Reflections From A Wittenberg Coffee Shop-Life-Style: Tidbits of Daily Life in Germany


Last night I went to my apartment and made dinner and then I went out for a bike ride.  It was a perfect Wittenberg evening and so I got on the Elbe Trail heading east with the intention of exploring the countryside.  I rode for an hour and a half and went through new neighborhoods, fields and gardens.  Made it to a neighboring village and decided to come back as the sun was beginning to set.  The more I come to know of the Elbe Radweg (http://www.elbe-cycle-route.com/index.php?id=418&L=1) the more I want to be sure to allow more time in future trips over to ride portions of the trail.  The terrain is generally flat so it gives me a better chance than going through the mountains.

This morning I had to put out the street signs advertising our devotional services tonight.  Of course, it started to rain, but with the rain coat it didn’t matter.  I put out all the signs but one


The OBI store reminds me so much of Home Depot in the USA

because it had been damaged and I needed to get a new plastic cover to put on it.  So, this meant that I ride my bike (in the rain) in the opposite direction as last night to a hardware store that, to me, looks like a Home Depot (complete with orange signs).  The store was huge but I found a very nice worker who helped me get what I needed, so, back on the bike I went to get the last sign fixed and then placed.

It is Wednesday as I write this, which means the open air market is going on next to the shopping center.  This also means that I needed to stop by to buy a Spreewald pickle which is a one of its kind culinary experience.  I was not disappointed.  The Spreewald is a region between Berlin and the Polish border where the River Spree breaks into hundreds of tributaries creating a collection of islands and a unique culture.  I have been canoing there a number of times including once with LeRoy Wilke that is a story in itself.  Wish I had the picture with me that I could post it.  .  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spreewald  The people in Spreewald make a pickle that cannot be replicated and is not good if comes out of a jar.  The lady today sold it to me straight from the pickle crock, as they would do in the Spreewald when you paddle up to the dock.  Went great with the hamburger I had today for lunch.

Now, I head to the gym for some weightlifting.  This is a small gym, close to my office, but it has everything that


The gym where I do my workouts.

I need.  (http://www.fitnessworld-wittenberg.de/index.html) People are very friendly.  In fact, the custom is that as you ente

r the workout area you go to each person, shake hands, and, say hello.  This is very cool and really helps build a camaraderie.  This could not be done at LA Fitness in Roseville where I usually go because there are way too many people and there wouldn’t be time to work out, but, there are never more than 15-20 in the room so here it works very nicely.  It is in places like this that I wish my German would come faster, but, each day it gets better.

Had a discussion at dinner tonight as to whether or not it is better to have a fast paced life with lots of activity or a slower paced life with balanced activity.  Having lived the fast paced life for 50 years, i have become an advocate for a slower pace.  Those at the dinner table challenged me and said that one becomes stale and sluggish when there is not enough to do.  So, what is a happy medium?  What does that look like to have a happy medium?  To be too busy prevents contemplation, listening and reflection?  Is that the real reason for being busy?  Do we stay busy and noisy so we don’t have to think about our lives?

I cleared the slate before I left the United States, and, now I will be deciding what to bring back.  What is essential?  What is cutting edge?  What keeps us sharp?  What drags us down?  I am learning to like both approaches to life.  Can I pull off balanced living   in the United States when back in my natural habitat?  Good questions are helpful.

More to come………

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