Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tai chi and pot smokers

Nordic walking. Fast walking. Walking and talking. Walking. Everyone here walks and I'm pretty sure it became a bit boring for the Europeans to just walk. Hence the invention of Nordic walking. Nordic walking is "fitness walking" during the off season of skiing. It is not just any other stroll. You use two large specifically designed poles with rubber tips to heist yourself to the next step. These poles were invented in 1997 by the Finnish ski pole manufacturer Excel. The first time I saw Nordic walking what came my mind was, "I wondering if they are all blind?" Deceived by it's appearance at first, I later found out what it actually was. More beneficial than regular walking, Nordic walking accomplishes much more than your average stroll such as using your entire body resulting in burning more calories. In my opinion the most beneficial thing about Nordic walking is that it looks pretty funny and it has entertained me quite frequently upon my living here. When I used to run around Christoph's parents home in the forest, i would see it almost everyday. They even have large groups of Nordic walkers with Nordic instructors and you had better keep up or you might get a Nordic slap. They know their Nordic stuff. Unfortunately in Hamburg I have not seen any Nordic walkers yet. But there is something even more extraordinary I saw this morning.

Little old lady Tai Chi gave us our own personal show this morning in the park by our apartment window. She must have thought no one would see her hidden by some trees. I think she forgot all of the leaves have fallen off. But little did she know we had quite the laugh by her quick and slow silly movements that Tai Chi provides. I've downloaded a video of some of it so that you could see just what I am talking about. Resembling a fish out of water, rather a very old fish out of water, it's hard for me to believe this form of sport does anything beneficial. Although I have heard that it is very strengthening, I believe you actually have to constrict your muscles the entire duration of your exorcise. Little lady Tai Chi did not look as though she really new what she was doing. She even stumbled a little bit. My question is, how does one stumble when you are moving at a rate slower than a turtle? A long wiggle here and a short wiggle there, she looked quite deranged. I am not judging, just admiring what God gave me to watch in Germany today. You see, I find joy in these things. They probably bring me more entertainment than watching a movie or climbing a mountain. They bring a satisfaction described as being a hidden treasure that only I saw. No one else saw what I saw and that is something to be proud of. But I would like to share what I saw, so there it is. It's a bit of a rocky shot, but I was scarred she would catch me, so I had to hide my camera behind the railing. I love mornings. Especially when I have a side of Tai Chi with my oatmeal.

I would also like to tell you about my first German church experience. Sunday came quickly this week and it was indeed time for us to try and search for a church for us to go to.

Located in one of the sketchiest parts of town, Christoph and I strode up to the entrance of the church after passing a pot smoker and some beggars. We entered through the dark door and stepped up a dark staircase I could have sworn was from a horror movie I saw somewhere. That part was entertaining to say the least, but what was not entertaining was trying to understand a sermon in German. Once you concentrate on a sentence and try to get a little bit of what he is talking about, he is on to the next topic. By the time I got the gist of what he was actually talking about, the sermon was over. So there is it. I don't think we'll go back to that one for fear of being mugged and murdered on the way there.

I was also able to speak a little German/English to the cashier at the grocery store yesterday. She was weighing my apples and asked. "Elstar?" which is a type of apple. "Nein, Gala" I said. Which means, no they are Gala apples. I think I am getting the hang of this.

Also, when I went to this tiny little shop and bought some sparkling apple juice which is now my substitute for Fresca, the cashier lady asked me if I knew how much it cost. I said, "Ein und Zwanzig" which means what I thought was 1.20 Euro. But what I really said was that is cost 21 Euro. She laughed, and charged me 1.20.

Ok so the video download is not working. I will try later. For now you will just have to take my word for it.

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