At the library, S is surprised to see me. Long time, she says.  Yes, it’s been a few months. And the books are long overdue – time for the next installment of my library donation.

7 Euros 50 cents.  Only, she says, with a mischievous smile.  I smile back, in relief.

The Wednesday discussion group is in session; the American professor’s voice resonates, as always, above the rest.  I pick up a few magazines and sit down to browse.  The self-publishing phenomenon, the digital life, review of Beatrice & Virgil, another one on What Darwin Got Wrong, a few letters to the editor.

At Eight, before leaving, a short conversation with S. Languages in India, Population growth, English skills of Germans (good, according to her), living in Cities, the HCB exhibition at the MOMA, Europe vs the US (Europe, of course).

Outside, a soft drizzle. Bismarkplatz seems full, but there isn’t much energy – tired people returning home. At the Asia Snack restaurant, as I wait for the girl behind the counter to finish talking to the cook, I photograph the cook. The girl sees this and is terribly amused.  My order is mixed up, I get the wrong amount back. Still giggling, she corrects her mistake and returns more change.

  • No. 38 – Fried Rice with Vegetables. Small.  Euro 3.00
  • No. 9 – Mini spring rolls.   Euro 2.00
  • Canned Mango juice.   Euro 1.50

Only one other table is occupied. Two large men, talking softly in Russian.  The cooks walk outside, to have a break, to smoke.

The square is almost vacant when I leave the restaurant. Empty buses and trams wait for passengers. The drizzle persists.  The car park exit is flooded with water; a man patiently tries to flush it out using an odd-looking vehicle.

On the drive back, Don Giovanni is playing on the hr2 channel.  Few things compare to Mozart in the rain.

Another typical Wednesday.  But no more of this starting next week. The Wife is here.

10 thoughts on “Wednesday

  1. parmanu:

    how long can you hang on to books before the library starts fining you? For ‘a few months,’ the fine appears very reasonable/inexpensive … especially when compared to the restaurant’s charges.

    i am curious – why are your images numbered in a random order? is that the order you took those pictures in [i am referring to images in the previous post(s) too – in this post, they are numbered close enough … 5155, 5160 and 5162], or do you intentionally renumber them? or are they taken with different cameras?

    – s.b.

    1. 4 weeks, plus one extension of another 4 weeks. The fine is reasonable, or so I’d like to believe. (I only have to skip one dinner to make up for it.)

      I do not renumber the posts. When you see them close-by, they are all taken on the same day. Otherwise it can be random (In the previous post, I dug out pictures of Lausanne and Brussels from my archive, so it is naturally not in any order.)

      Very perceptive, s.b. !!

      1. parmanu:

        thanks for the compliment (especially because, on a day-to-day basis, i don’t count myself as an observant person!!). that said, one reason i was curious was because recently, my camera appears to have started numbering images from scratch – i was all the way up to 5000s, and now am back to 100s. fortunately, i have been backing them up in year-month directories. would have been a nightmare had i been using my older system of backup where i was just placing them in directories based on the image number!

        re: the fine, i was commenting because here in the usa (at least at the libraries that i frequent) we get three extensions and then the book is presumed lost. forget about fines – you need to pony up the list price of the book, not the replacement cost. in fact, you cannot even purchase the same exact book online and bring it back to the library. it sucks … that is how i am the proud owner (after paying a premuim for it) of a book that hid itself behind the headboard of my bed for a whole year ;-). in europe, my fine probably would have been a third of its list price or less!

        – s.b.

    1. Short answer: It’s much more ‘charming’ than the U.S.!! (Don’t you think so?!)

      Perhaps I’ll elaborate on this someday…

      1. Europe is certainly very charming. Europeans, on the other hand, not as much. Perhaps they would unbend if you know their language, I don’t know. But every time I visit Europe, I am struck by how much nicer and more helpful Americans are and how much of that I take for granted.

        1. You are right, Lekhni. But part of the charm lies in navigating through the apparent barriers, doesn’t it?

          Just watched ‘2 Days in Paris’ yesterday – the French can be obnoxious (especially towards Americans), and charming for precisely that reason!

  2. Europe any day!! No US. and there can be no arguement on that. 😉
    considering the chaos here….ur wednesday seems like an unattainable paradise to me.

  3. Hi Parmanu,

    I am a lurker on your blog and have loved reading your posts for about a year now. I live in Germany myself and could relate a lot to the observations you made. I am now on a project in Heidelberg and have been thinking about writing to you but have chickened out till now. In case you are up for it, would really like to meet with you. Please feel free to mail me with your response. And continue to draw us into your beautiful world..


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