The craziest thing happened last week. In the middle of meeting an old collegue and his family who were travelling through Germany as well as arranging for the delivery of the world's biggest shelving unit, an unknown man knocked on my door looking for the previous residents.
In German, you have to speak formally to strangers. I was attempting to switch my brain into "formal" mode and think of how to politely say that the previous resident is not dead, but has moved to a nursing facility.
"Worry not sir your friend not dead lives on in house where the people who live no longer in their own houses go."
He looks at me quite patiently and asks if I have children. Then he asks if I like cherries. And finally he asks if I have a bowl.
He heads back to his car and I return to the front door. He looks at my soup bowl and asks me to get a bigger one. I come back to the front door with what I considered to be a bigger bowl. I invite him in for a coffee but he declines saying he has not got the time. He thrusts out a gigantic yellow pail heaped full of cherries. He makes it clear to me that he wants the biggest bowl I've got in the house. I had no idea he was gifting me the entire pail...
I asked him who he was to which he replied, "It's not important!"
Hmm. I suddenly get thoughts of Snow White or Rumplestilkskin. Maybe the cherries are poisoned. Maybe the guy is a lunatic. I consider slipping a few to the neighbors to make sure nothing happens.
Then I realize I no longer live outside London. I no longer live in downtown Wuerzburg. I live out in the country where this behaviour is NORMAL.
"In the fall comes potatoes and vegetables!" he says as he hobbles back toward his car. I wasn't sure if he was just giving me agricultural information or if to expect another visit in the fall. I am already searching for the appropriate autumnal basket just in case. This is clearly serious business if I'm going to make it living out here.