Thursday, May 10, 2007

23 April: "Ladies Who Lunch" Go Italian (Again)

Let me tell you a little secret: all we ever do at the IWC is eat and talk. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I was running late for the lunch today, so after going down to get money at the ATM, I decided to drive into downtown Stuttgart instead of taking the U-Bahn. I felt guilty, but driving is so much faster! (Besides, the U-Bahn costs 4,60 Euro round-trip and my parking today cost 4,30 Euro.) I parked near the train station and walked up the Königstraße to Schlossplatz, and then to Ristorante Di Gennaro on Kronprinzstraße, a block off the Königstraße. I was a few minutes late, and Anne W., Eliza, Thuy, Beth, and Brenda were already there. Sabina came a little while later with her teenage daughter, who happens to work at this very restaurant. We sat outside and had a marvelous, albeit very expensive, lunch – I had a salad with marinated calamari and shrimp and a small bottle of San Pelligrino that put me back 23 Euro. Yikes!

After lunch, Anne, Beth, Brenda, Sabina and I all walked up the street to get ice cream at the Häagen-Dazs store, which I didn’t know existed here. You learn new things all the time at the IWC. Beth, Brenda and I walked back to the Königstraße and chatted for a few minutes outside of the Witwer bookstore. Beth was going in to buy the German edition of Buddenbrooks, the Thomas Mann classic that we have chosen for the next book club meeting. I have to admire her for tackling it in German! Brenda has read the original English translation and I am reading the 1994 translation, so I suggested that we find a few favorite passages as we are reading and compare how they are written in English versus German. I am actually enjoying the book so far, even though most of the Germans I have talked to grimace when they hear we are reading it. (Today Sabina said that it’s the kind of book you only read because you are forced to in school!) It’s true, it is probably the German equivalent of The Great Gatsby, but the style is excellent and quite funny. It’s either a great book or John Woods is an excellent translator!

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