Dienstag, 5. Mai 2015

Surfing according to schedule, world’s best cookies and flea market BS Bingo.

After four weeks in America, here is the latest edition of 
"People’s Magazine: the world of the rich and beautiful in California.” – free delivery hot off the press! 

Well, in order to turn expectations down to a minimum, let’s call it: 
"3 facts about every day life in Santa Cruz."

And these are...

1. Relaxed surfing according to an exact schedule. 

Admittedly, there is not an awful lot going on here in terms of rich and beautiful: 
There are lots of surfers, skaters and longboarders on the streets every day instead. 

Santa Cruz just isn’t Santa Barbara, Santa Monica or Los Angeles.
Santa Cruz means hop into your shorts, shoulder your surfboard and off to the surf spot wearing flip-flops. 
So much with regard to the appearances, which we have perfectly adapted to. 

Our daily rhythm depends above all on the wave situation – and every now and then also on our surf teacher’s vague appointment times which look roughly like this: 

Let’s assume the kids have a surfing lesson on Wednesday – afterwards we arrange another lesson for next Friday, 10 am. 

On Friday at 9:30 am (!) I receive the following text: 

Barry: "Kids wanna surf today?"

Say whaaat?! 
What do you mean, "wanna"?
This isn’t a question of wanting or not wanting, is it?! 
It was definitely arranged? 

Me (totally confused): "Yes!"

Barry: "Open time wise?"

Come again?
Open time wise?
Excuse me…but we had an appointment?! 
An appointment, yessir!
Relaxed surfers’ life and all, but we are German! 
This is not how we tick!
I have pushed the children since an hour ago to get ready, chop chop! Hurry up; we start at 10, put on your wetsuits, Ben stop daydreaming, get going! 

Text messaging like this pushes me completely over the edge! 

Me (absolutely overwhelmed by the conversation): "Open time? When?"

I would much rather simply reply: “Uh…?” 
You have to tell me exactly when I am supposed to be there, I cannot function otherwise! 

Barry: "Could go 10 or noon?"

The children are almost ready to go, I have already picked out a fitting song on the radio (there are only 4 of them that are played in an endless loop) and he asks me whether we want to meet at 10 am or rather at midday? 
So, what do you think I am going to answer?! 

Me: "Better now, we're all set."
And we are SO SET.
We are actually almost there, that’s how set we are. 

Barry: "Great."

Man, how super stressful...

Apart from that, the kids dive into the icy cold, huge waves every day, whether they have a lesson or not – they are both fearless, have a lot of fun and make great progress. 

And on the side:
The effort was all worth it when you can surf at arm's length alongside the seals. 

2. Flea market in Santa Cruz.

A flea market in America is basically not much different from one in Germany: 
Apart from tons of crap there are also real treasures. 
But these are 10 times as cool – where else can one buy vintage surfboards (handmade in Santa Cruz, of course, such as HERE and HERE), or heaps of American sports paraphernalia? 

In this context I have two questions for you: 
- how do you transport a globe (round) inside a suitcase (rectangular)? 
- does anyone know whether “bought too much old stuff” counts as a reason for divorce? 
(I am asking on behalf of a friend.)

Anyways, the local flea market is held every week and – assuming the kids come with me – we play a kind of BS Bingo consisting of the following sentences, which are repeated in approximately 3-minute intervals: 

1. "No, Mama! You have something like this already." (I don’t at all, what do they know after all.) 

2. "No, Mama! How do you think you want to bring this one back? A globe does not fit inside a suitcase.” (A little know-it-all, my offspring, right?) 

3. "No, Mama! Papa is definitely going to get mad.” (he isn’t here, so I don’t care.) 

4. "No, Mama! What do you want to do with it anyway?” (I have, of course, various usage options for it, which I will all come up with in due time.) 

5. "No, Mama! Just keep walking…keep walking…” (Accompanied by gentle nudging in a forward direction.) 

The one who says 3 out of the 5 sentences first is the winner! 

3. Mary's cookies.

We live in a part of Santa Cruz that isn’t quite so touristy: 
The beaches are usually empty (since parking is only permitted for residents) and shopping is more relaxed. 

This applies to basically anywhere with one exception: 
As soon as the hipster coffee store Verve gets a delivery of cookies there are sold out in a jiffy. 
And this happens for a reason!

The palm-size cookies of ¾’ thickness easily replace a whole meal and are crammed with delicious ingredients such as homemade marshmallow, salted caramel or huge chunks of chocolate. 
A local grandma by name of Mary bakes them: 24 per week. 
Every time there is another surprise variety, but they all have one thing in common: 
A perfect consistency of crispy and chewy. 

You have to be really fast to obtain some! 

And lastly a bonus question: 
Who is able to navigate the streets without a GPS, self-assured and with no problem finding their way around? 
Kind of blindly?
As if they haven’t done anything else all their lives? 

The prize is a three-piece California set, consisting of: 
- 1 surfing lesson with Barry, at a very variable time,
- 1 flea market item, assuming I get out of the BS Bingo unharmed, 
- 1 of Mary’s cookies, assuming there are some left and I don’t eat them on my way home. 

Come on, these are fantastic prizes, right?


p.s. All my rings are by Lebenslustiger.

Translated by Ginnell Studio.

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