Friday, October 26, 2007

Pumpkins After All

Today while I was dragging my cart of groceries home I passed a small market and eyed two large pumpkins. Well, let me revise that and say two large Swiss pumpkins. This means small American pumpkins, probably the smallest size possible you could carve without hurting yourself. Finding a pumpkin of this size--and two no less--is very unusual--I had been checking for a few weeks now, but this was perfect timing. But my cart was full, so I ran home, dragged the cart up two flights of stairs, unloaded, and returned to the market with an empty cart.

I asked in German how much they were, knowing I didn't care anyhow, that this was my final chance for a decent sized pumpkin before Halloween. I have never spent so much on pumpkins before, I think in the US maybe we paid 5-7 dollars for one? These were 36 CHF total for two small American-sized pumpkins. But I didn't care. Somehow this week I've been missing home more than usual due to 5 days of no hot showers and the failed attempts to communicate something greater to our landlords than "the hot water is not working again. this is not good." And work has been hard too, with briefings for projects entirely in German that take me so much effort to figure out that I have no energy left to actually do the work after I've finally understood the assignment.

Anyhow, as I was buying the two pumpkins the seller switched to English and asked, "Are you from England?" I guess who else would be buying two large pumpkins. The Swiss just buy them to cook with. I said no, I was from the US and then the guy asked me if I went to Pickwick's Pub (the English pub in Baden) a lot because he had never seen me there. I said no, I never went to Pickwick's. Then he smiled and asked how long I had lived here. It was really amazing just the fact that he was friendly as most people around here never smile let alone talk to me, so all-in-all it was a good exchange. It was almost American in style.


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