American Views Abroad

Friday, April 06, 2007
A peaceful, quiet day, one you can hear upon waking in the morning. It's the start of a long holiday weekend where commercialism plays no role. On the Friday before Easter, Good Friday, Germany shuts down tight. Yet it's more noticeable than a normal Sunday. First off there is far less traffic, at least in the cities. Could be many have left for the countryside and the autobahns are where the action is. Even in the nurseries or gardening centers, rare exceptions in being allowed to open, there were only a few hardy souls looking around. The mood was low-key, almost somber. It stands in stark contrast to previous days where running around and fighting the crowds leaves you wondering if it's worth it. The bottom line is the noticeable lack of traffic and garden noise is balsam for the spirit. Tomorrow evening the Easter fires will be lit and Easter Sunday and Monday will be devoted to celebrating, most likely with colored eggs and brunch, but without any notion to use these days for shopping or doing loud work outside. A good tradition worth holding on to.

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