Saturdays are for…

I had my centering hours this morning and walking dogs time. Ana then got up and declared that since there was some sun we should go get croissants and walk along the canal. The cold that we felt was cancelled by the rays of sun we got to soak in. We walked to our fav place to buy pastry and got our favorites. Ana got her espresso and we walked to the nearest bridge to stand in the sun and observe the world while we indulged from a safe distance from anyone else. Before we knew it we both had our eyes squinted with a smirk on our face while we got to take in the sun before the grey returns in Berlin winter. As we stood, eating and smiling, I burst out, “This is another adaptation!” Ana chuckled and confirmed. I had never really seen people just stopping wherever they were to bask in some sun until I moved to Berlin. The first time I saw Berliners just stop and do this wherever they were, I chuckled to myself. I come from a rainy place but inevitably at some point during the day the sun will break through and we soak it in but not to this extent. The minute there is sun, everyone around in Berlin will stop wherever they are going to turn their faces to the sun. With eyes closed or squinted they show their faces to the few beams.

When I had visited, I didn’t think this would be me anytime soon but during my first winter here, I was part of the club that stopped to bask. It is a glorious moment when it happens. Unlike Portland, the greyness here seems to be more. The darkness is more (it is further north). The greyness seems to go on and on here and the higher buildings don’ t help. I don’t mind this adaptation. It savors these moments of glorious light and warmth. It means you stop to really take note and spend some time in gratitude.

After we finished our delightful pasty and sun rays we wandered back towards home when Ana offered to go to the grocery store with me. Because all stores are closed here on Sundays, Saturdays are not my favorite day to shop in the week. It seems like everyone is there but I definitely needed to go today so I said yes to this offer to make it a bit more enjoyable. We wandered through the aisles with our list, dodging the weekend shoppers and made it to the extensive bread case. If you know about Germany, you know bread is showcased in the food arena. German bread is pretty amazing and the array is impressive. The hearty breads alone, if you are a bread lover, will make you swoon.

Today, an extra bonus, they had just put out the bread and the bread was warm. Winner winner. Ana picked out an assortment of rolls to take home including two warm pretzels.

Another adaptation, the joy of pretzels. When I went to Tubingen in the fall to visit a dear friend, I truly learned the joy of the pretzel. In Swabia (a cultural and distinct area of Germany) I learned about how a pretzel should truly be, crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside. It should be buttery and salty and ideally still a little warm. You shouldn’t need to dip in anything but if you do, butter is a good choice for a morning pretzel. Pretzels are just about the perfect snack and I have adapted wholeheartedly. I had no idea how lovely this could be until I moved here. I was used to this being a weird side item in the US with dipping sauces. I always understood them as a vehicle for cheese or mustard but as I bit into my warm pretzel today on the way home from the grocery store, I realized it is all about this warm salty buttery bread. I have adapted to this way in the world. I won’t look back.

I looked at Ana and said, “Well, here is to a whole morning of just carbs” and she responded, ‘Assimilation complete!”

A good morning for sure. How is your Saturday so far?

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