Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

The weekend

Stella and I went to visit her sister Debby in Kiel over the weekend. We went there on Friday evening (after I finished work) and came back on Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, we visited Mrs Goerke, who used to teach Stella and Debby at school many years ago. In the evening, Debby invited us to a Cuban restaurant that, she says, has very good cocktails (including a fairly wide selection of non-alcoholic ones). We had a mixed platter with spare ribs, chicken wings, potato wedges, and nacho chips, and each tried various drinks. Since we were there during their "happy hour" (all drinks for half price), this was still affordable—one drink costs €5.10 (US$ 5.96, CA$ 7.87, £3.58) otherwise, which I feel is fairly stiff. (People in London will probably disagree, but then, nearly everything seems to be horrendously expensive there.)

On Sunday, we went to church. Stella's parents were away at a health resort, and we wondered whether people thought we had picked that weekend on purpose so that we wouldn't meet them (the truth is that we arranged the visit before the date for their treatment was determined). We saw Sofia's second baby, saw Rebecca Strelow again (and Stella said she felt as if she were looking into a mirror), and met various other people we knew.

We left an hour earlier than we had intended in the afternoon since Debby wasn't feeling too well. At the train station, while I was trying to buy a ticket for both of us, a guy came up to us and offered to take us along on his ticket for €20 (the ticket he had is valid for up to five people) since he was going in our direction. That's not much of a saving compared to the €21.40 we would have paid otherwise, but I agreed.

Stella was a little unsure whether to trust him; she asked me to have him show me his ticket (which he did). In the end, he ended up not even taking the train (after a last-minute phone call he made); he gave it to another girl whom he had also made a similar offer. We ended up being four people thrown together by chance (the girl, a boy, and the two of us); each saved some money by using that ticket, and he made at least €12 (spending €28 on the ticket and getting back a total €40 from the four of us; and since the ticket was already used, he may have earned money on the previous uses during that day as well). Seemed like a profitable undertaking; perhaps we'll have to try that sort of thing (offering other people a ride on our ticket in exchange for some money) next time we go to Kiel.

Got home all right, and had an hour more to prepare for the couples' meeting in the evening, where we spoke about helping children with decisions.

Afterwards, while we were eating, we were talking (among other things) about chocolate, especially Belgian chocolate. I showed Helmut some of the chocolate I had bought recently and he complimented me on my good taste; I don't know very much about that sort of thing but apparently I made decent choices :) (Well, it was expensive enough that it had better be good.)

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