Sundays – there a plenty of memes describing the day of dread…
In Australia, it was often the day I spent fighting over a carpark in the soul-sucking shopping mall just to walk around with the other zombies spending money I didn’t have. But at least I had something to do.
Sunday used to be a day of misery: there was Monday looming ahead and you knew you had already forgotten that Friday feeling and wasted that wide open Saturday.
Initially, I had similar sentiments in Weimar. As a single women, The Lazy Day was my favourite way to spend my Sunday. I would occasionally be nursing a raging hangover, meaning that a long and lazy French Toast breakfast, followed by another nap and then some TV watching in bed was the usual formula for me. As you would expect, my routines have changed since moving in with my boyfriend, but the ‘lazy’ is usually in there somewhere.
In fact, I almost believe that Weimar wants it to be so. You may already know that in Germany and many other European countries, shops are closed on Sundays.
So what do people in Weimar do on a Sunday, you ask?
Cake, cake and …..coffee
My favourite Sunday pastime is “eating cake”. There is a very delicious way in German to describe this special outing- Kaffee und Kuchen. This is a common phrase thrown around between me and my English-speaking friends in such ways as: “I’m going to my inlaws for Kaffee und Kuchen on Sunday afternoon” or “Want to meet later for some Kaffee und Kuchen?” It is the simple act of eating cake and drinking coffee and yet it means so much more. Kaffee und Kuchen means it’s time to visit family and catch up with friends without committing to an afternoon of formalities or long, drawn-out stretches of time. No needs to suffer the stress of cooking an appropriate lunch for all. No need to stress about a family-friendly restaurant that would serve lunch quick enough before your children turn into restless Gremlins. Kaffee und Kuchen is short and of course, sweet.
Winter vs Summer
You would be right in assuming that during the cold winter months, there are less options out there for people to do. Towards the end of November until early January, the centre of Weimar is transformed due to the popular Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market). Most days, the lure of warm Glühweine and roasted nuts are irresistible and it’s especially hard to resist on a Lazy Sunday. Lunch is made and served at my doorstep and in minutes!
However for most of January and February, Weimar can seem like a ghost town. It’s when the days get longer, and the temperatures are rising slowly that the manner in which people spend their Sundays change. As an example of this I will share the most amazing thing I’ve seen in Weimar.
It was on a day where the sun appeared at last in March 2013 after a most brutal winter. The temperature soared to a crisp 7ºC, the sun was out and Spring was on the horizon. Sometime after lunch, I was walking through town to meet a friend and I saw about 30 people lining up for an ice cream. This showed me that Sundays in Weimar should be about enjoying yourself – by eating delicious foods, of course. Ice cream in Germany is done like in no other place. In Weimar it’s served in deliriously large and fancy goblets overflowing with ice-cream, cream, sauce and fruits. Ice cream made to look like lasagne. Or a simple ice-cream in a cone – Simplicity at its finest.
My Sundays are very much appreciated in Germany now that I understand the values of the German culture: Be good to yourself, keep connected with family and friends and don’t worry about your waistline on Sundays.