German DifferencesPosted: December 22, 2017
Thankfully we all got home yesterday, all without sleeping for at least 24 hours. Carter spent four months in Germany and a Russ and I spent 9 days. Together the tree of us spent three days in Prague and I have to say I liked it better than the parts of Germany we were in. Carter definitely has some strong feelings about Berlin and they are not all positive.
I looked back on my photos I took and something struck me, everywhere we went in Germany it was grey most of the time. The three days we had in Prague were the only days we saw blue sky’s. I think that I had a little seasonal disorder. It did not help that we were there on the shortest day of the year so there was only a chance of seeing any sun from about nine in the morning until three in the afternoon.
That grey, cold, drizzle and dark is not a mood enhancer. Perhaps that is why beer is so helpful there. Russ did enjoy a different beer everyday. He declared that the Bamberg smoked beer was the best. He said it was like a cross between scotch and beer.
Today Carter went out and did some Christmas shopping. She came home and said, “I am having Culture shock. The guy at Chipolte was so nice. He asked me how my day was going and we had a whole conversation.” In Germany they were much less familiar and use a real economy of words. You can imagine I stick out like a sore thumb.
Not that people weren’t friendly, it was just different. One example was the day we walked 2 kilometers up hill to a castle that was closed. On the way up we passed a school group of kids and their teachers walking down the hill, no one thought to mention to us that it was closed and there was no need to keep walking up the hill. As we were walking down the hill with our driver there were people walking up just like we had done. I asked him if we should tell them the castle was closed so they did not have to find out the hard way we did. He looked at me with an odd look, and said, “No, we shouldn’t tell them.”
One of the places we went that I did really like was Potsdam. It was where the summer residence of the king of Prussia was and it is a lovely little city, not ruined during the time it was ruled by East Germany. Prince Frederick the great built Sanssouci Palace and it is considered a little Versailles. We saw his grave and there were potatoes left on it I. At first I thought they were stones, like on Jewish graves, but then Carter explained they are potatoes put there by Germans because Frederick brought the potato to Germany. The Germans do like their potatoes. Too bad they have to go a ruin them by making them into potato dumplings.
Next to Frederick’s grave were the graves of all his dogs. I thought that was so nice his dogs were buried with him. That was until Carter told us that he left instructions for his dogs to be buried with him. Three of them were already dead, but the remaining dogs were killed so they could be buried at the same time. Made me think a little differently about how nice they were buried together.
Overall, it was a great trip, but not a holiday. I am happy to be back in sunny, friendly Durham with all my people and dog safe and sound.