hin und zuruck

Well, we are back from two weeks in Germany! It was a very fun time.
Upon arriving in Germany, the first thing that I learned was that my German language skills are even worse than I thought they were. I thought I’d listened to enough tourist-based language tapes to at least get us around the transportation system. But the first challenge we met upon arriving at the airport was (1) finding a bus to our hotel and (2) buying a bus ticket. Finding the bus was pretty easy, not so buying the bus ticket. After a bit of helpless wandering around, I asked at the info desk (in English) and was directed to a machine outside.
Confident in my knowledge of the difference between einfach and hin und zuruck, I advanced upon the machine, only to find it completely and totally unintelligible. I couldn’t understand a single word. I pressed the small icon of a British flag placed tauntingly on the screen, admitting defeat and hoping for some English, but nothing happened. Finally, I went and spoke English to some guy at a ticket window. He clearly heartily disapproved of me, but sold us some bus tickets anyway.
We arrived at our hotel in Ku’damm (check out my historicity post for more info on that!), and headed out to what turned out to be our favorite restaurant we went to in Germany, called Zillemarkt or something like that. They gave us an English menu but the little jokes printed in the margins were still in German. I understood some of them, which turned out to be the rule for my German language capacity for the entire two weeks: the more trivial the item, the more likely I would be able to read it. I could read advertisements easily; placards in museums not at all.
Anyway, I had bratwurst with sauerkraut and salt-potatoes, which seemed like the right thing to do; and Andy was initiated into the popular currywurst mit pommes frites, which we kept getting at various restaurants throughout our trip for the following reasons: (1) It was cheap, (2) It was delicious, and (3) I could understand both the German and the French involved, which made me feel that my five zillion years of higher education was not entirely wasted. Currywurst, by the way, is bratwurst with a tomato-curry sauce. (Pommes frites are french fries, just like the American kind, mon ami.)
We also had the Zillemarkt local beer, which also seemd like the right thing to do. Neither of us are beer fans, but we both liked it, which says something I suppose.
The next day we wandered out toward the main train station (Berlin Zoologischer Garten Hauptbahnhof), adjacent to which was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Europacenter…a big ‘ol mall, at which I was able to snap a picture of Andy being menaced by a giant model of a Space Marine. The Europacenter also housed a KFC: Donnerstag ist Huhntag!
From there we successfully caught a train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, regarding which I will write more in the next post.

2 Responses to “hin und zuruck”

  1. kim says:

    Looking forward to hearing more about your trip! My German skills have deteriorated to the point that I took great pride in being able to translate the title of your post.

  2. KDC says:

    Great! We never get to go much to such towns – primarily due to relatives to visit. But maybe I’ll do a post about the quaint other towns in Historicity? Glad you made it back safe!

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