Disappearance of Carlos

We currently have 7 adults at home and the back seat of our car can make 2 adults uncomfortable sitting next to the baby seat, so organising a trip out for us all can be a little difficult. A few days ago, we went with Carlos to the city centre of Hooksiel and sent him to look at the bus schedules to let us know when and where the buses go. He was unsuccessful. I don’t know.
The agreement this day, at least as I understood it, was that he’d go jogging and return within an hour and we’d go to the Christmas market in Wilhelmshaven. We were all in the process of getting ready. The little one being fed and changed, all his bags packed. The grandparents were cleaning themselves, getting their gift wish lists sorted, so they could go directly to the right place to look for the gift. The hour passed and there was no Carlos. He didn’t answer his phone.
Two hours turned to three hours and we were torn. We needed to go but what if the guy is lost somewhere? Why won’t he answer his phone?
We wrote him a message so that if he returned home, he’d be OK, then we left for the market.
It turned out he was there already, had been for most of the time. He decided that we were all going there and he had a friend who was in the area, so he used the opportunity to go there himself. It never occurred to him to tell anyone…

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Picking up my Parents

The plan was to drive to Frankfurt, scoop the parents up and return as quickly as possible. It would take around 10 hours as a round trip. That’s why the plan was changed. The first recommendation was to take a passenger alone: Carlos or Francisco. That could have worked and after we’d had dinner, that seemed to be settled. Then came the idea to look at buses or trains with maybe the return journey involving renting a car. A bus could go direct and would only cost 19€ and 7 hours of my day. There are trains, many of them are needed to get to Frankfurt and it isn’t as cheap as the bus.

The plan was decided, it was midnight and I’d be getting the direct bus in 5 hours. After meeting my parents, we’d talk about how we’d like to return.
Sorry for all that information but the actual trip was very uninteresting, the bus wasn’t full, nobody sat next to me.
I met my parents without trouble, we drank a coffee and decided to take the bus home. The trip was so remarkable that my parents took turns sleeping during the journey.
We’re all safely in the holiday house, thanks for asking. There’s a total of seven adults, making day trips full of organisation and coordination. Everyone is getting along well.

First Snow!

We had a baby! Most people will call him Mateo. When pushed, they can include his middle name Arthur. We are so happy to have the little guy in the world, he brings us much joy and trades that for sleep (I’m not sure that the exchange rate is quite fair, but it is what it is).
Today we had to visit the hospital, of course that means it had to snow. No way out of it, had to hit the roads. It’s not normally a problem, drive a sensible speed, don’t accelerate rapidly, don’t hit the brakes too hard and even if there’s fresh powdered snow on the road, your car will get you there. What you cannot properly account for is the idiots in a hurry who still cling to their speed while the car is sliding out of control. I’m impressed, as always, that there aren’t as many deaths on the road in Germany as there rightly should be. It’s not because of the driver’s skill, they have none, it has to be the reasoning behind “German engineering” – it has to be superior, to level the playing field with the lack of driver ability.

Hopefully it’ll snow fresh for Christmas… a White Christmas would be perfect!

We’re planning on visiting some Christmas Markets while Carlos, Ingrid’s brother, is visiting friends. It means we can all fit in the car, but while he’s here, unfortunately, at least one of us has to stay behind, always. With the weather the way it is, that will make things hard/interesting. We don’t want to risk the health of our new born, of course, so is it really worth it? How will this riddle be solved? Stay tuned for our answers, when I get around to writing what we did.
Tonight we’re going out for dinner to celebrate Ingrid’s parents meeting 39 years ago. They’ve been married 35 years. It’s very sweet. On the way to the restaurant, there’s a house that take Christmas lights very seriously. We’ll see how they react to it when they see it for the first time on the way.

In other, not so interesting news, I learned that Ingrid’s mother writes her name with either a Y or an I at the beginning, depending on what she is writing it for.

