Heute Ist Mein Geburtstag!

The title says the today is my birthday (because it is). Technically at the time I am writing this I am still forty-eight but by the time I am done, and definitely when you read this, I will have turned forty-nine.

I Was Wrong About Bremen
When I stepped out of the train station on Sunday I didn’t think that I would like Bremen; the city was far more busy and had more of an urban atmosphere than I was lead to believe. However, as my two days wore on the city wore on me.

The “altstadt” area has some amazing architecture, a lovely riverside walk, and I found a couple of places to eat good meals and drink local beers.

While I did find a sporting goods store in town I was unable to locate a German soccer jersey for me to buy. Oh well, a Euro saved is a Euro earned.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Not Your Normal German Windmill”
Not Your Normal German Windmill
I have seen many modern-day wind turbines in Germany, but this was a first for me. Actually, I think it’s a restaurant.

Two Wonderful Purchases Yesterday
While walking through town I found Rossmann, a small drug store chain. Inside I purchased a(n unfortunately carbonated) bottle of water, as well as two very helpful items — nail clippers, and flushable wet wipes. Normally I would have nail clippers in my toiletry bag, but I purchased a new one for this trip and didn’t thinking about packing them. The wet wipes were a godsend yesterday, let’s just say that a German toilet paper has been a bit harsh on my American bottom; I should have thought to buy these my first day in Frankfurt.

I Found A Use For Euro Coins
A few times now I have had to use a public WC. It has not been uncommon to have someone outside the WC collecting change, or in two instances I encountered automated WCs that require coins to enter.

Auf Weidersehen, Deutschland!
Today I am on another train, this one taking me from Bremen, Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands. If all goes to plan my train is due to arrive in Amsterdam at 15:00.

Somehow I don’t think that this will be my last trip to Germany before I die. It would be nice if I were better at speaking the language, but I have been thinking that for twent-five years.

I am getting out of the frying pan an jumping into the fire as I leave a country where I have at least a little capability of speaking their native tongue to one in which I have no hope. I keep finding the English may be spoken the world around, but there are no guarantees.

For the remainder of my birthday I am going to try to relax, have a wonderful dinner, and have a lot of fun. Holy shit, Amsterdam better be fun. I just booked my hotel and, with very few options available even midweek, I am spending more than I would normally for a hotel room. When I talk of returning to Europe next year, kindly remind me how much money this trip cost me. Yowzers!

It’s funny to think that exactly one year ago my coworkers Chrissy and “K” took me out to Monday Night Brewing and then to Flip Burger for my birthday; and now they have both moved out of Atlanta and I will be in two different European countries.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

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14 Responses to Heute Ist Mein Geburtstag!

  1. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Been fucked by the train gods again… Will spend two extra hours of my birthday waiting for a train to Amsterdam because my train from Bremen to Osnabruck was so late that I missed my original connection.

    Thought about sightseeing a bit, but I think I am going to sit and read instead.

  2. Steve says:

    TMI on the wet wipes.. welcome to international travel, where apparently Americans are delicate flowers.

    The train gods are just playing with you and giving you an opportunity to be a tourist somewhere you didn’t expect.

    Since the Masters golf tournament has gone to a lottery for tickets a few years ago, I have been playing and I finally “won”. I can have 4 tickets to the Monday practice round on April 6th next year. Sounds like it might be fun. Any interested parties?

    Be mindfull when you get to Amsterdam that the country has suffered a great loss in the takedown of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. Many are considering it their “9/11”.

    alles Gute zum Geburtstag mein Freund!

    -FP

  3. Steve says:

    And according to the Google, you’ll probably go far on your German in the Netherlands.

  4. bob says:

    Happy birthday Paulie!

    Sounds like the adventures continue, just remember you really have nowhere to be so enjoy the moment.

  5. Martha says:

    Facebook told me today was your birthday, so Happy Birthday!!!

    According to Wikipedia, 87% of people in the Netherlands say they can converse in English. My experience is that many Dutch speak English better than some Americans.

    Fun fact: The Dutch are the tallest people in the world. The average hight for an adult man is 6 feet 1 inch (or 1.85 meters, since you are in Europe) 🙂

  6. Barb says:

    Happy birthday!
    there are plenty of hashers in Amsterdam, Shappens, Sauerkrotch & Purple I know for sure from FB. maybe you will meet up with them?

    Steve – Monday practice round – on our anniversary – that could be a very fun idea. How pricy are the tickets? (I went in the early 90s for $10)

  7. Debbie says:

    Happy Birthday Paulie!! And it sounds like you got your money’s worth in Bremen. I don’t think you’ll have any problems in Amsterdam in regards to a language barrier. That’s a bucket list destination for me, so I’m interested to hear how you like it.

    Speaking of bucket list, we have Masters tickets??!!?? First I’ve heard of it, but yay – I’ve always wanted to go.

    Off to ride my pony in the soup and then get ready for photography of the house tomorrow. The further along we get the more depressed I get – it looks so nice. Funny the things we put off until we did them for someone else to enjoy.

    Send good juju that I’ll have some gainful employment starting next month. It isn’t likely to be enough to alter our plans, but it would certainly be nice to have!

  8. Steve says:

    I got the email from the Masters last night- tickets are only $65 a piece, which seems quite reasonable.

    The Dutch are the tallest? I would have thought Fins or Swedes.

    And no spoilers today, but Rui Costa, reigning World Champion did not start today as he has pneumonia… and has likely had it for a week. Maybe that will free up Chris Horner to do something.

  9. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Whew, *finally* in Amsterdam. Expensive (to me) hotel has crappy wifi. Tried to Skype my mother and failed. Very hungry, about to seek birthday dinner.

    Thanks All’

  10. Martha says:

    Yep, the Dutch, but (depending on which list you look at) the Danes and Norwegians usually round out the top 3. The Fins and Swedes are still tall…I’d have to travel to Asia to be ‘average height’…

  11. Jenka says:

    Happy birthday, Paulie! I had a BLAST in Amsterdam when I was there in, uh, I think 2009. Go to a(ny) bakery and get those waffle cookies with the caramel in between. *Drool*

  12. Barb says:

    Steve – I need to ask Allan, but I’m pretty sure he’d love to go to the Masters.

  13. Steve says:

    I think we could arrange that. Apparently, the practice rounds allow cameras, so that might be fun.

  14. Barb says:

    I talked to Allan- he said hell yeah he wants to go.

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