I have to say, I’m already very fond of the German lifestyle. As Mary put it this weekend, they “really know how to do the outdoors.” You hike up a mountain, eat at a little restaurant, have a few drinks, then hike back down. Or in our case, ride a ski lift up to the top, then toboggan down the foothills of the Bavarian Alps (although our new German friend Wolfgang says, “Mountains? No, these are not mountains. These are hills. You haven’t seen anything yet.”), eat at the little local restaurant (potato soup and gluhwein [mulled wine, i.e. god’s greatest gift to mother earth]), then nap on the way home.
Sidenote/one reason to add to the list of why I am an idiot: You know how people talk about “The Autobahn”? This whole time, I was thinking the autobahn. One giant German highway (5+ lanes) on which everyone drives like a maniac to get where they’re going quickquickquick, right? Well, we asked Wolfgang (one of the teachers at Vilseck, Paula’s, German boyfriend) where, exactly, is the autobahn? He laughed. Autobahn is just the German word for highway. “Errhhmm, every-vare, heh heh!” Dumb Americans!
Bahh, I can never go in order when I write; this entry is pure stream-of-consciousness. I’ll attempt to restore some order, ahem:
Elizabeth and I woke up fairly early and wandered into town to look around during the day. (Our days are so short here during the week; we go to school at 7:30am and leave at 3:15ish– we only have a couple hours of misty grayness [not even close to sunlight, so I can’t bring myself to say daytime] in the afternoon before it’s pitch black again. Vitamin D supplements: on my grocery list.) We walked around the neighborhoods and saw crazy cute houses and lots of dogs (weee!). We got a phone call from Patty (another teacher at Vilseck Elementary) who wanted to give us her old television (score!). We told her we were walking around town, and she said, “Oh, great! My husband and I are in town and going to Amberg for a couple hours. We can take you there if you want to walk around and shop, eh?” So, off to Amberg we went!
Shopping was a good adventure (did you know the cashiers will cut off the tags for you if you want? so convenient!), but eating was even better. In Germany (in Europe?) you walk into restaurants and find open seats–often at the same table as other people enjoying meals. Elizabeth and I chose a long table hoping some interesting Germans would come sit by us, but no one did. However, we did see many, many dogs! Outside stores, inside stores, in the pub, in our restaurant… I did a lot of squealing and pointing (“PUP PUP!”) that day.
We then went to the snow and ice church about an hour away from where we tobogganed in Garmisch. When we bought our tickets (only 5 euro) and prepared to hike up the big hill to the church, the workers at the window asked if we wanted a shot of Schnapps!
On the way home, I took deep breaths when we drove over 100mph on the autobahn while Wolfgang explained and then quizzed us on how to tell which country and city each car is from. The thing about the autobahn, though, is that everyone follows the rules. No one drives in the left lane unless they’re passing someone, and no one passes on the right, no matter what. Paula said that it was easy to learn to drive (fast) in Germany because there’s no weaving in and out of traffic. Makes sense.
I got home Sunday night around 8:30 to find out that I have two new nieces! Elisabeth and Alaythea McGraw, two little twins that I love so so much. There will be two tiny German somethings coming your way! And I’m keeping my eyes open for small lederhosen for Benjamin. Can you imagine? So cute.
Alright, blogging is hard. Goodnight, goodnight.