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"There is nothing like returning to a place that has remained unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have. " -- Nelson Mandela
|Episode 32--Germany: Hamburgers in Hamburg|
@ Where`s Cherie?
Aug 05 2002 - 16:35 PST
cherie writes: September 2000
Finally enough! Only those Germans know what a woman really wants....lots and lots of toilet paper!
I got attacked in the train station. Fortunately it was by two German friends (Mick and Cat) who Kristi and I met two years ago in California.
Mick is a crazy German Pop singer who sometimes sings back-up to a plastic wall-mounted fish that sings Elvis' hits. Cat (German #2) is one of those guys who can look fashionably hip in unfashionable plaid pants. His daily outfit is always topped off with a blue-striped ski hat. But he confessed that he'd rather be performing on stage in a short skirt and high heels (they make his legs look so sexy!)
Carter rejoined us putting off a lucrative (ha ha) teaching career in exchange for more travel debt--so we are now five: Carter, Kristi, Cat, Mick and I. (Renee returned home to that job thing.)
Our German tour began in Muenster. Favorite Kristi quote: "Muenster is a babe factory." The town is saturated with handsome men, and we became saturated as well. Muenster is best described by a four letter word I don't use much in California: RAIN. It was here where my packing skills were tested again. In other words, my wardrobe of six bathing-suits and two pairs of pants is not tailored for German weather. But good thing we are optimistic! We turned a negative into a positive. Poor packing skills (negative) turned into a need to go shopping (positive). Tony Robbins watch out!
If it is possible to become asphyxiated by the smell of lager, this would be my favorite country to gag in. It's strange to order a German "bier" off the "domestic" list, and drink an imported "Bud." (They aren't allowed to use the word "Budweiser" in Germany because of copy right laws.) More about beer in the upcoming Munich Oktoberfest adventure.
Like most German towns, Muenster has a lot to offer the tourist--cheap beer and expensive watches. (We bought both!) The town has an indescribable charm to it that spreads through you like a shot of "Wodka"...the odd way a frenzy of bicycles makes a city seem comfortable. At any moment, there are thousands of people on bikes. Sage Advice: Don't drink and bike. A beer may relax you, it may make you more confident, but it does not give you the necessary BMX skills needed to navigate the city's swirling streets. You have to be incredibly careful weaving through pedestrians on wet roads--it really hurts when you hit them.
If you don't own a bike, you can rent one. Caution: this is not a realistic option. The rental process is so complicated, we decided we would rather buy bikes and throw them away when we were finished.
We have not mourned the loss of our friend (Italian gelati) because we have met a new German friend. It is the German secret weapon to sabotage our dieting dreams: "Spaghetti Ais". It's hazel-nut ice-cream forced through a spaghetti maker which converts the ice-cream into soft sweet noodles. (Who thinks of this stuff?) Add whipped-cream, strawberry sauce, fakes of white chocolate, and you have one more reason never to leave German soil.
Our next stop was Bosum (a town so small it is not even mentioned in our 912 page German guide book.) It's where the tides create the magic of a disappearing sea. The water drained into the horizon, like someone had pulled the plug out of the bathtub. We watched it fade until the Black Sea was a murky mirage in the distance. Then, with the belie of the sea raw and exposed, we took off our socks and shoes and slogged around in the squishy mud. We wiggled our toes into the warm pockets of sand and waited for the swell of the fickle sea to reclaim its bottom. It doesn't matter how old you are, gettting dirty is always fun!
We had a water show of a different type back at home. Carter and I are addicted to sparkling water. And every German household seems to have my new favorite kitchen contraption. It is a machine that carbonates any beverage. When sober, and used properly, it turns tap-water into Pierre. When operated by a very drunk Cat, the very same device became an exploding sprinkler which flooded the kitchen and drenched all of us unsuspecting thirsty people. Then it was raining inside and outside.
Cat and Mick teamed up and we began a road trip to Hamburg. What began as a road-trip ended in a train trip as Carter (the only sober one) pushed the pedal to the metal and exploded Cat's car on the Autobahn.
Still we enjoyed Hamburg. Kristi and I thought it important to taste the hamburgers of Hamburg. (Note: a man from Hamburg is called a Hamburger.) Guess which hamburger met our lips, the one with 38 grams of fat, or the one with 13 percent body fat. (Hint: afterwards Kristi exclaimed "Nice buns!") Again, I leave you to wonder, were the "buns" soft with seeds, or firm with freckles?
Next stop: The World Expo in Hanover
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