Thursday, 3 May 2012

First Times and Comebacks

And probably not at all what you're thinking

I'm closing in on age 55. I consider myself fortunate to have seen and done a lot of things in my first 54 years. Maybe I've seen and done it all. Yeah, right! I do have a certain amount of curiosity in me and I think that to some degree we all seek out new experiences, hopefully for the entire time we stay on the planet.

As an example, earlier this year Kate and I spent a week in Maui, our first ever visit to the Hawaiian Islands. It was a terrific experience and one I'm sure we will repeat in some fashion. Last week in Milan I was also able to experience a first: one far less significant and far less pleasant.

On my Euro sojourn I am making it a point to run as much as possible. Unlike swimming and biking it's very accessible and requires little in the way of special equipment. Late night's notwithstanding, the best time to run is in the early morning. So last Thursday I set off around 6:30am in a totally foreign city. And it went fine.

When I got back to my hotel I made use of the in-room coffee maker as I was looking for something wet, caffeinated and containing some calories post-run. The coffee was instant, not a serious problem, the best coffee in the world was only a few steps in any direction as soon as I had showered and dressed. But there was something about the sugar. They hadn't put enough in the envelope. The texture seemed "off". I took a sip.

For the first time ever and thanks to my 54 year old eyes, I was drinking coffee with artificial sweetener. It's horrible. Far too sweet and with that bitter aftertaste. And the worst part? I was getting none of the calories I had been seeking in the first place. In hindsight I should have just poured it down the drain and started over. But that's not how I'm wired. I regard it as my manly duty to consume every culinary error I make. These serve as reminders never to make those errors again. That night I laid out the packets for the following morning using my reading glasses. No further problems. I just can't believe people use that stuff by choice.

Which brings me to comebacks. Kate will not believe this but earlier this week at my apartment the dust bunnies were visible to the naked eye. My naked eyes in fact. So I hauled out the vacuum cleaner and gave the place a once over. I can't say how long it's been sine I've vacuumed but I have a sense that Kate could ballpark it with some accuracy. The good news is that unlike my unsuccessful bathroom cleaning incident a couple of weeks back, the results of last night's cleaning were self-evident. It appears this will become another one of my Germany rituals.

Thanks for reading,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. You are going to be so effed if you even think about vegging on the couch for even a moment on your conjugal visit/return trips. Or said another way, Kate will have a lot of extra spare time now that you've bragged (angeber!) about your skills with vacuums, washing machines, cleaning agents, grocery stores, etc. I bet you can probably make up the bed too. Welcome home!

  2. If you could spare a few moments when you're back visiting one of these days (soon), would you mind sharing your "German ritual" with my husband? (Paul) I was talking about the vacuuming.

  3. This first month in Germany has been an eye-opener for those reading at home.... Tom buying groceries, cleaning, vacuuming, laundry, no tv? Guess there should be more job sharing at home! Kate

  4. You are so screwed Tom! But honestly, if you are offering up maid service, I am in line! :)