Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #19 – there and back again


It feels like it was a short week, as we just returned from our bike trip in the Alsace, France, on Tuesday morning and now we are off to Cambridge to visit a friend for the weekend. But here are this week’s small pleasures nonetheless. This week I tried to take note when little happenings (rather than things) made me happy, so they were not always things that could be photographed.

For example:

Feeling on top of work for a bit – at least temporarily. One of my projects finished recently so I have more time for the others.

Watching my Czech guy read along to an online reading of “The Raven” with great enjoyment and asking me the meanings of the old fashioned English words like “yore”, “morrow” and “beguiling”. Sometimes I forget that he is not a first language English speaker. It’s nice to see him enjoying the language.

Being able to help a colleague by speaking on the phone to his health insurance company in German when he couldn’t get an English speaker on the line. I still remember the days where I was the one who could not speak German, as when I arrived in Berlin i only knew “ja” and “nein’. Although I still make a lot of grammatical errors, at least I can communicate now.

And of course, what was really the highlight of the week was our Alsace cycling adventure (more to come on that soon!). It was a bootcamp (lots of hills!) but we saw great things and there were many small pleasurable moments to make up for the torture of cycling up all the hills: the flat sections, the eclairs, the macaroons, the moments where I was able to communicate in French, the fresh air, the wine-tastings, getting the chance to sleep in a sleeper carriage on a train. I haven’t sorted out all the photos yet, so I’m stealing some from J so you can get a sneak preview.

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Last but not least: Coming back home, or at least to the Berlin apartment. Traveling is fun, but coming back to your home comforts can also be great.

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