Posted by: Shanna Germain | 07/19/2009

Pg. 110: Peace & Quiet


Rain-slicked, mostly empty cobblestone streets on an early Sunday morning.



  • Weather: I remembered my umbrella today. And then only needed it for an hour. I spent the rest of the day swinging it and trying to poke passerbys in the shins.
  • Mileage: Many. My thighs hurt. This is a good, good thing.
  • Food: Ei. (Egg.) Hardboiled. And a bagel with cream cheese.
  • Discovery: I thought I was cool because I could crack a hardboiled egg with one hand and strip the peel off in two big halves. Turns out you’re supposed to leave it in the little cup, crack the top off with your miniature spoon, and then scoop the egg out of the shell. Oops.
  • Media: None yet. I miss books.
  • Worst Thing: You know, I thought everyone wore glasses here because it’s the cool thing to do. And you know, cool glasses look hot and whatnot. But I had to buy saline solution for my contacts today, and I realized that people here don’t wear glasses because they’re cool. They wear them because saline solution costs more than a high-end dinner. Seriously, 20 euro?! That’s almost two dollars an ounce. I might as well cry in a jar and throw my contacts in there.
  • Best Thing: Tomorrow my friend Danielle is coming to meet me for dinner. Woot!
  • Word of the Day: Scary man. Furchtsamer Mann. I don’t think Babel Fish did me justice on this particular translation. (Also, I should be clear: Danielle and Scary Man have nothing to do with each other. Danielle is funny, nice, sexy man. Pocket Pool Player in the park (see below) is Scary, Creepy, Go-Away-Now Man.).


I have come to love Sundays in Cologne. It is, for Germans, almost a mandatory day of rest. In fact, I read somewhere that there are actually laws that say just that. Yes, actual laws. Sunday is … get this … a day for laying around and eating. Yes, I am in heaven.

To top it off, none of the stores are open. In fact, I believe there is some kind of law that makes it illegal for shops to be open Sundays. (Except for restaurants, it appears, as you can buy Starbucks and ice cream and other food stuffs. However, most restaurants I walked by today were closed). Despite the sun that showed up this afternoon, there was hardly anyone out and about, and I walked through the city with a sense of leisure that is nearly impossible the other days of the week.

Today, I took another walk-about, heading into an unknown part of Cologne. I found a man-made river/fountain with a slat-board bridge to be crossed. As well as park that looked enticing.

The park was enticing. Gorgeous and huge and oh-so-delightfully green after all that concrete. I made a lap around it, watched the people snogging and dog-walking and laying on the grass (to which I wanted to shout, “Don’t to it! Ticks!” but restrained myself.).

I would have taken another lap or six around the park, but a. it was hot and steamy. b. my backpack weighed about six tons between all the euro coins and my laptop and c. a creepy-looking man playing pocket pool was following me around and leering at me. (Now, I know Pocket Pool Players are a common sight, and an important part of the eco-system of any city park, but that doesn’t mean I have to feed them).

Then I headed to the coffee shop, finished writing two horror stories while all around me people studied and highlighted books and plugged in laptops (I think I must have inadvertently found the university district, since I’ve not noticed anyone studying or even having a laptop prior to this. At all).

Now, as I write this, the rain has started up again, which means it’s time to open up my ginormous and cool umbrella and slink through the empty streets toward home. Two more days in Cologne, and then I fly back to Edinburgh, and then I take a bus and a train and a boat back to my temporary home on the wild isle.

Far and fast, s.


“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.” ~Proverb of some sort. Thankfully, they don’t define “well spent.”



  1. ha..babelfish is a mean. misleading thing..Furchtsamer Mann dont means scary man..but is a man who is scared..:-)

  2. damn…. I knew Babelfish did me wrong!!! Silly creature!

  3. Sounds like a good day to me…:-)

    • A lovely day, truly. and rare 🙂

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