Today was a normal day around the house until the kids got home. Well, normal other than the fact that Oma is here. Did I mention she speaks ZERO English? I mean none. I thought no one I would meet could speak another language worse than I currently speak German, but she is over here making me look fluent. It has been good though as it has forced me to work on my German skills. She is constantly wanting to talk. I don’t know why. We both just end up frustrated and I continuously have to ask her to “sprechen langsamer” or speak slowly, in order for me to hopefully catch a word or two that I recognize and can then reply with what I assume she is talking about.
We did better today than yesterday, but still, it was rough. One thing I did understand was her complaining about having to iron and wash clothes for her daughter and grandchildren. I can see her frustration, and was able to tell her that I can and will wash my own clothes when she asked if she needed to do mine too. She was very happy to hear that I am fully capable of doing things on my own.
This evening I took the bus to Cologne for a girls Bible Study. It was me, the English tutor from Bonn that I met up with the other day, and 4 other girls from all different walks of life. We met up at a little cafe and it was great to study God’s word together in English. They meet every Thursday and I am very excited to start going each week.
Today was just more conversing with Oma, if you wanna call it that, and then this evening I went with Paula and Monika to a movie. Bad idea. It was a German teen movie and the entire thing was in German, no subtitles. The plot line was pretty superficial and simple so I knew what was going on for the most part, but I definitely left the theatre with a major headache. From both the language and the bad acting.
I was going to go to a FC Köln women’s team soccer game this morning but the weather was pretty blah so I waited until 2:oo and got a ride from Monika to Cologne. Monika and her mom were heading through the city on their way to Dortmund to catch a flight to Poland, their home country. They will be there until Wednesday so it is just me, Rafael, and the kids for the next few days.
While in the city I ventured around the area called Neumarkt and found myself in the main shopping area of the city. I went into a couple of large department stores, a huge place similar to REI, and went window shopping on Cologne’s version of Rodeo Dr. I passed many high end backeries and wanted to stop so bad, but I resisted and just looked and then walked away. I’m trying to save up most of my chocolate and sweets feedings for my time I will spend in Belgium and Vienna. I did grab some gelato though 😋.
I also noticed how they have placed lighted sign/banners between building above each major street entry way. This was done in preparations for Christmas time. Only about two weeks left until the Christmas markets open up!! One of the things I am most excited about for my two weeks of traveling at the end of my trip is experiencing the different Christmas markets in each city we visit. Cologne has 6 of its own I believe, and each one has its own theme and charm. It is a pretty big deal.
Back to Monika being gone…
I guess Rafael can’t cook much so tomorrow the plan is to BBQ steak and chicken and I will cook some potatoes. Monday and Tuesday I am in charge of dinner. Spaghetti for Monday and chicken quesadillas Tuesday it is. As much as these kids love tortillas and cheese, I am sure they will like them. At least I hope so.
I have already had to get onto Lennart and his mom has only been gone 5 hours. He grabbed a big machete like knife from the counter and thought it would be funny to slam it as hard as he could through a piece of cheese with his hand right next to it. I told him that was very dangerous and that he could’ve cut his fingers off and he laughed his head off. Not going to lie, it made me pretty angry. His dad then got on to him, yet he was still laughing. The kid is a mess. I don’t know why he acts the way he does. Sometimes he is good, but most of the time he is either being a heathen or acting like a baby. Rafael did give me permission to get onto him sternly whenever I need to. I have a feeling this will be happening more often, even though I know he will probably just ignore me.
I’m really enjoying my time here so far, and Cologne is a cool city. I’m realizing that, although I enjoy it, I don’t know if I could live in a non English speaking country unless I know the language. Also, I think to live in another country, having someone with me that I know is a must. I like exploring on my own, and it was already made me grow as an independent woman a lot, but I often find myself wishing I could share these sights and experiences with someone else.