Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Bits of This and That

Nothing profound from Germany in this installment but here are a few observations and insights into what I’ve been thinking and doing over the past few days.

It's easy. Just read the instructions

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Laundry

I rediscovered Laundromats last night. Certainly not glamorous but an essential part of life. If you think about it the whole “one family per washer/dryer” concept is incredibly wasteful. But the ability to stick your laundry in a machine in your own dwelling, go off and do something fun or productive then come back to finish the job on one’s own schedule is a luxury I won’t be taking for granted anytime soon.
I may be kicking my TV addiction while I’m over here. Initially I thought all the channels I got were German. That wasn’t fair. One is Austrian. Fortunately I had no difficulty with the accent. I get 22 channels total. Of those approximately 22 are German language. At home when I come into an empty house I almost always immediately flip on the TV. Over here I’ve started to put on music or internet news radio instead. What has not changed is my need to have some form of background noise. In fact it’s probably more important over here. The loneliness can start to get at you and I’m starting to understand Tom Hanks’ character in Castaway. Perhaps I should buy a volleyball.
I may be becoming more German than I know. This morning my bus was nearly two minutes late. I was almost freaking out. How could this be?
When commuting by bus (especially in Germany) you tend to see the same people every day.  There’s a father with a young son 3-4 years old. The man must work near my office as he drops his boy at the day care here in the office park. The little boy is normally very cute. This morning he was just in a foul mood, crying from the second he set foot (actually today he had to be carried) in the bus. Now I have no formal training in psychology but I do consider myself a keen observer of the human condition. This young man had no projects running behind schedule and no impending cost overruns. There were no customers making unreasonable demands of him. He hadn’t had any disagreements with a spouse, likely had no personal financial concerns and almost certainly had not had any traffic encounters with poor drivers. Maybe he was in a foul mood just because he was. And maybe that happens to all of us. We get into a funk just because. On the other hand maybe everything happens for a reason and he didn’t get a prize in his cereal or he hated the outfit his mother made him wear. Who knows?
On the factual side I’m keeping myself fed and I’m running every day with no particular program or goal. Most days I get plenty of sleep but with last night being laundry night my bedtime was later than I prefer. I’m able to stay in touch with my family using various tools of modern technology but I still miss them.
More later, thanks for reading.


  1. Tom - Amusing post. It made me thankful for my laundry situation and wishing that I could get away with foul moods like a 3-4 year old again!

    Laurie Gulowaty

  2. The boy is a Red Wings fan. Deutsches Bier ist gut?

  3. So thankful for my own washer and dryer. And kids I don't have to haul on a bus crying. Glad you are running every day! Ps ... Send me your address and I shall send you a volleyball! :)