As you read this blog, I must warn that you will find, honest thoughts, ambitions, and hopes from my mind.
I rose once again at 7AM on a cold Tuesday, but not for a long day at work. No, I fell out of bed to get into the car and endure a 10 hour journey to my holiday destination of Cologne, Germany!
The prospect of such a long and tedious journey in the car was not a welcoming thought, and I was determined to make the time pass quickly. We had bought TV screens that attach to the back of the headrests when my brother and I were young, so we pulled them out for a bit of enjoyment. Of course, I knew what I wanted to watch – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. My favourite Harry Potter film of all time. I am an avid Potterhead, as you may have noticed with my vow of silence on the Internet the first Sunday after Richard Griffith’s death. I posted quotes all over my Facebook wall as I watched the film, reliving every scene, much to the annoyance of my Facebook friends (sorry!).
After the film finished, I found we had arrived in Dover and were boarding the ferry. Once on, we climbed out of the car and wandered down to the cafe part, where I was disheartened at the absence of gingerbread lattes in Costa Coffee and had to settle for a vanilla latte instead – how unfair! Arriving in Calais, we got back into the car, and my brother watched Gavin and Stacey – just as good the 8th time you watch it! I then fell asleep until we got to our apartment in Cologne, which from the outside looked creepy and dirty, like a place hoarding drug dealers. I was terrified as we collected our key and climbed the 4 flights of cold stairs.
This outside was nothing like what we found inside. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover is a wonderful phrase that suits this apartment to a T! If it was a book, it would be a horrid, tatty cover that opens up to the most enchanting fantasy story you have ever read. We unlocked the door and gasped as we stepped inside. It was so unusual, so weird and totally awesome. We walked down a white corridor with a giant fluffy light hanging down in the middle next to a mirror and table. We looked into the silver kitchen perfect for a bachelor as we reached the second door that opened up into the living room. Two long white sofa beds were adjacent and opposite the huge television. A rectangular table with stools was in one corner with a giant lamp in the other. Walking through, you come to a large bedroom with two single beds pushed together opposite an Audrey Hepburn dresser with a smaller television on top of it.
My favourite thing about this apartment is the decor. Whilst the whole apartment (except the kitchen) is totally white, from the walls to the bedding, the decoration adds colour and style to this simplistic apartment. Random pink horse heads line the wall in the living room, next to the ‘LOVE’ shelf with fake pink cacti and a silver melting clock. Another wall has a giant moose head, which my brother has affectionately given the name ‘Buck’. My parents’ room has a flower painting on the wall and the coolest decoration of all – changeable lights lining the back of headboard of the bed. I am in love with this apartment. It is stylish and minimalist, and perfect for someone like me who likes quirky things such as pink plants. I never want to leave it.
We managed to pull ourselves away for the night after unpacking and walked for what felt like years, almost completely lost despite the help of German pedestrians. Brits abroad, eh?We eventually collapsed into the first restaurant we found, tired and hungry – a Brazilian restaurant. Taking the menus which had no English translation, we were confused to find only 2 food items and the rest drinks. Questioning the waiter, my father managed to translate to us that it was an all-you-can-eat buffet. The waiter then handed us all a little circular card each, one side green with ‘Yes Please’ written upon it, and the other side red with ‘No Thanks’ on it. Utterly baffled, we were informed by our translator that the staff bring food to your table and don’t stop until you turn your card over to the red side. This sounded like a game to me, and I never turn down a game, especially one involving food! We got salad from the salad bar and sat down, ready to ‘play’. I declared that whoever survived the most ’rounds’ of food wins. Over the next hour and a half, we were served with every animal you can legally eat – chicken, lamb, pig, cow, deer, and turkey. It wasn’t even one type of each meat either – we had pork, sausage, bacon, rump steak, sirloin steak, fillet steak, venison! Waiters came forward with giant skewers longer than their arms loaded up with hot, dripping meat, the point resting on a silver plate they carried. We also had things like black beans, rice and mountains of chips come round too. Mother dropped out at round 4, but I battled the boys, determined to match them in this feast. We decided to call it quits at round 10, and I was so thankful as I was fit to burst any second! My jaw ached from chewing, and my plate was covered in animal blood, which made me feel quite queasy. Vegetarians would have a heart attack if they came in here!
We asked for the bill, and the waiter brought it over, and made the cutest request I’ve ever heard. He asked for a dollar, and we politely explained we had none as we were English. He smiled and tried to signal English money, asking for ‘a shiny’. We handed him a £2 coin, but he shook his head, saying ‘papier’. Mother pulled out a £5 note and handed it to him. I know the cynical people reading this will just point out that he’d just stolen a £5 tip from us, but I will answer you with this. The look on his face as he thanked us and walked away from our table, staring at the note and turning it over and over, examining the Queen’s face, made it worth every penny. Reaching a work colleague, he excitedly thrust it into the other man’s face, exclaiming in German with the biggest smile on his face, turning it to show him every part. I cooed and awwed from a distance, a warm feeling spreading through my heart as it became apparent that we’d made his day. He stood by the salad bar, proudly clutching the £5 note in his hand. I knew right then that this man had to be in my blog. No matter how bloated I felt and looked thanks to that meat feast, I bound over to him and asked for a photo with him, which he happily agreed to. The photo is at the bottom of this blog post, and I am sad that I cannot even tell you this man’s name. All I can say is that he has been my favourite anonymous waiter that I have become acquainted with, and he shall keep this title for quite a while I feel.
I rolled home, bloated and so full I couldn’t imagine eating ever again. Once in the beautiful apartment, I fell onto the sofa bed, which was suddenly so much more comfier than it had seemed to be earlier. Getting up again only to change into pyjamas, I then climbed into bed and happily succumbed to my need for sleep. Ahhh…
Well, my dear readers, how many rounds do you reckon you could have survived? Comment below! Much love to you all. Goodnight.