Boys’ Burger Night

I originally had plans to pack up the apartment and get our stuff into a van to move to greener pastures. Everybody else must have had the same thought,  all the vans were booked out. I had to cancel my moving personnel, except, then I thought, maybe I could get things ready to dump into a van, when it is available. So I organised to have Khaled over to dismantle some things and also organised that we’d meet with Haitham for dinner.
Things ran late, I was starving, nothing was dismantled, Khaled arrived and we ditched work for the chance to eat.
I don’t know why but Haitham was the king of the day and it was his choice as to where we’d eat. He chose what I consider to be one of the least exciting places in Wilhelmshaven. It’s not that the place is bad, the food is pretty good actually, it’s just that everyone seems to choose here or the American joint.
The guys ordered burgers… another not so inspiring choice. I decided to make fun of them and partly because of eating a burger recently with Ingrid, I ordered a schnitzel.
We talked crap for 3 hours with topics such as: your glass is dirty or has detergent in it and that’s why the head of the beer dissipates quickly, getting Khaled a girl, babies, moving houses and languages.
After paying, we dropped off Haitham at a Nepalese Night his wife helped organise.

Back to Bremen and Back Again

Ingrid’s brother has graduated his Masters degree in Aberdeen, Scotland. Her/his parents, naturally, wanted to be there for the ceremony. We booked them some cheap tickets so that they could spend 5 days in the -2 to 4 degree warmth.
The morning was a bit stressful, in part, because of a miscommunication that lead me to believe they were completely late and were going to miss their flight. Luckily it was only a miscommunication, they were delivered to the airport, safely and with more than enough time to catch their flight, have a coffee and relax. I didn’t know that until afterwards.
The highlight of their trip, other than seeing their son graduate, was a tour of a whisky distillery. They also have around 4000 different whiskies, including an affordable £5000 bottle.
Picking them up involved extra luggage. Ingrid’s brother, Carlos, accompanied them back and will be staying with us until mid-January.
No whisky was brought back…

Our Last Date Night as a Couple

The not so little baby is due, our next date night will be as a family!

Ingrid’s parents wanted to stay home and we wanted to go out, so we did. In the last week we received a catalogue for a new Kebab Restaurant in Wilhelmshaven. I know… it’s Kebab… For some reason that’s what we both wanted in the last week. Could be the dance with death health risk that appealed so much, no idea. Anywho… We did a drive-by passed the place. It looked to be not so much an eat in place as an order and run for your life kind of restaurant. We decided not to order and ran.

Conveniently there’s another restaurant nearby. It’s not kebabs, it was hamburgers. The place is called BurgerStop and we highly enjoyed it. The staff were very friendly, asking about the baby and things like. Unfortunately they didn’t have the drinks we wanted, but we got something that we enjoyed.

Ingrid ordered the Italia burger, it had mozzarella, ruccola and a pesto sauce. I ordered the Miri burger, it was the impressive one having roasted onion, a full salad, special sauce and cheddar cheese. Nailed it.

We then went to Miss Peppers to have milkshakes, because what’s a date without a milkshake?

333 Years of Zeteler Markt

It’s not the oldest Markt, it’s not the best Markt, but it is a cool milestone. I can remember 333 years ago, the television wasn’t a thing yet, nor were cars, in fact retirement wasn’t really a thing either… the average life expectancy in Sweden was about 32-36, depending on your gender. This markt was operating. I’m missing an ‘e’ you say? I’m not, it’s what the thing is called here in Germany.

I think I’ve mentioned it in previous posts… these markts were basically an event for farmers and business people to trade livestock, crafts, food, labour and drink a lot. These days there’s sometimes still the selling of livestock, there’s always some people some junk as craft, there’s lots of fried stuff as food, that means the drinking is still very traditional. The kids get to go on rides and things like that.

We took Ingrid’s parents along. They are still not used to the idea of ‘cold’ here. Ingrid’s mum paid the price of not bringing enough clothing and we were huddled into a café-like stall drinking hot drinks to bring her hands back to life. Francisco loves Glühwein (mulled wine) and took the opportunity to enjoy one. We had completed a lap of the place, looked at the historic exhibition, which had nothing from the beginning era, but some stuff from the last 100 years. There wasn’t much else to do because the parents weren’t interested in the rides, Ingrid isn’t able to go on any and I’m not going to do it all by myself. Ingrid’s mum wanted to eat in a restaurant, because it’s warm, comfortable, relaxed and all those nice words.
It turns out that in Zetel, there’s really only one restaurant. It’s a Greek one. Bonus! Francisco got to try Ouzo and loved it. He ate a soup (or drank it, depending on how you like to describe the action of consuming soup), the ladies ordered the same dish, an oven baked lamb and eggplant pie thing. I ordered very similar but with lamb and pasta filling. It’s Greek food, of course it was delicious.

Battling the cold was exhausting, so with filled bellies, we retired to home and slept the warriors sleep.