mind expanding nonsense


Germany is one of the strangest places in the world. I went there last September for a big family reunion. [I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but my mother came over to the States in 1929…bad year to be looking for work in a strange land]. Don’t get me wrong. Germany is beautiful. It’s clean; Green, with windmills and solar panels everywhere; And, highly organized, to the point where even my German relatives made light of how precision engineering was applied to every aspect of German life.

I got to drive on the famed German Autobahn. It was basically just a really well kept freeway with one exception. In Germany there is a law, rule or regulation for everything, like when on Saturdays you can mow your lawn [it’s never on Sundays], and that exception is: on the Autobahn there is no speed limit and you can go as fast as you want. I’d be going along at 80 mph, (over there its kilometers per hour, and damn difficult to figure out), when all of a sudden a huge Mercedes or BMW was on my ass and expecting me to move over… und Mach Schnell! The most regulated society in the world feels it’s pedal to the metal when it comes to driving…No wonder they make such good cars.

Thing is, you could only haul-ass when you’re out in the middle of nowhere; but there’s no Nowhere in Germany, cause every square inch over there is either inhabited, farmed, or set aside as a preserve, and has been that way for hundreds of years. So you could drive like a mad-man for about 10 kilometers, and then have to slow down for construction, or even come to a stop when getting close to a big city, when the Autobahn turned into a parking lot .

It got worse; my Sister turned her GPS’s voice from the nice feminine “Lisa” to a male voice when I drove (it’s the rules). Now, I can’t speak German, and have always personally thought the language sounded like two dogs growling over a bone while farting their brains out, but that male voice was something else. More harsh “BIEGEN SIE LINKS! LINKS!!” And less forgiving when I screwed up. “DUMMKOPF!….SCHEISSENKOPF!.” He sounded like a cross between Colonel Klink and Sargent Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes. I wonder if them German Engineers programmed that “Tom Tom” that way just to get even with us Americans for winning the war?

I found the German people to be warm, friendly, and a basically happy people. Maybe it’s because they drink beer all day (and not the Lite stuff we Americans are swilling down), so they must have a pretty good buzz going at all times. But on a serious note, the best part of Germany was being able to get in touch with my roots. I really felt comfortable there. Hard to describe, but a feeling of being at home. Maybe it was seeing my cousin Hans Hermann, who was a “Hansi” when was a little boy. A whole land full of Hansies….. Doesn’t get much better than that.


Comments on: "Germany" (6)

  1. My wife is first generation. Both her parents came from Germany. Her father from the Baltic riviera and her mother from Bavaria which from their banter must be like Appalachia full of toothless people who can’t speak right. As a result, she is emotionally scarred but less so than her brother and sister who stayed in Pennsylvania near her autocratic father. She is not so hot to visit Germany despite its obvious charms.

    • I can understand the wife’s reluctance to visit the Fatherland; It took me almost 60 years to work up the courage. What helped for me was having a sister (shrew that she is) living there and able to provide transportation and interpreting skills.

  2. Your sister Heidi said:

    In response to my “Lisa”–I love her (couldn’t get in or out of any city without her), but she does have her own way of thinking. We have a lot of traffic circles here (better than those crossroads with traffic lights!) and if you want to continue in the same direction you are heading, she will tell you to “continue straight through the circle.” Well, I’ve seen many a planted circle with tire tracks going straight up and over–must be the American drivers who have taken her literally. Yep, that is Germany’s “Tom Tom” programmers revenge.
    By the way, it was “Werner” telling you where to go!!!

  3. Geezerpuss Rex the Less Elder(ly) said:

    As my lineage is largely made up of Alsatians, who beat feet out of one of Europe’s most contested regions in time to avoid the first two World Wars [bet you didn’t know about the third], I can address Hansi’s Germanic connundrum with due fairness. It seems that Blogger-Fueher Hansi is holding back on his public. As it turns out, some of our ancestors partook in some goosestepping back in the day, for which their kinder have ever since been trying to play down. To avoid a Google link to this blog by some daft young misfit with an attitude, I’ll avoid naming the infamous political party or it’s sausage-and-beer-phobic leader, but that’s the legacy facing many first-generation Americans. Do we dare journey back to our ancestoral roots to face the offspring of family members our parents sought to avoid?

    I’m lucky to be able to claim distant roots in German-speaking France. Our the course of the 19th and early-20th centuries, Alsace-Lorraine was bloodsoaked down to the watertable, and antisemitic to boot, but too darn schizophrenic to be remembered for it’s part in Holocaust history. I daresay it would be harder to claim full-bore Germanic ethnicity and thus admit that my ancestors likely lived downwind from the death camps and later feigned ignorance.
    I’ll stick to white wine, Fischer beer and a remembrance that my people brought Pomme Frites to the USA.

    Where do we stand as the kin of Germans, Cambodians, Rwandans, and other happy-go-lucky beer swillers with dark pasts? I join Hansi and say let bygones be bygones. Let’s all medicate with a stein full of decent fighting-weight beer, chuckle over jolly Sergeant Schulz [HEY HANSI, WHAT DID HEIDI SAY ABOUT PROOF-READING?, and have some fun, fun, fun on the autobahn.

    • I’ll drink to that! Wow Geezerpuss. Bringing french fries to America absolves the evil half of your ancestry for any atrocities past or present. I bet that was the side that came up with how the lowly potato was precisely cut; those idiotic French probably thought it easier to just throw this handiwork into a hot vat of grease. But only in American could they rise to their full potential and become Freedom Fries.

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