Monday, March 17, 2008

6 November: Some Excitement on the Home Front

Success at last with my Winterreifen! As you may recall, I had hoped to sell them to a woman who parked her smart forfour in front of our house back in October. Her husband, Herr Holzapfel, had come by the following weekend to look at the wheels and tires and seemed agreeable, but he wanted to check with his dealer to make sure that the Brabus wheels would fit properly on his car. (He wasn’t even sure if he had a real Brabus or just the appearance package, and I couldn’t help him because he had come in a different car to look at the tires.) I had given up hope on him because he never called me back, and John and I just went through the stressful process of posting an ad for the tires on German EBay a few days ago. It was hard enough figuring out how to post the ad on the all-German site; we also had to decide whether or not were would be willing to ship them. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of shipping four tires and I was quite sure that there was an option on EBay for you to indicate “pick-up only,” but we couldn’t figure it out, so we had to put in an amount for shipping. We had no offers yet but someone sent us a question about the tires this morning. Then Mr. Holzapfel called later today and confirmed that he wants to buy them after all! He apologized for not calling, but said that they had been out of town for two weeks. So I win on both counts – we get 350 Euro (we had started the bidding on EBay at 275) and I don’t have to ship them. Herr Holzapfel arranged to come pick them up this Saturday, which is the same day as our moving sale.

I went over to Beth’s apartment in Stuttgart-West today to talk about my book and start teaching her to knit. I found her building again without any difficulty (I gave her a ride home after lunch last week) and made my way up the five flights of stairs (not as bad as it sounds, because the staircase is full of light and quite pleasant, although I don't envy her when she gets to be 9 months pregnant!). Their place is small but really nice – light and airy, with gorgeous views out over downtown Stuttgart and up to some vineyards and beautiful homes on a hill over the city. They have a lovely balcony off their kitchen with lots of plants.

The first thing I said once I was in the door was, “So…how do you say pregnancy test in German?” Yes, it looks like there’s a good chance that I might be in that “delicate condition.” I am trying not to get too excited about it yet, but we were really hoping that we might get pregnant before leaving Germany. I thought Beth might have a spare test left over from when she was trying to get pregnant, and she did. So that topic ended up occupying us for a good long time, but we eventually sat down for tea and cake and talked about my book. We spent the last 45 minutes or so on knitting. She had bought some fuzzy black-and-white yarn at her local yarn shop to make her first scarf but I got her started on some practice yarn that I had brought along because your first knitting attempt is never exactly neat. I didn’t have time to show her how to cast-on so I did that for her and then showed her how to start with basic garter stitch. She caught on pretty fast and was able to do a couple of rows before I had to leave.

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