Sunday, August 09, 2009

As we crossed the border into Germany this morning, I noticed an exit ramp to the right marked 'Ausfahrt'. A little ways further, I noticed another, and then another.

My! What a lot of exits to get to the city of 'Ausfahrt'!
I started to envision a bustling metropolis to rival Paris.

It was, in fact, an embarrassingly long time before I finally figured out my mistake and quietly asked JP : 'Umm...What does 'ausfahrt' mean'?"
By all rights, I should have added in a resigned and chastened voice "It's not a city, is it?', but it was all just too humiliating.

As you, Clever Reader, probably guessed immediately, 'ausfahrt' is a German word that translates as 'drive out'.
In short: exit.

And yes, I am a non German-speaking complete doofus.
Thank you for asking.

Luckily, I have the world's nicest cousins here. Not ony can they get by in German, they live on a huge, mega-cool US military base. No German required!
In fact, we spent today completely immersed in American culture. We had lunch at Taco Bell, which Valentine loved. It's her favorite restaurant, ever. And we had a shopping spree at the BX ,which everyone loved. Think Pop Tarts and Dr.Pepper. I bought WAY too much and have no real clue how I'm going to stuff all the gorceries plus our baggage back into the car for the drive back to France. Maybe if we send the kids home by bus...

The only slight imperfection in an otherwise perfect day was the messed-up, hours long dinner at an on-base, non-Taco Bell restaurant. We waited ages to get a table and when we finally did, our waitress turned out to be a sort of odd, slightly manic young person. She wielded a giant pepper mill and shared her name with us by writing it with no less than three crayons, all across the top of our table. Yet despite her mad pepper grinding skillz and constant, desperately convivial chatter, she couldn't manage to get the order straight or convince the kitchen to give us our tepid food in less than an hour.
It wasn't all the waitresses fault, of course. I suspected strange goings-ons in the kitchen that could probably be remedied by a nice long visit from Gordon Ramsay.

Tomorrow, we venture off -base and search for local color. We couldn't have better or kinder guides. They've already proposed such delights as a visit to a castle and attending a local festival, complete with beer and fireworks. It all sounds great and should be lots of fun.


Kelly said...

I hope you have a blast! I remember visiting my sister in Italy. Her husband was in the Air Force. It was such a treat to go to the Burger King and get tons of ice in our soda.

La Framéricaine said...

Sounds absolutely fantastic. Head long culture collisions inside of culture collisions. I just love that, and with nice people to boot! Have fun!

TeacherMommy said...

You know, that word just keeps making me giggle. I know it's so childish. I giggle anyways.

Award for you over on my blog! :D

Joy said...

I hope you had a delightful infusion of American culture while in Germany and a great visit with family. It has been fun reading the stories of your summer travels - past and present!