Monday, March 5, 2012

A Snorky-Soccer-y Weekend


Andy was patient Zero.  He passed it to Annika who held a 101 fever for 3 days while mostly sleeping.  She was so kind to pass it to me.  I holed up in bed for 3 days while watching my Türkisch für Anfänger DVDs and sending horizontal emails with my phone.  I drank approximately 20 cups of green tea with lemon and honey and snorked my way through exactly 2 boxes of tissues.  I thought the little one had been spared—a mother can dream can’t she. 
                                                                    
Friday I made it to my interview which turned out to be awesome-squared and super helpful for my research.  I was able to interview both directors of this amazing program who also happen to come from different generations of immigrant families and I really got some great data.  For the record, that happens so rarely with a first interview and I’m still feeling a little smug and excited about it.  After my interview, I met Andy and the girls to take them to a sing-along at a local bookstore that was excitingly in both German AND English.  We thought the girls would have fun and that it might help Annika with her language learning anxieties.  The setting and singing were really great, but the babes-Melch were un-surprisingly un-cooperative.  They pretty much wanted to spend the entire hour running around the store NOT listening to the music, and both of us felt like we’d had a work-out from chasing them around by the time we left.  Why do we bother?  Trust me, we have asked ourselves the same question many, many times. 

We had been planning our Saturday of grown-up fun for almost 2 full weeks, and were sooo looking forward to hanging out with our friends sans kids.  We had a babysitter booked who had watched the yahoos before, and our tickets were purchased for Andy’s first Bundesliga soccer game.  Andy left early to go pick up the tickets that were being held at the stadium and I stayed behind to settle the girls in for a long day with the sitter.  Our sitter arrived, and I practically skipped all the way to the bus stop.  56 minutes later, I arrived at the stadium to 6 awesome friends and a happy and slightly intoxicated husband standing on the S platform with a tiny bottle of schnapps for me to drink.  We made our way to our seats and Andy brought me a 1L beer and a pretzel as big as my head. 

It was my second German soccer game, but my first one in Berlin.  I was cheering for Werder Bremen out of loyalty to the town that I have visited every single time I’ve come to Germany and that almost feels like home.  I think the rest of my compatriots were cheering for Hertha BSC, and that’s fine since we are all de facto Berliners for the year.  The game was fun and we had fun being there despite our nose-bleed seats. 

Ways in which it was nothing like going to a sporting event at home:
-Extreme historical significance of the place where the game was held.  When I asked Andy if he knew about it he said, “You mean the whole Jesse Owens thing or the whole Hitler thing?”  

-Germans REALLY like their soccer and the fanatic sections that had the most amazing songs and coordinated clapping/jumping were almost as fun to watch as the game. 

-There were plenty of police in riot gear and security people everywhere to keep us safe—I know we have that at home too, but this was quite a different scale all-together. 

-We all felt like we smoked a pack of cigarettes afterward because the family in front of us was chain-smoking the entire 90+ minutes of the game.  Funny, I didn’t ask for the smoking section.   

-We sincerely missed the vendors that wander up and down the aisles at home; a single solitary pretzel vendor ventured up our way during the entire course of the game. 

-Lastly, Andy really missed the jumbo-tron replay action that we get at home, especially because the single goal of the entire game happened as he rounded the corner to make a beer run and turned around just in time to see the ball in the net. 

After the game, we all headed to a bar one stop away on the S-Bahn so that we could have one last beer and chat a bit as a party of 8.  We arrived at the bar and were forced to sit in a booth directly underneath the projector-tv screen that was displaying the highlights of the Bundesliga games of the day.  We ordered beers that arrived about 15 minutes later, and that’s when I saw Andy reach for his pocket.  He pulled out his phone, and I knew it was the dreaded babysitter call.  I see his brow furrow as he starts talking to the sitter, and then I hear him ask a few pointed questions and give brief directions on what to do.  Then came the hammer: “We’ll be there as soon as we can.”  Mayzie had not avoided the bug!  Andy downed his beer, finished the second half of mine, and then we said our goodbyes earlier than expected.  An hour later, we arrive at home to a sleeping Mayzie, a ready for bed Annika, and a worry-stricken sitter who had cleaned up vomit, taken temperatures, and been too frightened to administer medicines.  She may have spent the babysitting money on birth control! 

Mayzie spent Sunday cuddling with mommy with an on-again off-again fever, and has seemed fairly good despite her sour mood this morning.  Does this mean the bug has left our house?  For the love of ibuprofen, tissues, and popsicles I hope so!   

P.S. I totally stole the word snork from our friend's blog who is also awesome.  
P.P.S. Does anyone else remember the Snorks?  

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