Especially in these days of lockdown with no prospect of opening my business, I often think of our experiences in Heidelberg that we took for granted until last year. Be it opening our doors for the Heidelberg travel guides so that they can better show the pretzel measure behind our doors, explaining what cuckoo clocks have to do with Heidelberg or simply answering numerous questions about Heidelberg, our beautiful region and whether we have stamps for ours Sell postcards. Every little thing is missing. Traveling was the most normal thing in the world for us and our customers. It is currently impossible to imagine when it will be like this again. The year 2017, when I took over my uncle's business, is so far away. Back then, no one could have imagined that we would ever experience something like this.
Almost exactly a year ago I had to close my business for the first time. Luckily, we quickly came up with at least one small idea that could help us: I sewed masks and my husband created an online shop through which we could sell them. I've always said I don't need an online shop. Souvenirs don't sell online. Souvenirs have a lot to do with emotions and experiences during the beautiful holidays. They are purchased locally. It's hard to explain how I myself came to be so attached to what many call this "stuff" (and that's putting it nicely). But these souvenirs, beautiful souvenirs, from Heidelberg and Germany mean something different to everyone. And as we all know, tastes are different. A frequent quote from my uncle also fits in with this: “If you only sell what you like, you’ll be broke in a month.” But there’s a lot more to it than that. Maybe I'll finally be able to get a little project of my heart started. Together with my colleagues we are collecting our “Memories of Heidelberg” (I hope you now have a catchy tune). Every week I want to try to share a memory to shorten the waiting time until we experience new stories.
One of the most frequently asked questions is: What do cuckoo clocks have to do with Heidelberg?
Almost every day in Heidelberg we hear: “Oh look, a cuckoo clock. Yes, are we in the Black Forest?” No, we are not in Heidelberg, as the majority of German and foreign tourists know. Nevertheless, the Black Forest is a symbol of Germany for most tourists. Tourists have asked me whether they could simply take the cable car to the Königsstuhl and then be in the Black Forest. I also explained to these tourists why we have cuckoo clocks and all sorts of Black Forest souvenirs for sale here. The clocks as well as the bobble hats and traditional costumes are part of a tradition that many people find very beautiful. They not only radiate something steeped in history but are of course also connected to wonderful stories. And I too am now in love with one or two of our watches. And by the way: no, they don't come from China, but are actually made in the Black Forest. Every watch has a certificate. And no: I haven't gone crazy yet because there are so many clocks hanging on our walls and the cuckoo comes out at different times. This too probably has something meditative for me now. My first memory also fits the topic of cuckoo clocks.
Unexpected things often happen
A woman bought a small cuckoo clock magnet from me. She says she thinks the watches are so beautiful, but her husband doesn't want a big one. Her husband promptly stands there and says: “Sure, we don’t need any either. We are Germans and not Americans or Chinese.” I say that I can understand that well. I can only get my cuckoo clock ration from my store, my husband would go crazy if we had one at home. Nevertheless, I explained various watches and their differences to both of them. A little later I don't think about them anymore. The woman stands in front of me and says: “I would like that.” She points to the largest clock with beautiful details and twelve different melodies, a new one every hour. “Since I own a hair salon, I can treat myself to my daily ration of cuckoo clock without my husband hearing the cuckoo.”