This week is an absolute nightmare in terms of schedule. After weeks of quiet and serene evenings and cosy mornings, everything seems to have converged this week. Let´s just say that I am up at 04:30 so I can leave the house by 06:00, make my rounds with the cats that I am sitting this week, go to work, and then do the evening rounds with the cats. I am getting a lot of walking done this week, that is for sure, and discovering yet again new parts of my city. When I reach home, my own cats demands attention as well, as do several other matters. They are quite perplexed as to why I leave at such an odd hour, and Lolita can barely open her eyes when I get up to potter around the kitchen. Nobody is ready for breakfast.
All I have to do is get through this week.
This morning, jumping on and off buses and subways landed me in rush hour. There was no time or room to panic with the crowds and nurture my claustrophobia. I had to go to work, period. Just my luck, my connecting train was at a standstill for a longer period because there was a medical emergency in one of the wagons. The train could not move, nor could any other train drive into the station, so it was backed up and people from other trains kept coming on board. Once the paramedics wheeled the patient out of the train, the doors finally closed and the Sardine Express chugged off.
There is a particular pharmacy I pass almost every day on the way to work and I the pharmacists there are not only friendly, but they speak a variety of languages that cater to many of the guests staying in the nearby hotels. As I stood in line behind a customer, I found out that the pharmacist on duty (not the regular one who attends to me) is Spanish, so when my turn came I spoke in Spanish, much to her delight. It was a good thing that there was nobody behind me because we babbled away happily, and she told me that she had moved to Germany in 1982, “but that was way before you were born my dear, the Wall was still standing!” I had to burst out laughing in delight and told her my true age, at which she genuinely stared at me with her jaw dropped. Short of asking me for my ID, she refused to believe that I was a day over 35 and that I was less than 10 years younger than her. I would have loved to sit down with her over a cup of coffee, but duty called, so I did promise to return on days when she is on call.
Tuesdays and Fridays are market days in the Wittenbergplatz area, and it is a delightful market to stroll through or, like me, stroll through. There is a little stall with fashion accessories that I absolutely adore and I am always on the lookout for frogs of any kind. I have since befriended the saleslady, who turns out to be Brazilian. My Portuguese is pretty rusty, but I do manage to greet and thank her, or ask if she has any new frogs for me and she is ready with a broad smile, regardless of whether she has a frog or not.