Tuesday, September 21, 2010

spits and spots

As we were going through customs, an agent was being very business like - checking our passports, no chit chat whatsoever. Then without looking up from his papers - "How did you find London?" That question stumped me. I basically found it because I happen to know where it is on the map. And then I bought a plane ticket and the airplane brought me right to it. What do you mean - how did I find it??
Anyway, it took me a few seconds to realize he was making conversation and was asking "How did you like London?" (Well then, why didn't you say that . . . )
There were many words, phrases and signs that made me wonder or sometimes laugh.
"Did it rain here yesterday?" "Oh, just spits and spots."
I love one word in particular and I am trying to phase it into my everyday speech. Whildst. As in : "If you should become ill whildst traveling . . . "
Traffic signs were full of wonder and misunderstanding for us.
steile taluds ! (I don't know what that means, but there is an exclamation point included on the sign, so I suppose it was important. We obviously did not obey this traffic sign.)

Good fart . . . . (giggle, giggle) I'm not sure why tanks have a different speed limit than trucks . . .
I couldn't wrap my head around the fact the the speedometer needle was pointing to 135!
We enjoyed the labels in the grocery stores too.Potato chip flavors:Pork Scratchings, Worcester Sauce, American Cheeseburger, Prawn Cocktail

Sandwiches: Cheese Crunch, Chicken Sweetcorn

If this was available in America, it would become my favorite soda flavor simply because it is fun to pronounce:

And Dave loved the little baby milk jugs.
We only had one disasterous food issue ordering off a menu. And poor Kasia got the bad lunch. Bologna Salad. It had the possibilities of being a regular salad. You would expect in Germany that Bologna would be a different variety than the standard Oscar Meyer rounds in the American grocery store. But poor Kasia got a full plate piled high with what looked like sliced grocery story bologna with a couple chunks of cheese whatnot mixed in and a dressing poured over the top. It was very unsettling. I wish we had snapped a picture because it surprised all 3 of us when it was put on the table.
The English translations on sign were sometimes humorous.
"Discretion Please - Stay Behind the Yellow Line" I wasn't sure why discretion was required because it was just a line to buy tour tickets to a castle. But we complied and tried to be discretionary whildst waiting in line. A sign with random information on the sign, then: "Thank you for giving attention to this point"
Dave waited in the tractor zone to no avail. No tractors to be seen.
In Strausburg, we were searching all over town for an internet cafe or something where Kasia could get some service for her laptop. We saw some prominent signs that said WiFi Garage. It even had an internet looking symbol on it too. Although that seemed odd to have WiFi in a parking garage, we thought maybe it was a clever idea for commuters. We followed the signs quite a distance and drove into the garage only to be disappointed that WiFi is the name of a school (pronounced WeeFee) and we were parked in the school's parking garage.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that this wasn't a regular port-a-john, and it wasn't set up for the ladies' use. Gross!
We became well versed on the names of the restrooms in each country. First of all, no one calls them restrooms. Apparently in Europe, they are not for resting. They are simply called toilets. One sign was prominently posted on the bathroom wall. It read "No Eating or Drinking in the Toilets". Now I get that the purpose of the sign is that there should be no eating or drinking in the bathroom, not the actual porcelain toilet, but either way . . . does there need to be a rule about that? Really?
It is possible that during our trip one or the other of us may or may not have used the wrong gender bathroom once on accident, but so as not to cause embarassment I will not point out who it might have been, except to say that it was not me.


Curtis Whipple said...

Schwip Schwap... I like it. We used to sell something at the Rootbeer Stand in Winslow called "Swamp water" which was 1/2 orange soda 1/2 coke. We should import some and go in to business.

Heidi said...

I hope you bought those caramel digestives...they are YUMMY :)

Terri said...

I have tears in my eyes for laughing so hard. It sounds like a wonderful trip.

snjc said...

I google translated the exclamation point sign and it means steep slopes.

Suzanne Barker said...

I can tell you from my 4 years of German that Gute Fahrt, means good trip or journey. I didn't know the steep slope one though. Very entertaining! I loved all the things that were a little different. And sometimes the food combinations did seem a little baffling. The bologna salad was very unsettling sounding!