Good day, dear friends! We've got two issues on the agenda today: the Schwaben Quellen and not jokes.
Many of you may remember anecdotes about the German baths/saunas that I frequent in the winter. You know, tales of old naked Germans in co-ed textile-free saunas--tales that don't quite fit into our puritanical American modesty, and thus evoke giggles and wide eyes. Yup, those are the ones. Well let me tell you, there is a whole world of said saunas which have been, until now, just waiting for me to discover them. Until recently, I had only been to one bath/sauna in the area, mainly because I knew where it was and how to get their on the train. I was content.
And then came Sunday and the wellness adventure.
Sunday afternoon I received an text message from a friend, inquiring if I would be interested in a wellness adventure later that evening. And you all know me; I hate wellness and relaxation . . . NOT! So, off we went to Stuttgart, to the Schwaben Quellen (the link is to their English page, so don't be afraid to check it out), where I was wowed by sauna after sauna, steam room after steam room, pool after pool--right, you get the idea. Let me try briefly to paint a picture in your mind this relaxation paradise. After putting your things in a locker, stripping down to your birthday suit, and donning your robe, you stroll out of the standard locker room environment into what can perhaps be described as a classy version of a theme park. The main hall is decorated with a tiki flair and from here, you can wander in most any direction to discover a myriad of other whirlpools, cold pools, saunas, steam rooms, relaxation rooms, and showers. Although many of the design elements could be categorized as kitsch, the fact that you are completely warm and relaxed really allows you to look past the fake bird noises and enjoy the whole experience.
The end. . . NOT!
In case you haven't checked out the What's Hot/What's Not list, not jokes are so not hot . . . NOT! Anyone above the age of 20 is used to the trends of their childhood being brought back in a slightly altered form to sell to the youth. It's happened with every era: When I was in high school, the 60's fashion revival was in full swing and we were all clamoring for bell bottom pants; in college the decades made their brief comebacks and we embraced the 70's and the 80's, with brief stops in the 30's and 40's. Much to my dismay, we've been caught in the 80's/90's for quite some time and until now it could be ignored. I could ignore the tapered jeans; I could ignore the horribly cut 80's skirts. Not jokes can indeed be ignored . . . NOT!
Borat has revived the not joke. Dare I say "revive" in my current setting? I would tend to say no. You see, dear readers, not jokes are making their debut on the German scene. Germany was apparently too busy speaking their own language and thinking about that wall of theirs to even notice the not joke trend that swept through the US, or at least it's 10 year old population. And so it is with great pleasure that I witness a whole new generation of not joke users explore the seemingly limitless potential of the not joke.