Sad weather yesterday. Busted shoulder today. No garden. Boo. Hopefully I will heal a bit so I can head up there for a few days. Instead, I am here with time to reflect. I am hoping that soon I will not have so much time to reflect.
We did go to the garden on Saturday for a few hours. It was productive – all the furniture that was too old/dirty/uncomfortable was taken to the local recycling center. We did not even have to pay to dispose of it. That was pretty neat! Unfortunately, on our way there the police stopped us. This was quite humorous because we drove literally less than 2km to the waste station. Apparently, individuals require a special license to drive a vehicle with a trailer. Plus, the contents of the trailer must be covered. We did not think it would be a big deal because it was simply a bunch of black plastic bags that were all tied and a very short distance. Of course, we were wrong. The police – who could have likely found something much more productive to be doing – pulled us over and gave us a ticket for $35 Euros. I was quite surprised with the liberty afforded to police officers when doing a routine traffic stop. My guy had to open the back of the vehicle, show under the seats and in the hidden floor compartment. The officer also took his box cutter without any notice or request. When asked about it, he said, “I want to go home tonight.” We could not help, but to think, “US TOO!” Throughout this process, everyone on the street slowly found a reason to be outside. I am sure we were the entertainment for the weekend. Speculation can be an exhilarating activity (ask the oil tyrants). My guy was very polite because of his track record with the police: He went to a Fußball (soccer) game a few months ago and had a bit too much to drink and started screaming ACAB (all cops are bastards) at the slew of police officers monitoring the game. As the German definition of free speech is quite different from that in America, he was promptly escorted home and ordered to pay $1500Euro. He was afraid that they would search his name and find out what he had done. If the police read that and had the urge to subject both of us to searches, drug tests, etc., they would be able to do so without reasonable cause. This fact is greatly disturbing to me. It makes me long for the Bill of Rights. Fortunately, we had luck. I am also happy to report that since his very expensive incident at the game he has been trying his hardest to control his issues with police (which are relatively understandable based on his East German history). This is good – for both of us.
At least the bungalow is starting to shape up (sort of). The nasty old carpet is gone (the mystery powder was flour, according to my guy’s stepfather) and the old flooring has been ripped up. I started removing all of the wallpaper and did some more weeding. Unfortunately, we did not have a whole lot of time because we had to come back to the city for a birthday party. I am glad that I came back to head to the festivities because they were quite fun. I brought a gift basket of garden-fresh potatoes and flowers, as well as recently stolen corn on the cob (I know, I should be ashamed. I just miss corn so much and it is really not readily available here) and a few candy bars. This is not usually my thing. Usually I think about bringing something, don’t and then regret it. However, I am trying to be more positive and leave the dark cloud that has been distorting my view. A part of that is doing things that are atypical. As it turns out, it is actually better than wondering if I should have done something. It was nice to speak with people I know about things. The only downside to the evening was having to – YET AGAIN – defend why I am not interested in having a baby.
The garden on the balcony is doing alright. There are finally quite a few fruits on the pepper and tomato plants. I brought some marigolds back from the garden in an effort to ward off the whiteflies. Other than that it is pretty much the same, although it appears that only a few of my cuttings will actually be viable. I am going to try again, but this time I will use willow water. I have read that is a very good alternative to chemical rooting agents.
I would like to head back to the garden tomorrow for a few days to see what I can get done, do some bike riding, go hiking and sow some late season crops. I am planning to grow bush beans, lettuce, and peas. This should give me an idea of how things grow in this type of soil (very sandy). Today is for learning German, cleaning, and making banana bread.
Until next time…
the transplanted gardener(in)