Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile… and there may be a few of you out there in Internetland… may remember that on July 4th, 2015, Bill and I succumbed to the German heat wave of 2015 and bought an air conditioner. Three years and one month ago, we went down to our trusty Toom in Herrenberg and bought a portable AC. I will confess that I do use it every summer for the few weeks when it gets oppressively hot here in Germany.
This year, we are in the midst of another heat wave. I don’t think it’s quite as hot as it was in 2015, but the heat has been very persistent and shows no signs of breaking. Our yard is positively scorched. We have a little more money because I recently paid off the last of my student loans and, it’s also not lost on me that someday in the near future, I will probably be having my first hot flashes. Plus, I’m just sick and tired of being hot and sweating all the time. It really saps the energy and puts me in a foul mood. Bill has air conditioning where he works, but I only had it in my one big room. I’m tired of being hot all night and waking up uncomfortable and not rested because I’ve been roasting in bed.
This morning after breakfast, Bill asked me what I wanted to do today. Noting that it wasn’t even 9:00am and I was already dripping sweat, I said, “Why don’t we go to the Freibad.”
Quite predictably, Bill grimaced at that idea. He hates going to the Freibad even more than he hates our nude afternoons at the spa. So then I said, “Or we could go buy a new air conditioner for the bedroom.”
High tech or low tech? The Germans have you covered. Buy a portable AC for over 400 euros or buy a little battery powered fan with a mister for about 3 euros.
Last year or the year prior, I had Bill set up the window in our bedroom with a “hot air stopper”. It’s basically a velcro kit you put on your windows and attach a piece of fabric with a zipper running through it. You thread the hose of a portable air conditioner through the zipper and zip it tight so that hot air is filtered out. However, we never did get around to buying another air conditioner for the bedroom. It wasn’t as hot for as long in 2016 or 2017, so we just never bothered.
Much to my surprise, Bill agreed. He also agreed to the Freibad. I suggested we go to find the AC in Nagold and then hit the pool afterward. I figured we’d be less likely to worry about early Saturday closing times that way.
So off we went to the Bauhaus/Media Markt in Nagold. We checked the Bauhaus first, since our first AC came from a hardware/home improvement store. There were no ACs at the Bauhaus. So we went downstairs to Media Markt, and there by the front door, there were several air conditioners ripe for the picking. They had several for 479 euros and one floor model for 499 euros. They were more powerful than the one we already have in my “big hot room”. Bill decided to buy the lone floor model. That took some effort…
You see, buying stuff at Media Markt is not necessarily like buying something in the United States, especially when you’re in Nagold. Nagold is one of my favorite local towns, but I have noticed that people who speak English are markedly fewer there. In a way, it’s refreshing, unless you need to buy eyeglasses, set up a cell phone plan, or purchase an air conditioner. Bill was passed to several different staffers until one who spoke some English was located. He bought the machine, which was their last of that model, paid for it, and then drove around back to pick it up.
Now… you might think this would be a quick endeavor. It wasn’t. The warehouse guy insisted in packing up the air conditioner perfectly in its box. That took some time. He had to put the cumbersome machine into the box, make sure all of the stuff that came with it was packed perfectly, and the whole thing was taped to perfection. I wasn’t too upset about that focus on precision. I mean, at least we didn’t have to load it into the car ourselves, like we did at the Toom.
After we bought our new air conditioner, we drove to a large parking lot in Nagold and went to lunch at Fellini’s Ristorante, a nice looking Italian place in Nagold that we hadn’t yet tried.
Bill checks out the menu. It was pretty appealing, with a summer menu, pizzas, pastas, and a lunch menu for the work week. We ordered off the summer menu.
Nice outdoor area. Plenty of seating and shade, which my pale skinned, blue-eyed, blonde self likes.
We shared a bottle of San Pellegrino. Bill had a glass of Barbera and I had a glass of Frascati, a white wine that comes from the town of Frascati, which is about 25 kilometers southeast of Rome. I think it might be the only time I’ve ever had Frascati. I liked it. It reminded me a little of Pinot Grigio.
I had the Salmone Fresco, which I chose over several other appealing choices. Unfortunately, the “bed of vegetables” it came with was loaded with mushrooms, which was a real turn off. The description in the menu did not mention mushrooms, although mushrooms were mentioned for Bill’s beef carpaccio, pictured below. Fortunately, he was a good sport and took them off my plate. And the dish didn’t have the flavor of fungus…
Bill’s beef carpaccio was a hit. He said it was like a steak salad.
I couldn’t finish the whole dish. The salmon portion was substantial and I was a little put off by the ‘shrooms. Bill was proud of me, though, because I neither ran screaming from the restaurant or refused to eat it. Truthfully, I thought it was a good dish. Both came with a basket of fresh pizza bread, which was very nice. Next time we go, I’ll make sure to specify no mushrooms. I noticed other patrons getting dishes loaded with them. I’m sure they’d rather save them for people who would appreciate them. The waiter did seem concerned that I didn’t clean my plate. I was genuinely full, though, and left satisfied. I did have a nice glass of dry Rosado for “dessert”.
The facade at Fellini’s. This restaurant seems to get mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, but is given high marks on Google and Facebook. We’d go back. I will just be sure to emphasize “ohne Pilze” next time.
We walked back to the pool area and I noticed it was really packed. I decided I’d rather go home, set up the new AC, take a shower, and drink in the privacy of my own home. We may try the Freibad tomorrow. Maybe we’ll go early, while some people are at church. We did go to Lidl, though, to pick up a few things. I love going in there, because you never know what they’ll be selling…
Our Lidl in Nagold has sewing machines… and next to this was a large cardboard display with CDs ranging by everyone from Barry Manilow to Amy Winehouse. It was truly a bizarre mixture of artists. There were a couple of German artists, at least one Italian (Zucchero), a CD by ABBA, and one by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
At that point, Bill asked me if I wanted any sandwich meat for the week ahead. I said sure. Then we stumbled across the monstrosity pictured below…
This ain’t no Bisquik. McEnnedy “American” style junk food is always a hoot.
Meatballs and pulled pork! Oh my!
And “Funktionsshorts”… whatever the hell those are. The sparkly garment above was actually a form fitting spandex minidress with a zipper down the back. If you need a last minute party garment, Lidl has you covered.
No, these aren’t leftover Easter eggs. These are pre-cooked hardboiled eggs that are supposed to be put in kids’ lunchboxes. One of Bill’s co-workers bought some thinking they’d be raw and he could cook himself a nice omelette. He was surprised when the eggs were already cooked through.
We came home with some Magnum ice cream bars, which I had to wait for due to a gaggle of excited kids out with Opa. As we were checking out, I noticed Opa had also gifted them with Kinder Eggs. I had to smile, since Kinder Eggs are banned in America due to a perceived choking hazard. We won’t let American kids be threatened by hollow chocolate eggs with toys in them, but we have no problem letting them have access to guns. The longer I live in Germany, the weirder the United States seems.
Anyway, while I was showering, Bill was good enough to set up our new AC. It’s now primed for use tonight and much quieter than the one we bought in 2015. I suspect I won’t be so hot in the morning. That’s a good thing. And maybe tomorrow, we’ll hit the pool for the one and only time this summer.
If you’re in Germany now and this is a new thing to you, just hang in there. A month from now, it’ll be time to start thinking about jackets and heating again.