Side Benefits

The past few days may wife and I have been visiting a few members of her extended family. Great fun for her, somewhat of a challenge for me.

They are all nice people and I have enjoyed renewing acquaintances or, in some cases meeting them for the first time, but it is hard work. German is not my first language. Nor my second. And some of them don’t speak English at all.

Which means my wife has to translate, in both directions. Not always easy if multiple conversations break out. She handles it well.

I have noticed though that there is one real bonus to these visits. Everyone seems to like ice cream. It’s a good way to socialize, and patio eating is easier when you are trying to maintain social distancing.

Tuesday was the fourth day in a row I was at an ice cream parlor to get a cold treat. I could get used to this.

It also got me to thinking. So much of our culture revolves around the communal enjoyment of food. That’s been an almost impossible activity the past three months. People haven’t legally been able to share a meal.

Even an introvert like me has missed that aspect of life. I’ve done some cooking for other people and the food has been dropped of for them, but it isn’t the same as sharing a meal.

Which made it nice to sit in the sunshine along the Phoenix See in Dortmund, Germany on Tuesday with family members I hadn’t met and share some ice cream as we swapped family stories.

I’d say we should do it again soon, but I’m not sure all that ice cream is good for my health. What would you do in my place?




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