Kasel, our village just outside of Trier, is like a little neighborhood with it's own bakery, bank, grocery, restaurants, and the like. Being home almost every day during the week and walking the dogs in both the morning and afternoon, I run into the Kasel 'regulars' daily.
Herr Scherf - 'the neighbor': 80+ year old. Nicest man you'll ever meet, or so I can gather.. he doesn't speak a word of English. He speaks to me in German as if I understand completely which has taught me a few key phrases, such as how to say "I'm going for a run," "I'm walking my dog," "I'm going to the baker," "how's the weather?" and the like. We had our deepest conversation on day when I had too much time to kill (the usual), Alex was out of town for work, and I tried to converse this (in German) to Herr Scherf. He understood! And proceeded to tell me (in German) that he knew how I felt, for his wife was sick and in the hospital, and at least I had my dogs at home to love me.
Axel - 'the landlord': the stereotypical, non-working, smoke 10 packs a day, wheeler-dealer, i love to walk around in my speedo in the summer-time, German. He rents his properties to Americans only, making bank off of the AF (Americans pay tons more in rent than the Germans). He wakes up when he wants, lounges around, smokes his cigs, and leaves the house conveniently everyday before 2 o'clock, when his wife gets back from work.
Micael - 'the American': the ONLY other American in Kasel. Nice girl, my age, comes over for football games, coffee dates, and goes out with us on the weekends. She's being deployed soon for 6 months. Bummer.
Jill and Sveni - 'the German, wanna-be American, teens': landlord's daughter and her bffreunde who lives across the street. They keep the dogs while we travel in exchange for American money, American food, or American clothes. Our house is their first stop when getting home from school, just to tell me about their day, complain about their parents, tell me about their weekend plans (the Germans have so much more freedom than we did as teens) and drink a 'green soda.'
the 'po-boys': the ONLY poor folk in all of Kasel. Upon my moving in, one of the first things I accomplished was hitting their fence with my car. Nothing a case of beer couldn't fix. They just might be from Biloxi, but haven't quite figured it out yet.
the Postman: Bos and Riva greet him daily with harmless barks and lots of butt-shaking. He walks up to the porch, lets the dogs off the porch to escort him to the other mailboxes. On his way back up, puts them back up on the porch and says good-bye. Because of the Postman, Bos and Riva know almost as much German as me!
the Baker: Bos, Riva, and I walk by the bakery once daily. When the baker sees us through the window, she comes out, says hi, and tries to convince me to buy a schoko-croissant and a cup of coffee. I fall prey to her persuasive ways at least once a week.
the Bernese: a family that lives down the street has my absolute favorite kind of dog in the world, a Bernese mountain dog. He stays off the leash and on the front porch of his house, only leaving to greet dogs walking by, including Bos and Riva. When Bhatta visited and we first moved in, we met the Bernese for the first time. Given Boston's history with being attacked by large dogs, Bhatta decided to take off running down the hill with Boston. The Bernese came running after, as you would anticipate he might. Come to find out, he only wanted to play with and slobber all over my dogs. On a side note, Alex promised me that I could have my dream dog only if we moved to Alaska or Germany. HA. Guess you know what our next addition will be:)
the 'Patriot': A lady who lives down the street quickly learned that my German was sub-par. She has proceeded to tell me every day since the first day I met her how hard the German language is to learn, but how necessary. I only figured out what she was saying one day when the girls, Jill and Sveni, were on a walk with me. I converse with the 'Patriot' in the same way I converse with most Germans, by nodding my head, smiling, saying 'Ja, ja,' and giving a slight chuckle.
the Rotts: NOT Boston and Riva's friends, and let's just leave it at that.
the Crazy Cat man: A neighbor that lives a few doors down. He is always, and I mean always, outside with his best friend, his cat. He is constantly jibbering German to that cat, especially when he sees my dogs, I would guess asking them something about the big scary dogs, etc.
the 'bia' that hates Bos & Riva: A sour old woman who owns an overgrown empty lot down the street that dogs walking by do their business in. By dogs, I mean all dogs, not just mine. Boston and Riva had a tendency to pee there on the walk home. This quickly came to an end when she left a bag of dog poop on my front porch. Two can play at that game.. and have. Enough said.
Junge: the happiest 6 year old boy you'll ever meet. Lives down the street. Outside playing until dark no matter the day, no matter the temperature. He think it's cool that we speak English and they learn English in school, however this boy has NOT learned his English. His teacher would be disappointed.
the Crazy man who lives with his Mom: On a daily basis, this man tries to tell me about some magic cards he has hidden in his pocket or how young women shouldn't smoke or how the Canadiens are out to get me. He's about 50, lives with his Mom, and is absolutely nuts. The key is to NEVER ask him a question. You'll just egg him on and provoke more talk, which trust me, you don't want to hear and cannot understand.
the Dog-Lover/Axel's Mom: The 'dog-lover' lives down the street and has a black lab named Axel (yes, same as our landlord). Everyday, on her drive to and from work or errands or wherever she goes, if Bos & Riv are out on the porch, she pulls over, gives them dog treats, and leaves. At first, it freaked me out. I thought maybe the 'bia' was trying to poison them, but alles klar! She's just a dog lover.
Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea taught me that there's something to be said for 'the regulars,' and Kasel's regulars have not disappointed.