Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mühlheim, Germany (part 3)

2am rolled around which was a problematic time for us. JLo and I would wake up then like clockwork. This particular 2am, I was hungover with no access to my usual remedy - OJ + Chocolate milk. Yes it's weird. Don't ask.

By some stroke of luck a strange version of orange something was in the minibar for only 3Euro. We sat up and I slowly felt better. A few hours later it was daylight and although I had significant improvement I wasn't yet 100%. Still, I was determined not to lose a day so I visited the nearby town of Steinhem and later Offenbach. Both were quaint - Steinheim more picturesque, Offenbach was much larger and just a marketplace with stores familiar to me from the US. It started raining in the mid afternoon and got very chilly. This combined with the light headache I had, I was done. I headed back to Mühlheim to catch the bus to the hotel.

Who pulls up but the bus driver I blew off the night before. I ducked back into the train before he saw me. He pulled away, and I waited for the next bus which turned out to be also him. He spotted me and got off the bus to yell at me. Then he saw I was wet and freezing and offered me his jacket (chivalry despite my actions, ugh kick me in the stomach, really). I declined and he continued to be annoyed. (Un)luckily, he didn't speak German and I didn't speak English so I couldn't understand his yelling and he couldn't understand my explinations.

I pretended to need another bus so I wouldn't have to ride his. He pulled away and I attempted to use a pay phone to call a taxi but could not figure out how to operate the machine. Wet and miserable, I resolved to take the bus even if it was angry bus driver guy. Fortunately, the next bus was not him. But as we pulled away, I saw him pull up behind us. I ducked down in my seat.

I got off the bus and ran to the local grocery for a few supplies. It's weird how the popular flavor of potato chips there is "paprika". I left the grocery store cranky and tired, and headed to the hotel. As I was walking, the friends of Mr. Casanova from the night before spotted me and yelled "HELLO!". I looked up and couldn't believe it. The last hour had become full circle of my entire stay in this small town.

Finally in bed, I relaxed with a German version of House Hunters. I didn't know what they were saying but we all know I marathon watch that show in the US so it was delightfully familiar. (Also sidenote - it's weird how Germans play game shows and half of their questions are about the US. One kid, looked my age, was asked something about 1970s music, the answer was John Travolta, and he got it right).

That night, JLo and I went to the Chinese/Thai place in town. Usually in US Asian food restaurants there is a language barrier, so here it was double. We did alright though and the food was simply fantastic.

Afterwards, I talked Jonaid into going to Billy Idol's bar for a drink. We sat down and I remembered there was a big soccer game on - Germany vs Turkey. The bar was all in an uproar watching the game. Seeing something like this in Europe was truly an awesome experience. With our 1Euro beers we had a great night.

As we sat down, we chatted to one another and a man swung around. "AMERICANS!" he yelled. "Fuckin A I'm from OHIO!" He lived in Germany for the last 30 years. They don't get many tourists in those parts I guess, but he was really friendly and we sat and talked to him for awhile.

We didn't encounter as many English speaking people in Germany as we were expecting. Maybe it's because we were in a small town outside of the big cities. But we did okay in communicating and had an easy time making acquaintances. But after only three days I knew most everyone, and it was time to move on.


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