We hit four stores along the Hauptstrasse, shopping around for something that would work for us. Cell phone plans here are excessively complicated compared to what we dealt with in the US. Though the salespeople spoke English, the terms were still foreign to us. The whole experience was incredibly overwhelming, and there wasn't going to be any cheap way to get what we needed. We ended up choosing Vodafone, not least because the customers there were clearly receiving much better service than those at the T-Mobile store, which closely resembled what I imagine hell to be. The other two places we checked would have meant getting multiple providers for about the same cost, so we decided to put it all together under one company. The contract lasts two years, and you must give three months' notice to terminate it, or it automatically renews for another year. Just another way to try to rip people off - I guess that sort of thing transcends international borders. Our phones were very cheap though - only 1 EUR each, and I think our phones in the US were $10, and that was after having to send it for a rebate. My new phone has much better ringtones included than my old one ;)
After the cell/DSL adventure we stopped at Kaufhof to pick up a couple of things that we missed at Ikea and really needed for the new place - kitchen towels, potholders, and fitted sheets. While there I found the Christmas postcards I was hoping to find!! They came in packs of 4 or 5 and they are all incredibly retro - no joke either, as some of them had old price tags on them in Deutsche Marks! The Kaufhof was very crowded, as everything is on Saturdays, and the guy at the register rang up the cards incorrectly, overcharging us. So we had to point it out. The second time, he messed up again so we had to point it out again. I think a lot of people were hating us right then, and I hate being That Person....but we saved 2,25 EUR and don't have a whole lot to spare right now! The cards are so cool - I'm not going to put up a photo since most readers are going to get one in the mail and I don't want to spoil it - but I ended up with over 40 different designs, and they say "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" in 15 different permutations! (This wouldn't be interesting if they were in English, but everything is much more fascinating in a foreign language of course.)
We had a great bike ride home along the Neckar - it smelled like fall, the weather was gorgeous, and all the church bells were ringing around us. It's experiences like that that I wish I could bottle up for everybody to share, but unfortunately can't.
* Suppengruen update! At Lidl on Saturday I saw Suppengruen which included everything I mentioned in my previous post on the matter, but also cauliflower!
* Okay, total porn on what seems to be regular cable TV. Maybe they do that in the US too, but I am neither a TV nor a porn expert...but we definitely never flipped past anything in the US like what we flipped past here the other night!!
* Craving for Something Not Available Here #2: Macaroni and cheese from a box!! Oh, Annie's bunny shapes, how I miss you!! Damon doesn't though. Forget him!
On Sunday we went to Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, a town about 40 minutes from here on the S-Bahn (the slowest train). It has a long name because there are many Neustadts (it means New Town) in Germany so they have to be specified a bit more. We ate Pflammkuchen and had a liter of wine in a little bar and walked around the town. Neustadt is completely surrounded by vineyards and has some of the biggest wine festivals in the area. It seemed to be a bit of a party town even when we were there in the middle of the afternoon! A bar in the main square was overrun with an unbelievable number of completely trashed people. Wine there is really cheap. We have photos of the town up at our THE PHOTOS link...as well as photos of a few other little life things lately, like the different cell phone setup.
I would definitely go to Neustadt again for a walk up in the vineyards and to explore a little more. However, I would not use the restrooms in the train station again. Not only did they reek of pee, I had to pay 50 cents to get in. While this is common, usually it means the bathroom is going to be pretty nice because the money goes to maintenance. Not so here. There was no lid on the toilet so I had to squat...not easy...probably not easy for all the people who had a lot of wine here either, hence the pee smell. Then there was no soap and only cold water. Yuck! What is my 50 cent coin paying for? Damon's restroom was free, however. I guess girls are grosser or something.
Off to fold some laundry...whee!! :)