Friday, September 30, 2022

The One With All The Cheesecakes

I don't know if you've really lived until you've stood eating a bratwurst at a German Fall Fest while an enthusiastic cover band takes a shot at "Islands in the Stream".

Especially once the mime in the crowd starts dancing.

Greetings again from seven floors above Leipzig, where much of our day once again involved food, and what didn't involve food once again involved riding on trams.  It began with a visit to Leipzig's Market Day-

Where a certain bakery stall caught Loraine's eye.  If you know her at all, or just, you know, like to eat, you might understand why--

She bought a couple pieces of cake, while I bought what I thought was a slice of Quarktorte.  However, as it turns out, I actually bought a quarter of an entire Quarktorte-

That's what I get for not really understanding German, I guess.  Anyway, Loraine and I brought the (seriously) two pounds of Torte back to our hotel room, where we decided that, even though we had just eaten breakfast, we should really try to eat the Torte, if only because it should be refrigerated lest it go bad.  So, much like Rachel and Chandler and the cheesecakes in one of my favorite episodes of "Friends", we started eating the Torte.  And kept eating.  

And kept eating, and kept eating until we finally reached this state-

At which point we looked at each other, too exhausted to even attempt a high-five.  But we finished it.  And we didn't even have to eat the last few crumbs of it off the floor.

(If you've ever watched that particular "Friends" episode that last line actually makes sense).

Following our consumption of 23 and a half million calories we decided a little exercise was warranted, so we hopped aboard a tram and headed over to the Fockeberg.  The Fockeberg is an interesting place, a 153 meter (450 foot) high mountain stuck right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.  What makes it interesting is that the Fockeberg is man-made.  It's a mountain built out of all the rubble removed from the city after it was repeatedly bombed in World War II.  In fact, everywhere you walk going up the mountain you see things like this--

It is, however, an easy hike, much like Sugarloaf, and when you get to the top you're rewarded with views like these--

So, 200 calories down, 23,499,800 to go.

Since we (obviously) didn't need to eat lunch we hopped back on a tram and headed to a couple of cemeteries around here.  The Sudfriedhof is a rather woodsy place-

While the Ostfriedhof is a little more conventional-

We've visited a lot of cemeteries during our trips over here, but I saw something today that made me think in a way I've not quite thought before.  In the Sudfriedhof we came across this marker-

Sure, it was nice that Irmgard Rodel lived to be almost 100.  But that's not what made me think.  What made me think is the history of this particular place, and how Irmgard was born during World War I, came of age during the rise of Hitler, survived World War II, lived through the entirety of Communism and the old East Germany, saw the Wall fall and reunification occur, and became a member of the democratic and multi-national European Union, all in one lifetime.

Many of us think we live interesting lives.  Irmgard lived through history.  Actual interesting, incredible, amazing history.

And that brings us to the dancing mime.  When we got back from our tram journeys we ventured over to the Market Square (or Markt in German) where the Fall Fest is going on-

It's actually Oktoberfest without having to go to Munich, and we celebrated the fact that we had only had probably 23,499,200 calories left to burn off after the Quarktorte by eating again.  Seeing as how we were at Oktoberfest Fall Fest Loraine grabbed a couple of these things--

And we checked out this band rocking Oktoberfest Fall Fest--

They did fairly commendable versions of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" and Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street", but once they lit into "Islands in the Stream" the crowd got moving.  And when I say moving I do mean moving, as revelers whistled their approval, couples got to their feet, and a mime (yes, a mime) that had been working the crowd stopped miming and started to wave his arms in the air like it was actually Dolly Parton singing up there, and not some 60-year old German guy who couldn't say the line "that is what we are" without letting the crowd know that he probably didn't speak a lick of English in real life.

But you know what?  It really didn't matter.  It was all part of a moment that'll never happen again because, and let's be real here, how often do you get the chance to see a German mime dancing to a Dolly Parton song?

You just enjoy it while it comes.

Tomorrow, the reason we came to Leipzig.  It's Match Day!


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