So said my brother, often, over the few days he was here. He’s right – it is actually a lovely little town, Weiden, it’s just that, given our funny relationship – we muddle along most days, but this is not a Forever Home and I am thankful for that – I often forget to give it its dues. Having my brother here meant several strolls through the Altstadt, eating and drinking at several different places I hadn’t hitherto been to for a while.
We so rarely appreciate where we live, even when we love it, because it simply, at some point, fades into the background, becomes a set for the rest of life’s theatre, one we take for granted. It felt rather lovely to point out the church spires and pastel houses to someone whose view of this place I currently call home is completely unclouded and entirely positive. It rubs off on you, that wide-eyed appreciation, gives the set a bit of a spit and polish, throws it into sharper relief.
Another ‘nice’ thing about Weiden (I was always taught to avoid that adjective, but sometimes it fits), is that Nürnberg is only an hour away. And Nürnberg is gorgeous. So on an impossibly crisp, bright Thursday – the day of German Unity, no less – we hopped on a Deutsche Bahn and made our way across some Bavarian countryside, into Nürnberg. Beer and wine, stroll, castle, beer and wine, home (with a train mix-up thrown into the mix for good measure.)
And, as I am quite sure I have expressed before, Weiden also means a fantastic Ratskeller that serves huge Haxe and delicious schnitzel. (And good beer, but that’s a given, isn’t it really.) So that’s another nice thing about this town – taking visitors to a classically Oberpfälzisch Ratskeller that is stiflingly hot, questionably decorated and serves up big plates of authentic, local food.
Really, there are plenty of nice things about Weiden. The nicest being, of course, its little Altstadt with its clutch of cute cafes (all with the obligatory outdoors blankets, which my brother loved) little bars, ice-creameries, and restaurants, all spilling out onto the old stone street, and watched over by the spires of two churches.
And now that Weiden, the backdrop to life as I currently know it, has been polished a little, our relationship is enjoying an injection of something … nice. Romance? I don’t think so. Appreciation, perhaps. Contentment? I suppose so … for now. (You hear that Fates? For now.)