Day 2 – 4/22/07 – Maritime Hotel, Bonn

This morning at around 8:30 I plodded down to the yellow bathroom. As I passed Oma’s bedroom, she was up and about in her bright orange bathrobe, and excitedly informed me she was about to go down and make breakfast. She further reminded me there was a yellow bathrobe for me, and a blue bathrobe for Gavin, and we should be down for breakfast shortly.

Breakfast was more brotchen with Nutoka (similar to Neutella), or himbeern jam, depending on your taste. Oma had musli. We all had tea. Oma reminded us to be ready by 11:45 at which point we would be going to lunch with the Mullers, her next door neighbors. Herr Muller helps her with the gardening, and Frau Muller feeds their shildkurter the leftover salad greens.

After breakfast, I showered, then I finished up the previous day’s blog while Gavin showered. We went downstairs where I watched a talk show about animals, they talked to an animal psychic, a person that filmed wild animals, the director of the Koln Zoo, and two other people who weren’t important enough for me to remember.

At 11:45 we dutifully walked Oma over to the Muller’s. Frau Muller told us Karl (Herr Muller) had gone ahead to the garage and was taking the car out, so we headed to the garages.

As we drove to the Maritim Hotel, Oma told everyone about her friend Ushi’s plight. Due to the Bonn Marathon’s road closures, Ushi couldn’t join us for lunch. We passed a few Marathon walkers, and only one or two minor detours on our way. There we met up with Uncle B. and Renate, and heard about Ushi’s plight again.

Lunch at the Maritim was about how lunch at most large hotel buffets was. The difference is in America, you get a glass of water immediately and it is perpetually filled through out the meal. Gavin and I drank water out of .2L shot glasses, while the others had a variety of drinks. Oma reminded the waiter that although we’d originally reserved for 8 there were only 7 because of the Marathon.

Uncle B. ate his way through everything, Renate had predominately salads and fruits, Oma had a lot of lax and smoked eel, the Mullers had the warm lunch, and Gavin and I had a little breakfast and a little lunch. We all enjoyed dessert, and Oma warned us we should “eat up because I won’t be cooking dinner tonight.”

Lunch concluded nearly three hours later and was followed by a photo shoot at the fountain. Uncle B. lined everyone up: Kindli, Gavin, Renate, Oma, Karl and Annamarie, and took some pictures. Then there was Kindli, Gavin, Oma, then Oma and Bernie, and finally Bernie and Renate.

When we got home Oma promptly hung up some laundry (some himberrm jam had ventured onto the table cloth, but that was OK, it was “cheap and from India and I don’t have to iron it” yay for synthetics). Oma then pulled her lounge chair out into the yard and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon weather.

Gavin and I ventured into the attic. Gavin marveled how it was solid concert floor with some area rugs and lots of insulation. He deemed it to be a “proper” attic, complete with light switch and good ladder.

I have very few things left in Oma’s attic: some hiking boots that are a bit small (left in 2002 after an Abroad…), two water guns (again, left after the 2002 Abroad), a sweater that does not fit, a white teddy bear, a collection of hotel-sized toiletries that are probably well past their prime in a complimentary airline business-class pouch of sorts, and some congealed nail polish.

Everything except the toiletries and congealed nail polish went back into the box boldly labeled “KINDLI’s.” I will probably abandon them in the yellow bathroom. No one will really notice, as it is already home to a collection of sample sized toiletries, toothbrushes, shampoos and such that have been left by fellow travelers, parents and relatives.

The yellow bathroom is seldom used except by guests, and even then Oma frequently needs to be reminded to turn on the water heater so the shower is not freezing on your first night in town (I suspect Uncle B. reminded Oma, Gavin had a warm shower last night).

Attic adventures complete, I uploaded the days pictures and updated the blog, or rather, wrote some more in an AppleWorks document that will eventually, hopefully be uploaded to the blog. Gavin sat and read on his Nokia, apparently he’s uploaded 30 books onto it. That should keep him busy.

After a short time, we realized it was nearly tea time. I took the laptop downstairs and showed Oma “over a thousand pictures” our our apartment, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and stuff around Boston. Oma was quite excited to see all of the pictures, and quite horrified to hear of our living conditions. “You mean in the basement?” she asked of our laundry room. “In the basement of the apartment next door,” Gavin explained. Oma looked horrified.

It took us a little while to realize it was dinner time. It was still quite light out, and none of us were very hungry. Dinner, when it did happen, were little pizzas Oma had stashed away in her freezer. A dubious sounding dinner, but quite good. They had a white sauce, shinken and kase on them, and possibly one or two other things that didn’t look to out of place on little pizzas. Oma also cut up some fresh pineapple.

Throughout dinner conversation continued about Boston, Gavin’s job, where we would like to move, politics, history, and current events. At 9:30, Oma realized there was a talk show she wanted to see at 9:45, so we moved into the living room. The topic was West-East solidarity taxes and the conversation quickly turned to complicated German phrases that are not quite in my league of comprehension. After awhile, we all gave up and went to bed, leaving them to argue and rant on their own.

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