Truthfully, I was pretty exhausted yesterday morning. My morning meeting was rescheduled so I used the extra hour to sleep in. It took me about 2 cups of coffee to get in rhythm for the day and a pretty hefty breakfast to recuperate my energy and replenish with needed fuel. As much fun as Wasen is, it will knock you on your butt the next day. When I looked around inside the main tent at the festival grounds, I could tell the average age of the festival goers was ~20-21 years old. I think there’s a reason for that.
Work from Home
I decided to operate from the Airbnb today. There was no need to drive over to Sindelfingen. My meetings were all remote or were rescheduled to next week. The WiFi connection is fantastic, so I was able to have a very productive day at home. From my desk throughout the day, I could hear the rain coming down hard. Working to the sound and smell of rain and fresh rainfall is 👌🏾.
I briefly stepped out for a late lunch from Burger King (which is just across the main square). I tried the King’s Crunchy Pepper Chicken. I’ll hold my opinions on this sandwich for a dedicated post where I share my takes on German fast-food (or rather, German-style American fast-food).
Finishing up my day at around 7:00PM or so, I desperately needed to walk. The rain stopped long enough that I could go for a short stroll before dinner. Walking around the Marienplatz central square, it was a markedly different view from the day before due to the rain. There was no booming music, no people lounging around on the stairs enjoying an ice-cream cone or a beer, no kids running around and playing, no pick-up basketball game on the short court. Instead, it was completely empty. It’s fun to observe the day-to-day.
There’s a very short loop around the square which I followed. I stopped to admire a pop-up garden shop that appeared in the center of the square, which I thought was very cool. The plants clearly enjoyed sitting in the rain. What surprised me was that there was no one who appeared to be the owner of the shop nearby. Maybe they stepped away to grab a coffee…
Dinner in Madagascar
I headed directly over to dinner with a good friend and co-worker. Last night’s dinner was an experience. This is yet another restaurant to check-out in Stuttgart that is quite honestly amazing. The name of the restaurant is Madagascar.
Their entire menu consists of a medley of authentic Madagascan dishes. From the outside, it doesn’t look like a restaurant at all. I first thought it was an art gallery. The real magic is unveiled when you walk in, take off your jacket (and also your shoes, if preferred), and are transported from a southern German city to a hut in Madagascar. The ground itself is covered in sand. You sit on big pillows and cushions and enjoy the company of others under a loft hanging tent. It is a very traditional and creative ambience.
Sampling a medley of dishes, we had ostrich meat, crocodile, and chakalaka beef. Chakalaka refers to a combination of Madagascan spices that is commonly used throughout the cuisine. It’s not spicy at all, but it is very savory and rich in flavor. The beef was arguably the best of the 3 meat options. I wanted to try the zebra meat, but it was not available last night. The portions were large and great for sharing. We also sampled a vegetarian medley which consisted of rice, pumpkin, yoghurt, pea stew, spinach, and a peanut-butter sauce. The meat plate and the vegetable medley paired perfectly, complemented by a bottle of Merlot.
My favorite part of any meal is the conversations you get to have. As I recount this now, we touched on so many topics, that thinking back, I wonder how the threads from one topic to another formed. Whether it was about work or personal life or figuring out where you would go in the world if you had $50K to spend, our conversation just flowed from one topic to another. Something about the atmosphere created by the restaurant just made it easier.
Wrapping up at Madagascar, we thanked who I can only assume is the owner of the restaurant for an unbelievable dinner and experience, and decided to stretch our legs. We were abruptly transported back to a southern German city from our African adventure as we exited.
During dinner, I realized that I haven’t tried German craft beer yet. I love trying out new craft brews, and what better place to try than in the world’s epicenter for beer production. We jumped onto the U-Bahn to check out a specialty craft beer bar/brewery called Kraftpaule. While our conversations continued, I sipped on a Casitra Pale Ale. It’s a nice pale ale with a citrus and fruity blend, and would be great for the summer months.
Time for Bed
Gradually, I could feel my body slowly start telling me it was time to hit the bed. Making our way back to the U-Bahn, we were surprised with sudden, heavy rainfall. Bidding our good-byes, I made my way back home on the train, drenched like everyone else. Meandering up the hill to my Airbnb, I rolled right into bed.
With great company, food, and drinks, last night was a perfect way to wrap up the work week and lead into the weekend. Thank you, Jonas, for an awesome time!
Frieden und Liebe ❤️ (translation: peace and love)