Archive for April, 2009

HOW MUCH????????????

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

I know Bill is in love with his new iphone. He bought it online, picked out the plan online. All to avoid speaking French in the store. He just had to make sense of the website (a challenge, really) and read the French.

I don’t know if it’s the translation. But I just got our cell phone bills. He racked up a 222 Euro bill. In one month. 125 Euros of it is for what appears to be web/data roaming. Which he did a fair amount of in Germany. Well, fair amount isn’t really correct. Costly amount seems more accurate.

I’m not saying he wouldn’t have spent that much in a month using an iphone in the US. But it does make you wonder….

fewer and fewer of us

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Living here is going to get lonely, I fear. Maybe I’m going to have to make an effort to get to know some of the French moms at the school.

This afternoon I was riding the tram to the park and ride sort of near our house after going downtown for lunch with a friend. She’s leaving for the US Wednesday. She’s excited. Me? Not really so much. It hit me on the tram ride… in a couple of months I won’t have anyone around to go to lunch with. So many of the ISE families are being repatriated. It’s not like I’m friends with everyone who’s leaving. But it feels like everyone I’m friends with is in that group. And it’s not that I want to go home. I’m ok staying. I’m just figuring I won’t have much to do. Maybe I’ll get good at cleaning the house. Scrap that; that isn’t realistic.

By the end of summer, there will be five ISE families left here. And that number could change again.

strange office visit

Monday, April 20th, 2009

I feel like a graffiti-ridden building that’s been reclaimed by the neighbors.

I went to the dentist today. It’s been way too long and I knew I was well over-due for a check up and a cleaning. After the check-up and the announcement that my 25 year old fillings are in need of replacement… especially the ones pushing cracks into my teeth…. the dentist said he’d clean my teeth.

This was the strangest cleaning I’ve ever been subjected to. There was something that sounded like a drill…. it seemed to be doing the heavy-duty scraping. He offered to numb my mouth, but that seemed wimpy, so I declined. Although I did keep finding myself completely tensed up from head to toe… so maybe that numbing would have been a good idea. He never used any kind of that horrible gritty polishing toothpaste I’m used to. Nothing minty in the least.

When he finished, I asked him just what he’d done. He explained to me that he’d used high-pressure sand and water on my teeth to get rid of the stains and tartar. So he sand-blasted my mouth.

It is clean.

Road trip to Germany

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

If I never see another sausage or bowl of sauerkraut or giant pretzel or beer again… it won’t be too soon. We got back last night from 10 days in Bavaria. Germany.

We actually really, really enjoyed ourselves. Except for the part at the Porsche Museum where Kaitlyn said she didn’t feel well and we thought she was just bored and then in the car on the way across town to our hotel and the Mercedes Benz Museum she threw up in the car. Guess she wasn’t just bored. Thank goodness that hotel had room service. Even if it wasn’t the best food…. we’d have starved without it. And at least it wasn’t sausage or sauerkraut. There were big pretzels at the breakfast buffet the next morning.

I think my highlight of the trip was the bike tour we took in Munich. It was completely easy, featured an hour in a giant beer garden drinking those huge mugs of beer. (And eating…. you guessed it…. sausages and sauerkraut.) Or maybe it was the royal residence in Munich. There was a stunning collection of jewels. There was also a freakish fountain covered in seashells. Bill liked the room filled with disgusting religious artifacts. I don’t know how well I managed to explain to Kaitlyn the fancy boxes made to hold human bones. And, yes, you could see the bones in most of them.

Kaitlyn’s favorite day had to be Legoland. That place is entirely made for a 6 year old. She could ride everything. And they were twisty-turny enough for me to pass on nearly all of it.

Bill and I had intended to buy a cookoo clock. We found a couple we liked but none we thought were worth the 800 Euros (or more) price tags. Especially when I admitted that very quickly, I’d be purposely failing to wind the mechanism to make it sing, dance, twirl and, well, cookoo.

Bill didn’t seem phased by the price tags on what he thought were souvenirs in the BMW Museum. He spent a lot of time in the attached showroom. He left with three thick brochures about some of the cars. He cleverly included a convertible to try to suck me into it. Most people buy post cards… maybe a scarf… but not a car. We didn’t buy one. But the seed has been planted now in his mind.

We did spend a lot of time in Munich just hanging around outside the Apple store. They have free wifi. So Bill could take advantage of his new iPhone.

We also managed to find a great Chinese restaurant in Munich. And they didn’t serve pretzels. We skipped the KFC down the street from our hotel… and all the Burger Kings at the rest stops along the autobahn. Although I do think that if they’d had a sign before the last one you pass saying “this is the last Burger King before you cross the border” I’d have probably made Bill stop. Not that it would have been too easy… given how much he enjoyed taking full advantage of the no-speed-limit stretches of the road.

It’s kind of funny. For a long time, we never had any desire to even go to Germany. And it turned out to be one of our favorite places to visit.


Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Bill is home from work today. He was sent home from the office yesterday morning. Everyone was. But not everyone got out. I don’t know how much it’s making headlines in the US, but there are 4 executives being held in the office. Some papers are calling it “boss-napping.” Which sounds to me more like what an old boss does at his desk after a big lunch… it just doesn’t sound sinister.

As for Bill’s evacuation from the office yesterday…. he admitted after being home a few hours that it started to feel to him like it was going to be a repeat of the incident with the tear gas, growling attack dogs and shouting union members. They were told to “just go over there…. away from where the union guys will be.” Bill said he wasn’t going to be corralled into another bad situation, so he went out a different door. The guard there opened the door and let people out. For the first time in two weeks, Bill had parked his car in the office parking lot. He wasn’t going to get trapped, so he went to his car and drove out while the getting was good. A few blocks away he stopped to call his boss who told him to “just go home.” And that’s where he’s been since.

Anyway, he can’t go to work today because they are still being held hostage. (that sounds apprpriately sinister) Don’t know if he’ll go to work tomorrow, either. We leave on vacation Saturday… so past Friday I don’t care what’s going on in the office.