I have time to kill this morning and you are most likely still asleep, so this will be a longer-than-normal post. You have all weekend to read it. 😀
I Have Packed Too Much
I am looking at today’s weather forecast and it doesn’t look great, rain is supposed to move in this afternoon and perhaps linger through tomorrow. This makes the fact that I have too much stuff with me that much more problematic as I try to keep it all dry.
The rain also highlights the hotel-change conundrum. I must be out of my current hotel by 10:30am and won’t be able to check into my next hotel until 3:00pm. I am either going to rent a locker at the Düsseldorf main train station (in German “der Hauptbahnhof”) or, I will call my next hotel to see if they can securely store my bags until I can check in. The train station is a convenient dumping-off point because it is a few blocks from this hotel and where I will need to go in order to get to my next one. [update: since initially writing this I have been to the main train station and secured a locker for 5€. I am now eating a brilliant breakfast which was included with my hotel stay. If I ate this food every morning I would weigh 300 pounds, but would also finally believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.]
On Tuesday morning in Cologne I may consider mailing all of my hash clothing, as well as things I know I won’t need for the bike ride, back to Atlanta. I’d do this today if not for the fact that I’d like to make it through the hash first.
I’ve Got That Jing-Jing-Jingle In Me
I get the practicality of coins over paper bills. However, walking down the street with a pocketful of 2, 1, .5, .2, .05, and .01 Euro coins is annoying. It’s almost so annoying that I’d conspire to believe that the EU makes them so that you will spend them quickly to get rid of them.
And spend them I have…
I Finally Found The Bars!
With two hours to kill prior to checking into my hotel yesterday I did a lot of walking in the neighborhood of my hotel. Thankfully I was able to stow my luggage at the hotel so I didn’t have to carry with me. I inexplicably felt hungry (trans-continental flights feed you well) and stopped into a doner joint (think “pita sandwich”) and then searched for a bar, and searched for a bar, and searched for a bar. I found multitudes of Chinese restaurants. I found the red light / gambling district. I found a pharmacy in which I bought toothpaste (I knowingly didn’t pack any because I had nothing but large tubes at home). However, I never found a local bar into which I could duck.
Also oddly missing from this part of Düsseldorf are public spaces with benches. I would have gladly sat a spell in the beautiful weather that was here yesterday, but could not find a park bench anywhere.
After consulting with the front desk I was advised to ride the subway to “Altstadt” (Old Town) and I would have no problems finding bars. Boy was she ever right! In a one-block span I found four Irish bars, which given that the Irish were playing in EuroCup at that time were hopping. I spent the rest of the night in one, drinking many “Original Schlüssel” made by a local brewery, watching the Germany game (a 0-0 tie with Poland) on tv, before eating a late dinner of Currywurst from a vendor, and then returning to my hotel. While eating at an outside table I saw a teenage(ish) boy wearing a Roswell Lacrosse jacket. I entertained the thought of asking him if he was from Roswell, Georgia, but didn’t really care that much.
I was asleep by midnight local time, which looks strange as 00:00 in 24-hour time.
I Must Have Thought Europe Was A Deodorant-Free Zone
And let’s be honest, it probably is.
After my nap I took a wonderful shower, after which I realized that I also hadn’t packed deodorant. Oy vey!
So, out again I went, this time looking for the local Rossmann, a chain of drugstores in Germany. I found one and made my deodorant purchase. (since I was freshly-showered no one picked up on my lack of personal hygiene.)
While I was out I also sought to rectify my lack of water bottle for my upcoming biking journey. Conviently across the street from Rossmann was a store called Terrific, which is a small outdoors/camping store! To my delight I bought a standard BPA-free water bottle, on clearance, for 2.99€. SCORE!!! The bottle is generic and cheap enough to be a European leave-behind in two weeks. Sorry, Environment.
Let’s Play “Who’s The Tourist?”
It’s seemingly the only person not wearing a jacket at night. Last night that person was me! For some reason (jet lag, walking all day in the sun, whatever) it just didn’t dawn on me to bring one with me.
“But you packed rain two rain slickers and a fleece!” I hear you exclaim.
Correct, but I was not smart enough to bring any of them. Thankfully, none were required as I was inside when it rained, and it either didn’t get that chilly or I just didn’t feel the chill later in the evening.
After making it through customs by answering questions in German (!) I have had little practice since. It’s far too convenient to speak English when the people with whom I speak are native speakers as well. Today I will make a more-concerted effort to practice my German skills.
Have a great weekend friends!