Round, Round, I Get Around

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
Trip End Dec 14, 2015

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Flag of France  , Alsace,
Sunday, April 28, 2013

Howdy folks,

Unfortunately our good weather got cut short as happens often in spring. We went from 25 degrees to just 11 degrees in 2 days, but that didn't stop things happening! On Friday I got a call saying that I got a job! I will be working at the Decathlon Warehouse in Schwetzingen full time for minimum wage which turns out to be less than what I was getting in Canada! It will definitely be an interesting experience: I have never worked in a warehouse picking orders for sports goods in a French company speaking German before! I don't think there will be too much pressure, after all they aren't paying me to think.

I rode my bike down to Schwetzingen to sign the paperwork and get my safety boots etc and to catch up with Lin. We did a short walk around the town making note of the antique shops and a peculiar hotel called the Central Hotel which had 3 Statue of Liberties and various other wacky figures. But it was the world sign that took my interest; Sydney is almost double as far from Germany as Los Angeles, but in the other direction of course. I could probably travel to LA and back in the same time it takes to get to Adelaide! I really am halfway around the world.

I had promised Steffie's mother that I would travel with her to France on Saturday, but she came down with a stomach bug so I had to travel alone with her brother Rainer. It would certainly be a test considering she gave me a shopping list and I had to put in the Lotto for her. Even though the border is only 100kms away, taking the train turns It into a whole day event. From the tram in Edingen to the train in Mannheim to the train in Neustadt to arriving in Wissembourg took us almost 3 hours including waiting time. If it wasn't cheap to do, you would definitely just take the autobahn.

When we arrived it was still raining and cool so we stopped in at the Tabac (sort of like a café/newsagent) for a cappuccino. They piled on the whipped cream so we perked up with energy once again. I have no idea about playing the lottery so I just gave all the tickets to the Frenchman and he sorted it all out. At least here they speak German as well although I found it strange that you could live just 100kms away and like many Europeans not bother to learn the neighbouring language. I think that in Europe, language is the only barrier left because you can drive across borders, pay with the same currency and do business within Europe without too much hassle. That doesn't mean that everything is the same though.

I stopped off at the patisserie to get some macaroons for Steffie. If there's one thing that the French do well it, it would be sweets. The local one is called Rebert and seems to be popular although the prices weren't friendly. Just 7 macaroons cost nearly 10 Euros.

It was raining so we weren't interested in going for a sightseeing tour although I had my camera with me. We headed straight to the supermarket to buy the local goods although I ended up buying beer, crème brûlée and cheese of course. I found some things called madeleines, but I haven't tried them yet. Every time I hear that name I always think of the TV show which my sister used to watch when she was younger.

Having finished our checklist we jumped back on the train to come back. The return journey is always a little quicker as we didn't have to wait for the connections. In Mannheim there were plenty of security standing around for some reason and we saw an old vintage restaurant tram driving down the streets.

Back to work tomorrow for the first time since last June. It's going to be interesting!

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