starts to pour.
I love the atmosphere at Lorettobad. The audience is engaged but respectful. The concession stand always has daily wurst specials and long lines of kids wait for popsicles and adults for their beer. The water is too cold for my taste, but I sure love reading on the lawn.
This afternoon was the Anglican Church of Freiburg’s Summer Fete. We had a grand time. I was very excited about the Pimm’s, and Thom gobbled up his Nigerian meat pie. He ate is so fast I didn’t get a picture. Chances are we won’t have as many opportunities to eat West African food when we’re home in suburban New Jersey.
This evening I found myself sitting on a church sanctuary floor. We were at Freikirche der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten to hear Thom and some of the older kids in Oberlin play their composition from music class in a Musik & Poesie concert. Maybe not so strangely, I felt very comfortable on the floor. As a kid, my favorite place to “listen” to the sermon was lying on the thick red and black carpet of our church’s sanctuary. It was fun tonight to look at the foreign hymnals and Bibles, and I was pleased to see the feminine article is used for Bible.
Yesterday (fingers crossed) I made the final trip to the Freiburg pediatric dentist. Vinnie had a successful check-up.
Whenever I interact with the receptionist, I get uneasy. She speaks English, but she doesn’t like having to. We do okay in German until she goes off script, and then I lose her.
I’m always eager to leave the office. When she offers a time and day for the next appointment, I usually just take it no matter what. So, sometime in the winter, she asked if July 11 at 13:20 worked, and I agreed.
Vinnie and Thom’s school day ends at one, and it takes a good 30 minutes door to door from their school to the dentist. I felt less bad about having to take Vin out of school when I found out that on Wednesdays, English is her last class.
I walked into Oberlin and while I waited for Vinnie to gather her things, I noticed this happy fish on the wall. My sweet Thom made a fish with a smile.
Before a World Cup match, Thom recommends barefoot soccer in the sand, a quick ride to the farmers’ market, and a large helping of fresh raspberries to spoil supper.
Tonight was the final night of Freiburg’s Wine Festival, and we squeezed in one last visit between Errol’s train arrival from Bochum, Thom's rehearsal, and the France/Belgium game. The rain threatened to ruin our al fresco supper of pizza and crepes, but it cleared quickly.
Something very different about Oberlin, the bigs’ Freiburg school, and Riverside, the bigs’ Princeton school, is the food situation.
In Germany, it’s a foreign concept to serve meals at school. Classes are supposed to end early enough for kids to eat at home. This means a late lunch for most. Another result of this schedule is a large morning snack. Thom and Vinnie come home with tales of feasts inside their classmates’ vesper boxes. If parties are willing, the food can be shared.
Vinnie asked me last week if I would buy a specific kind of craker that a girl in her class eats: “They look so good and she never shares.” Vinnie told me the brand was TIC. I agreed to look at the grocery but found no TIC crackers.
This afternoon Vinnie came into my room holding a yellow wrapper.
“Mama, I was wrong. It’s TUC crackers. Here.”
She handed me an empty sleeve of TUC. Apparently, the girl is willing to share her trash.
This afternoon the Carl Schurz Haus hosted an Independence Day party at the Ganter Brewery’s biergarten. The kids got more hilarious face paint, and Errol was impressed with the BBQ ribs they served. I loved the bluegrass band.
The big kids’ school had a class hike and lunch this afternoon. We love how many of the restaurants in the forest and biergartens have playgrounds. It’s so nice there is an area for kids to be kids while adults do what so many of us love to do: sit around to talk, eat, and drink.
Tonight I went back to the wine festival with my pal Kornelia. It was a completely different experience than yesterday’s. We had wine slushies!