We drove to Dusseldorf, Germany from Holland. En route we stopped at a roadside restaurant for dinner. One side of the restaurant offered full service dining with a waiter and increased prices. The other side offered menu items a la self serve style. We opted for the self serve side mainly because I could see the food already prepared and there were no language barriers to be concerned about. I saw exactly what I wanted to eat. A dish we call Osco Busco in the United States and called Beenham made from hambone. Scrumptious. We usually prepare it in a tomato type sauce and serve four people with the portion on my plate. Because there was no sauce on it, it melted in my mouth. I shared the meal with Arjo, along with green beans and salad. Oh yes, I almost forgot about the Chardonnay and chocolate mousse--yum! We arrived at our hotel, advantageous because it was only one block from the American School. The room was as well stocked as the hotel room in St. Petersburg, Russia, though not as spacious and the tile floor was cold the next morning.
January 31, 2006 Dusseldorf, Germany Breakfast was a delightful affair. When I saw the traffic the next morning, we elected to walk the block to the school for the performance. The temperature was +5 degrees Celsius, but I was not cold. Excited, yes. When we arrived at the school, the guard met us at the entrance us by name and gave us passes to go into the building. The librarian met us at the door and walked us to the spacious theater reserved for the two morning performances.
Mr. Bryant, the theater teacher, was from Boston, has a wife from Holland and had been in the system for twenty plus years! He said they had a number of storytellers come through the school, mostly all from England! The school is made up about 20% American, 20% Japanese, 20% Germany and 40% from all over the world. The principal said most of the students were in varying levels of English proficiency and classes even at the high school level were considered full with 20 students. Most of the students seemed to understand the stories because they laughed in all the right places and followed the instructions perfectly. The principal and several teachers sat in on both performances. The teachers, librarians (there were three librarians, one for the elementary, middle school and high school level) were radiant and pleased with the programs and wanted to know when I’d be returning to the area.
After having lunch with the principal and the teachers we drove around Düsseldorf seeing some of the sights. I needed to rest after my performances and chose to bypass the walking tour. I am amazed by all the remarkable bridges I have seen in Europe. I marvel at those feats of pure imagination. One bridge over the Rhein River was just beautiful in its simplicity. Another bridge in Rotterdam was elegantly shaped like a swan. Still another reminded me of Golden Gate Bridge in California and another major piece of infrastructure in the center of a bridge looked so thin, it seemed suspended in space with little support. There were some odd shaped cubicles suspended in air that served as houses, and other buildings that looked like alien domes from another planet that were office buildings. Another building was constructed to look like an ink pen was poking through it--simply amazing architecture!