As Hannes and I were walking back to our apartment on our way home from getting snowed in during our Easter weekend in Rostock, we ran into Andreas, who lives around the corner from us with his wife Ulrike and their baby, Theodor. He was on yet another three-hour walk with the baby in the stroller (while listening to death meta), because the kid can't really sleep at home, and that's what they've - well, mostly Ulli - taken to doing.
"It's supposed to be like 20 or 21 degrees next weekend," he told us, "so we want to kick off grilling season and have a picnic in Hammer Park over there."
I didn't believe him. It did not compute. Falafel-sized snow had nearly buried us alive the day before, and so much fell that it literally completely destroyed the place we'd wanted to visit.
But, wouldn't you know it, it was suddenly very warm and sunny, almost summery, just as predicted, and everybody rushed outside to soak it up.
The cute little bugger took to crawling over to peoples' laps and trying but failing to pull himself up toward them. He nommed my wrist scrunchee and babbled purposefully.
There was also a puggy-wug who was a very good boy.
Lars was the Grillmeister that day, and for me and Solvig, there were vegetables, vegan currywurst (though it is wheat-based and I really shouldn't eat it), and haloumi, which is this amazing salty cheese that's slightly rubbery, so that it squeaks a little as you chew it, and is glorious when grilled.
Daffodils are also called Osterglocke or "Easter bell jars" in German, because they come up right around Easter and stick around for about three weeks afterward.
The pug belongs to this woman laying on her stomach here, Bron. At first I was mystified by why her English was so good because she's a kindy teacher friend of Lena's who had rolled up and only spoken German for a while, so I was like, "Have you.. spent time in Australia..?" and she was like, "I have, yeah. But I'm from New Zealand." Oops lol.
Crocus also come up at this time of year, as the snow is melting and the transition into spring begins.
Another sport pose!
Lars missed it one of these times and it hit me in the face while I was playing with the baby, but that's pretty much the story of my life; at least it didn't hit Theo :P
I didn't actually eat much of the veggies, currywurst and haloumi while we were out at the park because I just wasn't hungry, but I did cook up the leftovers later, and they were mighty tasty.
Around this time I also met up with a Quebecois backpacker trying to find a job and transition into living here instead of having to go back to Canada when her working holiday visa ran out (which she already has!). Her name is Marie-Louise and she lives in a nearby neighbourhood with her German boyfriend. We took a walk all the way to the center of town as we talked the afternoon away, even though the weather was really bad. We were both really relieved to meet someone in a similar immigration situation.
Just before our wedding day I walked around the center of town again with the daughter of a coworker of Anke's named Jennifer, who also lives here now and is also from Phoenix and married to a guy from Rostock, if you can believe that.
Only two days after that picnic it was back to grey, ambiguously autumnal or wintery, cold, windy, and wet, but you can see from the flowers on the shore of the Binnenalster and the budding cherry blossms that everything was trying its best.
There were even a few boats out, with people still of the mind that spring had come and that they could enjoy it, but they were either a little too early or a little too late.
"Diglett-dig! Diglett-dig!" I ventured with Marie-Louise, with whom I don't have much of anything except being new to Germany in common. "Trio, trio, trio!" she replied with her French accent, confirming that Pokémon remains an international sign of friendship.
(A heart so truu-uu-uuuueeee)
Jennifer and I also found this lovely fountain in a courtyard in the center of the Rathaus, which neither of us never knew existed. Turns out that it was built during a cholera epidemic to act as air conditioning and air-freshener for the building, because that's the kind of super basic and barely-effective thing people had to do back in the day to fight off deadly disease I guess..
And next, of course, came the big day: when Hannes and I were finally legally married.