Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Mannheim Twins

My sister and I are not twins; in fact, there is a gap of 14 months between us (me being the younger one), and we do not resemble each other much physically at all: While my sister has beautiful, thick, wavy hair in abundance, I've always had thin, straight hair that does not lend itself to much in the first place. Her eyes are a greenish-grey, while mine are blue. In context, I look more like our dad, whereas she has more in common with our mum.
This did not stop our mother from dressing us in the same or similar clothes when we were little; in fact, we liked having the same dirndls or other outfits. I vividly remember one summer when our favourite cousin came to stay for part of our school holidays and mum made us skirts of the same red and white cotton print fabric and bought the same white t-shirt with a small lace flower on the front for all three of us - we loved dressing identically!

Look at this picture, taken in 1970:

My sister, the girl sat in the kettcar, and I are wearing the same little dresses there, and it wasn't a rare occurrence in our childhood.

What's cute for little girls can seem a bit weird on grown-ups, though, and something we observed yesterday in a café prompted me to write this entry about twins.

We spent the day in Mannheim on occasion of my sister's birthday, visiting an exhibition first and then retreating to an old-fashioned plushy café for coffee and cake.

At a neighbouring table, shortly after we were seated, two elderly ladies in (I estimate) their seventies took their seats.

Nothing special about that, you say?
Well, think again:
The two of them were, from head to toe, dressed identically in black and white striped jumpers, black trousers and black shoes. They wore their hair in exactly the same style, and the only visible difference between them was that one of them had glasses on and the other one didn't.
After a while, she took her glasses off and now there was no difference at all anymore.
It gets even weirder: they ordered precisely the same! One coffee, one coke and one piece of the same kind of cake each...
By then, we were all casting covert glances at them (trying not to be too impolite and obvious, of course), and we were waiting for them to eat and drink at the same pace. But there they disappointed us; one of them had finished her cake long before the other one, and the drinks didn't go down at the same time, either.

I know they say twins share a special bond, and I am now more than ever inclined to believe it!


  1. Oh I wish you could of taken a picture of the twins!'
    Meike, I received the books I won on your give a way,
    They are wonderful!!!!
    Cant wait to dive in.
    Thanks so much

  2. Julie, I would have been thrown out of the café had I started to take pictures of the other guests... people in Germany are VERY concerned about data protection, personal rights and so on; I can't imagine the debate about Google Streetview having been as heated anywhere else as here!
    Wow... those books took a LONG time to arrive. I sent them way before Christmas, straight after the giveaway ended. Glad they are there now, and you are very welcome!

  3. ... and they had a dog named Boris... ;-)

  4. ...maybe they did, who knows ;-)
    But I dare say they would have had TWO dogs, looking exactly the same, wearing the same collar.

  5. Great post! Twins are fascinating! My family has a few sets of twins. My brothers who are 13 months younger than me are twins. My cousin has twin boys, and my nephew had twin girls, who sadly passed away shortly after birth. We also have a friend who is a twin and they still dress alike on occasion, they're a little eccentric! They haven't changed their hair since the 1970's!!! My mom used to dress me and my younger sister alike, and she's four years younger than me! You are so right about what looks cute as a child can look strange as an adult! Have a great weekend!

  6. Thank you, Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes! Wow, what "twintense" family experiences you have :-) That friend of yours who has not changed her hair since the 1970s certainly sounds eccentric - but stylish!
    You too have a great weekend.