Ralf has no words. He is disgusted with the lameness of his family. Today was sunny so we decided to make a nice family excursion to the wild animal park in Poing, which offers what the Germans refer to as a refreshing winter walk and various exotic animals like stags, boars, and even a baby bear. In the spring there are goslings and piglets, too. So, we all bundled up in our warmest jackets and headed out.
Once there we were confronted by gale force mountain winds and it turned out that I had put the wrong shoes on L so her feet were cold. She also refused to wear proper snow gloves so she was all primed to be uncomfortable. K, dressed by Ralf, had the right shoes but complained that her mouth was cold and was quite put out by this. And I had unthinkingly put on my trainers, my default shoes that are more than adequate for California winters. Ralf stared at my shoes in disbelief that I thought these shoes would work for a winter walk. ‘Even you. . .’ he began, but was too overcome by negative emotion to continue and had to fall back on making helpless hand gestures. I could actually see him questioning the wisdom of bringing an ignorant warm climate girl to Germany.
Although he was prepared to make me tough it out he was not equal to the combined female power of his entire household so we aborted the mission and headed home again. On the bright side, it gave him a chance to practice his, ‘There’s no bad weather, just bad gear, blah, blah, blah’ speech. I let the lecture flow over me (totally undeserved – I mean, it’s sunny so how was I supposed to know??) and looked out the window at all the exotic Teutonic families with children dressed like puffy marshmallows and babies wrapped in down sacks and stuffed into insulated perambulators. It all looked very unnatural to me, like living on the moon.
Of course, when I expressed this sentiment out loud Ralf pointed out that the entire Northern hemisphere is like this. I guess he has a point.
Note to self: no trainers ‘til spring.