* Thanks to Aunt Suzanne, who sent us Wholly Frijoles: The Whole Bean Cookbook in response to my complaints about the lack of refried and other canned beans in Germany :)
When the envelope arrived I noticed that it looked a little funny and I couldn't figure out why. Then I realized it was because it had no customs declaration on it! And, it got here faster than any previous mail from the US, in only 5 days. Hmm, could this be this a new trick to get mail to get here fast and actually make it to our door? Might be risky....
* Saturday night we were in Frankfurt. We were supposed to be meeting up with Nathan and Michelle, but after we got all the way there (at IC/ICE rates no less) they bailed. It wasn't a total loss because we got to hang out with a class friend of mine, Yesim, though she comes to Heidelberg every two weeks so I didn't really need to go up there to see her. Anyway, there was a huge festival going on and as the three of us were walking through, Yesim (who is Turkish) saw a guy completely covered in tattoos. She said to us, "Look at that guy's tattoos! He must be American." Hahah, I had no idea that full-body tattooing was seen as a particularly American thing. I don't know much about the history and fashion of tattooing, though.
* This article was in the news earlier this week: Cardboard Children Used to Slow Neighborhood Speeders. I thought it was interesting because just last weekend in Unterried (in the Bavarian Forest) we saw a big cardboard kid at the side of the road. It was a little smaller than life-sized and it was facing the road directly rather than facing incoming traffic, but at the time we couldn't guess what it might be other than a method to slow down traffic coming through the tiny little town. The drivers out there really didn't seem to slow down for anything so it made sense that they might be taking these sort of measures. So perhaps this guy in Florida isn't the first one to think of faking out drivers with fake kids playing by the road!
* Despite many attempts, we still haven't gotten the name in the elevator changed. No one will admit to it being their responsibility, or they avoid our attempted contact altogether. Next step: tape a piece of paper with our name on it over the previous tenant's name. This is sure to annoy the shit out of either the person responsible for changing it, or one of the other tenants, who might complain and get it fixed for good.