Tuesday is my one day of almost freedom.
Here in Germany the children only have shcool until lunchtime (a very nasty shock coming from the UK's civilized 9am till 3.30/4pm) and so if I want to go do stuff without having company I have to cram it into a morning. Which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that although school starts just before 8am the shops don't actually open their doors until 10am (and I'm not counting supermarkets/post offices or chemists as shops, they're not fun) a whole 2 hours, 120 minutes of recreational consumertime gone before before I can even say 'can I try this on please?'
On Tuesday Ben is in school until sometime after 1pm (although he can pretty much be discounted as he's old enough to come home with a key and hopefully not burn the house down before I get home) Jas meanwhile has choir practice until 2pm. 2pm!
Hence Tuesday is my day of almost freedom. I don't have enough time to go far - I can get to Düsseldorf but not achieve much, can get into Essen centre or to the Rhine Ruhr centre but that's about it, Oberhausen (another fancy mall) is just within reach but unfortunately Roermond
is just too far...
I think the benefits of shopping are vastly under-rated. I wouldn't dare list it as a hobby and yet I could certainly visualise it as an occupation - personal shopper, oh yeah, that's so my calling! Could you imagine having to have intimate knowledge of the contents of a store, needing to know about the new stock, the new colours and shapes, heaven.
Yesterday was the first day Rebecca and I had been able to flex our shopping muscles together for some time, ever since her husband was foolish enough to volunteer her services to help teach English at the school back in November.
Now, however the fates have intervened and knackered R's back so badly that the German doctors are all but sharpening their knives (she has a stay of execution (possibly not the best turn of phrase in this situation) but if things aren't better within 3-4 weeks it's another story) this means that standing and teaching isn't on and she has loads of physio appointments, but today there was a window of opportunity that happened to coincide with my own shaft of sunlight, this meant 2 hours of happy aimless wandering around, drinking coffee and chatting. Bliss.
Word for the day: einkaufen - to shop