Package Pick-up Attempt
The good news is that my bike bag has arrived to Stuttgart. The bad news is that it is still with the delivery company, Hermes. After an unexpected delivery attempt on Thursday, I spoke with a customer service representative. With my very broken German and assistance from Google Translate, I was able to understand that I could pick-up my package from a local 3rd-party location.
I thought I would take a shot and see if my package arrived. Unfortunately, it did not, contrary to the email notifications I’ve been receiving. The pick-up location is actually a video store run by a mother and daughter out of their home. They also sell drinks, candy, snacks, toys, and many other things. It’s a fun challenge to navigate through the boxes that are stacked up for other Hermes customers.
The location is just down the street. I’ll go back on Monday to see if my package is available for pick-up then. I decided to stop off at LIST Café for breakfast on the way back. The cafes in the morning were packed.
Shortly after breakfast, I headed over to the Zacke which starts and stops in Marienplatz. It’s a version of the U-bahn rail that is designed to scale steep elevations using a gear system. I was meeting Fabian to learn more about the art and science of bee-keeping, something I find really fascinating, but haven’t really interacted much with it other than cool YouTube videos.
Taking the U-bahn up, we jumped off and cut through a very scenic forest route to the garden where the bee hives are kept. The topic of bee-keeping came up after lengthy discussions about environmentalism, climate change, and long-term effects. Both employees of Mercedes-Benz, we discussed Mercedes-Benz’s environmental targets and corporate-social responsibilities and its commitment to hitting those targets over the next 2 decades.
Bee-keeping has been an age-old activity for thousands of years. However, due to the effects of dramatic climate change over the last few decades, bees have decreased substantially in numbers. There’s no single theory that explains the cause, but a decrease in bees translates to major downstream effects. Federal, state, and county bee-keeping associations around the world are joining the conversation fight to promote the reproduction of healthy colonies that can proliferate and contribute to fighting the effects of rapid temperature changes.
I learned about the active association in Germany, the Deutscher Imkerbund (translation: German Beekeepers Association). Of course, the job of a bee-keeper can be incredibly challenging, as one has to not only fight the same climate, but also keep colonies with tens of thousands of bees alive and functioning with some really creative techniques.
I spent a few awesome hours with Fabian to understand the ins and outs of bee-keeping. Two things surprised me the most: 1) how calm the bees are and 2) how much honey bees can produce and how heavy a single comb can become. I was really nervous at first, but I realized that if you’re calm, then the bees are calm, and everything’s good.
Thank you, Fabian for an awesome experience and for sharing this really cool past-time ❤️
After bidding our adieus, I went back to my apartment to quickly shower and throw my clothes into the washer. The garden where the bee hives are kept has a very strong and well-preserved bio-diversity, which means lots of plants, animals, and bugs. With the comings and goings of animals like rabbits and deer, that means there are ticks. To be on the safe side, I jumped into the shower and washed my clothes almost immediately.
Waiting on my laundry to get done, I stepped out for a snack. I was craving Flammkuchen for some reason, so I popped over to Cafe Galāo. The Flammkuchen really hit the spot. I arrived just in time as the menus changed after 16:00 so that Flammkuchen was now available.
Finishing my snack and concluding my shameless people-watching session of all of the passersby, I was now craving some cake and coffee. Naturally, I stopped by Strohberg again and had a cappuccino and a slice of light and not overly sweet cheese-cake.
Late Night Dinner
Because of the late afternoon snack, it took me a while to build an appetite. After watching a few episodes of Emily in Paris (I find a few of my working experiences here in Germany resembling those of Emily’s, which cracks me up), I stepped out of the apartment to go for a walk to the city center. After roaming around for about 20-25 minutes, seeing the festival in the main city center and stopping by a gallery, I finally built an appetite.
I walk by Surf ‘n’ Fries all the time, but I’ve never stopped in to try the food. It’s a combination of German “street” food and popular American snacks/appetizers. I had a Currywurst mit Pommes (translation: sausage with a special curry sauce and fries) and mozzarella sticks. I walked home feeling really satisfied. I think it was the mozzarella sticks.
Another fun day in the books.
Frieden und Liebe ❤️ (translation: peace and love)