The Germans are crazy! Here we are at the beginning of spring and we woke up to a steady falling of snow. It melts as soon as it hits the ground, but it is still bloody cold.
The plan for today is to pick up Klaus, and to go to the city for Philipp to buy much needed clothes before he goes to Hogwarts tomorrow. The boy is growing like a weed (he is now taller than Gustav), and at boarding school he has to wear white shirts and necktie for classes and meals (I think it is all a smoke screen, and that he really wears a robe and pointy hat at school).
Klaus is in fine form, busy as ever with the running of the parfumerie. He is heading for Italy next week, for a big meeting of producers of perfume, so he doesn’t have time to get bored.
Shopping was a cold and long affair (because he is of good size, not every shop carries clothes that fit him), but I enjoyed looking at the snow and browsing through bookshops. At the end we rewarded ourselves with Graef-Voellsinger wursts from the Markthalle and retreated home for a lazy afternoon.
“So, mein Lieber, sollen wir ein bisschen Backgammon spielen” cooed Chrissy innocently. I knew this was going to be a fight to the death and fleetingly thought about being a gentleman and giving the game away. Let me think . . . nah, I would never do that. They were three good games, and lady luck was as fickle as she could be, but at the end I won all three on a row! “Dass ist nicht zu fassen”, exclaimed Chrissy in amazement.
The next challenge was the master himself, old Gustav. I was ready to challenge him that night, but he no doubt got wind of my incredible streak of good luck, and quite slyly arranged for us to go have a few gallons of Apfelwein with his friend Eckie. Apfelwein is close to what we would cider but is a little more bitter. It is a specialty of the Hessen region (where Frankfurt is located), where it is used in cuisine and consumed in large amounts for refreshment. I am beginning to distrust strange German drinks, so I took it very slowly, but the evening took an even slower pace, so when we got home at 1 am I was deadly tired and in no shape for a match of Backgammon. Clever old Gustav!