Tuesday, August 02, 2005



Today is packing day. The suitcase is open and filling up. The problem is how much... or how little... to carry.

The physical packing may be taking place today, but it has been going on in my mind and on paper for several weeks. While I would like to pack an assortment of everything, experience tells me to carry no more than I need. I'm not as young as I used to be, so heavy loads are undesireable. I expect I will be doing quite a bit of walking as well, and walking with a load is even less desireable. Weather forecasts for Germany next week indicate moderate temperatures, so I can leave the heavy clothes home.

I am hoping to locate a laundromat mid-week, which means I can get by with fewer clothes. A trick that I have used in the past is to take old t-shirts, socks and undies on their final trip and leave them behind each day. Then mid-week I would buy new socks and undies for the remainder of the trip. I'm sure there will be plenty of interesting shirts to take home, but I will probably skip the leiderhosen.

I am still debating whether to rent a car. An economy model can be had for about $200 a week, unlimited mileage, plus the cost of gas and parking. That has to be weighed against the price and inconvenience of taking trains and busses. It would be fun to drive a smaller German auto that we don't get in the U.S. for a few days.

As I work at the computer today, I am listening to German polkas, schottische's, waltz's by the Six Fat Dutchmen, Whoopee John (One of Mom's favorite jokes: "Whoopee John Wilfahrt, and the band will play."), Frankie Yankovic, Walter Groller and the Polka Padre, and sipping a glass of riesling. I am really getting into the mood.

"Im Himmel Gibt's Kein Bier."

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