Sunday, September 16, 2012

How I accidentally became a collector

It started last summer, in Paris. I found a cookie cutter for the Eiffel Tower. It was just so funny that, after walking around with it debating for a while, I bought it. I could make Eiffel Tower cookies. Who could turn down this opportunity? Certainly not this girl.

Well, earlier this week in Berlin I found a cookie cutter for the Brandenberg Gate. I laughed. And bought it.

And then today I found a cookie cutter in the shape of Neuschwanstein Castle. I didn't even blink.

So there's my dirty secret -- I collect cookie cutters from the places I go to.

Speaking of dirty secrets, I also bought an apron today. To make my world-traveling cookies in. I probably should not be wearing it when my home teacher comes over. It's just ... got an interesting feature.

I'm kind of going to be all over the place today. I'll start with the fact that, as with every other day on this trip, my body aches at the end of it. But tonight it's not from climbing stairs, standing in line or at museums or walking around. I climbed a freaking Alp today. It is the best kind of pain.

I spent today near the Austrian border in and around Neuschwanstein, a castle built 200 years ago. It's the castle the Disney Cinderella palace is designed from. Huge. Fancy. Made me want a castle a little bit, except I hate dusting and this sucker would need it.

Then I climbed up to a bridge for a better view of the castle, and then I just kept going. I was goofily pleased that I fall into what my guidebook called "the athletic type" in all of the walking around. Everything took less time than I expected.

And man, is that area beautiful. God knew what he was doing when he created Germany. The train ride started out hazy, but the sun slowly burned off the mist, revealing lush green meadows that looked like they came from a fairy tale. The towns build around the Alpine lakes, which are so clear that I couldn't tell there was water when I took a picture. I could have stayed in those mountains forever.

And finally, we get to what I'll call The Children's Chronicles. There are three acts to this little vignette.

Act 1, at the aforementioned lake. I was sitting a little away from the water when I hear a man yelling. I turn in that direction to see a quite bare-bottomed little girl looking at the man before covering herself. Later, she jumps in the lake in what appears to be a one-piece. I have no idea what happened there.

Act 2, on a very crowded train. A woman was in charge of six or seven kids, who were all playing around by the bathroom. (Note: I was sitting right by the bathroom.) this couple next to me had a young son, who was very friendly. He just went over and started hugging those kids. And then hugging two of them at the sane time. And then trying to make a boy hit another boy in the crotch. I'm pretty sure the kids thought this little guy was the best toy ever.

Act 3, same train, a few minutes later. Big group of kids gone, three others on train now. Two are sitting opposite each other and next to two women not related to them. In watching this tableau, I discovered someone who dislikes children even more than I do. One of the girls' seatmates wiped her pants anytime the girl touched her, and when she was moving and leaned closer to the woman she visibly cringed and stared at the girl like she was contagious. Girl has no idea, keeps sitting close, woman tries to ignore while sitting as close to the window as she can.

Curtain down. The end.

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