It is so funny to me sometimes how extremely opposite Joern and I can be. This was proven again yesterday, but what began as a surprise plan for the day, which I found disturbing, turned into a really long, but enjoyable time.
Our Saturday began totally normal. We were up by 8:30, with breakfast done by 9:30, I mentally made a list of how to attack my cleaning for the day. Just as I was off to the shower, Joern said to me, "when will you be ready, I want to go look at the Musterhaus Park today." Wow, talk about throwing me a curveball. I have an extreme need for planning. Most often, I work best with a day's notice, and as the notice of an event decreases further from 24 hours, the more cranky I become. Therefore, I did not like this notification coming 30 minutes before Joern wanted to leave.
The Musterhaus Park is in a suburb of Stuttgart. It is a village of over 100 showcase houses. I am pretty sure these villages do not exist in the States. I am assuming that because people here build homes, instead of purchasing pre-existing ones, there is a need for a village of these uninhabited showcase homes. Each house represents a different building company.
Being that we were in Germany, the experience was quite different than I had expected. Salespeople in high end areas, like car, tend to suffer from "Mercedes Syndrome." This has been discussed in the news here. This "syndrome" is meerly an arrogant expectation from salespeople that their product is so wonderful, it will simply sell itself. When you walk into most Mercedes dealerships here, rarely do you even get a "hello." If you want to buy something, you have to seek out a salesperson. This was quite similar to our experience in the homes yesterday. The few who asked us if we needed help treated us pretty poorly when we explained that this was our first time visiting the park, and did not know what kind of questions to ask, or what information we needed to supply. The entire experience left me a little uncomfortable. But, we got to see some great house ideas in reality. We were there for most of the afternoon. It was odd, but I'm glad we went.
Instead of going home, we went to a friend's house for a (gasp) unannounced visit. Another piece of German culture (or it may just be Joern's friends) is the surprise visit. I really can't deal with surprise visits, but Georg seemed fine with it. We ended up there for most of the evening, until around 10:00, when we decided to attend a wonderful Stuttgart event, the Long Night of Museums. The main idea of the event is that the museums in Stuttgart are opened until 2 am, and the goal is to attract normally "non- museum goers." It is such a fun night. The city does a great job coordinating public transportation, and routes, so people don't have to worry about parking. Each museum also does something special, and frequently, there is cool music playing, giving the museums a cool, party feel.
We decided to go to the Landesmuseum Wuerttemberg, which covers Swabian history from the Stone Age until the creation of Baden- Wuerttemberg (our state) around 1780. Joern's friend Georg is a complete history buff, and Joern and I are always interested in learning more about our area. We were there 2 and a half hours, and were the last to leave at 2 am. Okay, so we didn't really party at the history museum, but it was a lot of fun, and I really learned tons about the area.