Koningstrasse – Kings Street – is not the same as I first experienced it back in 1985 when I was invited by Will to visit his sister Poppy and his brother-in-law, Walter, in Stuttgart.
Modern Germany is on a roll, with new high rise buildings with lots of glass and class.
However, there are still hints of happy memories that linger on in the old coffee shops, bakeries, specialty shops, the cathedral and the schloss – castle.
One memory was created back a few decades when Poppy would meet me for lunch at the Kaufhof Department stores’ top floor restaurant where you could, and still can, see the city below. I was there today.
Other memories were made when Will and I went to Germany to get married. in 1988. While were were there we spent time walking up and down the street searching for gifts to take back home to relatives and friends.
In 1998, my brother Jack, and sister-in-law, Carol, accompanied us to Europe and we took them to the Koningstrasse. We had a blast watching and listening to street musicians, and at least one of those made us laugh about his performance for years.
He was such a bad singer, that someone from a window in a business above poured water on his head.
Today, my mission was to purchase a new suitcase and to reminisce about those good times, by spending the entire day there, alone.
It was cold with snow on the ground, just as it was back in 1985.
I discovered a store called the American Apparel store, that sells all American casual clothing. None of it was made in China or Bangladesh.
Then I saw two huge window-walls that is completely covered with a video of ocean waves breaking and surfers catching the waves. You cannot pass by without looking, as it looks so real you have to stop and watch. On the window it says, Hollister California.
The surf is up in Hollister? Oh, really?
After I purchased the suitcase, I found a flower kiosk and picked out some yellow roses and orange daisies for Ilona.
A young man who works in the flower kiosk, and I tried to understand each other but with no common language skills. It turns out he is from Slovenia and didn’t speak German or English.
He took off his hat to show me his blond hair. Don’t know why, but that seemed an important message to get me to understand where he comes from. I smiled.
“I like you,” he said. I told him thanks and that I liked him, too. He handed me a rose. “For you.”
“For me? Well, thank you.”
Then the woman who arranged the flowers was finished with the bouquet and handed it to me.
“Wait” The young man motioned for me not to leave. He turned and wrote something on a piece of paper.
“Here is my phone number.” He handed me a little slip of paper with a name and a number.
When Andy picked me up as previously arranged, I showed him the paper and told him I made a friend.
“How old was the guy?” Andy asked.
“About 19 or 20..or maybe 30 at the most.”
Andy had a good laugh about that, but it wasn’t the only thing that made him laugh. I had asked a man who sells magazines, if I could borrow his phone to give Andy a call to make certain I understood where I was to meet him. The man made the call for me and straightened it all out with Andy.
“You just asked him to call me?” Andy chuckled when he picked me up.
Hey, what can I say? I’m friendly. Can’t help it.