It’s time to throw away my suitcase. Not surprised, after all it has been dragged through mud and rain puddles, twelve countries, several islands and over twenty airplane flights. I can’t even count the cars, trams, trains and subways. So the suitcase has done its job and tomorrow I’ll go to the Schlottsplatz in Stuttgart to spring for another one. It’s a long, wide mall with shops and restaurants in proximity to the palace.
I’m looking forward to that for the many memories.
Meanwhile, there is snow on the ground and grey skies in Echterdingen, a town close to Stuttgart, Germany and where I am right now.
Not to get spoiled by sitting in a brand new, warm house, I know a walk would do me good. So I put on my boots, my warm coat and walked towards the business part of town. It’s Sunday so the stores were closed, but the old town is splendid with century-old timbered houses.
Some of the houses lean and have need to be fortified in order to stay standing up, but because of the pride in European history, much effort is put into keeping the old.
The old houses do not stand alone, as all around them new housing makes inroads into the town.
Andy and Ilona’s house is an example of a brand new house that even smells brand new. Wooden curved steps take you up to the third floor, past the bedrooms of the two girls, and up to the guest room and the master bedroom. Off of the master bedroom, a deck just waits for spring time, so Andy and Ilona can take their coffee up stairs and out on the deck.
On the walk, and some window shopping, I stopped inside a middle eastern restaurant for coffee and there I met a man from China who has lived in the town for forty years. He came for school and stayed. He had his cute little three year old son with him, and who wanted in the worst way to speak to me.
I didn’t have a clue what he was saying, but just nodded. His father told him he was telling me that he likes to talk to old people. Oh well, the news is out…I’m no longer young…just like the suitcase, nothing lasts forever.