May. 5th, 2010

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The plane landed, the kids were there to pick us up, we came home, did a few chores and fell into bed. Some hours later, a BookCrossing meeting to attend, I woke up.

And I had not the foggiest notion of where I was. In bed, obviously. Time, date, continent, all a total blank. Was there a plane to catch? Could I roll over and go back to sleep?

Eventually my foggy brain analysed the geography of the room. By some miracle I was in my own bed, in my own home, my comfortable possessions - 90% books, 5% electronics, the rest bills of some sort - all around me in cheerful disorder.

It was a marvellous trip. I love making Kerri happy, and with three weeks of blossoms, parks, art and architecture, great meals and scenery, fine friends and shared adventures, she had a marvellous time.

Breakfast was often the best meal of the day. No mucking about with menus, just grab a plate, load it up, hop into the coffee and enjoy the moment.

Japan was weirdest and best. Our hotel had a range of fascinating dishes. Nothing jumped up and said "breakfast", except maybe the coffee and the yoghurt. The rest was unfamiliar vegetables, meats, fruit and grains. Even some sort of eggy thing. All eaten with chopsticks, except for the soup. Soup for brekky.

Europe was yoghurt and croissants, juice and jam, cereal and scrambled eggs, coffee and toast. Occasionally, there might be some small sausages and once there was bacon.

Switzerland was a struggle. The lady in her pyjamas gave us directions - in German - the night before, but the reality reminded me of one of those rats in a maze, being rewarded with a food pellet at the end. It was all twists and turns, fake rooms, lounges, smoking areas, a close passage past the kitchen and finally a bright open room full of breakfast smells. But definitely a challenge to find the place. Luckily it was all on the one level - if we had to deal with another floor we might still be wondering around calling out for coffee. Somewhere I've got a video of the route.

Switzerland was interesting. By this stage I was beginning to be able to understand reasonable amounts of German. Like one word in four.* But here there could be three or four languages in the one sentence.

There was some sort of spread available. Breakfast came with bowls of little plastic tubs of jam or honey or butter or milk. Often a challenge to work out what was inside without a reasonable picture on the lid.

We had some small triangular packages labelled Frühstücks Happen. I picked one up and showed it around. We had, after a few days, worked out that Frühstücks meant breakfast.

Melydia, bless her quirky heart, translated it for me.

"Meh," she said. "Magic happens, breakfast happens."

Fruhstucks Happen

*German. Sometimes there might be four words in one. Klemmerfahrtkrankenzeitungkinderslautern. Sometimes they manage to stuff a whole sentence in there.


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September 2010

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