Those lovely gentlemen from Tamworth were here for a couple of days. After picking them up at the airport on Thursday, we went first to my place and then by foot to the city centre to have lunch. It was then that I realised that Münster’s city planners had made a grave mistake with their pavement colour concept: The slightly pink cycle path and the light grey pedestrian way are indistinguishable for colourblind people (aka Robert), which meant that I yelled out “Cycle Path!” several times when he swayed into dangerous territory – something Neil and Robert first understood as “Psychopath!”, hence the title of this post.
I also realised that Germany does have a lot of rules; when I told Neil and Robert that as a pedestrian, you can lose your driving licence when not following the Highway Code (e.g., crossing the road at a red light), they looked at me like I had announced I was running for Prime Minister in the UK. They also mocked me mercilessly for pointing out and following said rules (all the more amusing considering that I don’t even think twice when jaywalking in the UK).
On Friday, we went to the Netherlands; I had read about a huge flower park and knew Neil would be up for it (Robert grudgingly tagged along). After a quick brunch in the city centre (and all our brunches were quick, as the idea of sitting for a couple of hours and eat in intervals apparently hasn’t reached the UK yet), we drove in the pouring rain to Keukenhof; thankfully, the weather cleared up the closer we got there. What did not clear up, however, was Robert’s mood regarding the trip; Neil and I hence waited until we had reached the parking lot to tell him that there was actually an entrance fee of €16. Robert’s reaction and the ensuing dialogue between Neil and him had me laughing so hard that I had trouble breathing. I am still laughing just thinking about it.
In the end, Robert took it in his stride; he even bought me an orchid as a memory of their visit to Münster. He still does not want to hear the words “Keukenhof”, “tulip”, or “flower beds” ever again, though.
The drive back caused several near-heart attacks, as Dutch drivers use any gap between two cars to squeeze into it – at full speed. Amazingly, however, their accident rate seems to be really low. Kudos!
On Saturday, we had a relaxed day, mostly spent on the sofa, with Neil and me watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (as Neil pointed out, the movie has indeed aged rather well), while Robert was taking a nap (in my bed. In his words, getting into my bed the first night was about the most fantastic experience he has had in a while. And just to be clear: I slept in the guest room).
The evening saw us visiting my dad (my mum was in attendance at the hospital), watching Germany vs England together. My dad had bought about every salty snack known to mankind and had even called me the day before to fret about the right wine, beer, or – God forbid – tea choice. In the end, we mostly ignored the match and ended up talking about world politics and life in general, me busily translating back and forth (not made easier by the fact that they were talking all at once at the end of the night). The fact that England won was barely noticed (as my dad quickly pointed out, “It was just a friendly, after all!”).
We returned a day later, for coffee (tea) and cake on Easter Sunday. The conversation flowed, the garden was inspected, and plans for further visits were made (with my parents apparently now keen to visit the UK. But not before sending Robert and Neil a care parcel with German food). The reason that there are no further pictures is down to me being busy either eating or translating my ass off. Sometimes both at the same time.
It was wonderful to have the boys over, even though I was a terrible host at times (I am just not a morning person, guys. Sorry.). So in the spirit of Ferris Bueller: Danke schön for the brilliant time!