Archive for September, 2011

Frosts in Bavaria: Love the cars, hate the payphones

September 1, 2011

The plan to help us acclimate to the time change was to have Brandon and Erika tour us around Munich immediately after we got off the plan and then bring us back to their house for dinner and keep us awake until about 8 pm.  It was a good plan and as Linda, Gillian, Elena, and I stepped off the plane we were all raring to go, at least I know I was and Elena was running back and forth under the ropes leading up to customs so I know she was as well.  We got through customs surprisingly quickly, grabbed our bags and headed out to where Brandon and Erika were going to pick us up.  They funny thing about going to a foreign country is when you get there your cell phone doesn’t work and when your ride is running late they really have no way of telling you that they are stuck in a “stau“.  So I waited there with three women that were all starting to get hungry and when Gillian gets hungry she starts to get a little impatient, this was a trait she inherited from her mother and passed on to her daughter…lucky me. 

So in an attempt to do something and to get away for a group of women that would surely start yelling at me for no reason any minute, I took my laptop and wondered off to find wifi.  I had an e-mail with Brandon’s cell number, I am not sure what calling to tell him we are here was going to achieve, he knew we were here, but again this was more of a self preservation move than anything.  So after signing up with T-mobile in German and paying 6 euro for an hour of internet, which I think is like $130 US, I got Brandon’s number and made my way to the pay phone.  Now, I am not sure I could operate a pay phone in States successfully, if I could even find one, but trying to do it in German was a futile effort at best.  First off phones don’t ring in Germany they beep, so when I put my credit card in and dialed the number and pressed the button that I thought looked the most like “send”  I got a few beeps then nothing.  I also wasn’t sure how many of these numbers I had to dial since I was not calling from the States.  Anyway, after some struggling then an overly gestured conversation between Linda and a pair of shockingly attractive female police officers, I was able to get the phone to do the German version of ringing only to get the voicemail of a very husky sounding German man that was not Brandon. 

Two minutes later Brandon and Erika should up, so I had accomplished nothing but entertaining the ladies for about 30 minutes. 

At this point the plan was back on track and we made our way the parking lot to put our bags in the car, this is where I saw the true beauty of Germany…it’s cars.  Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches for as far as the eye could see and these where German spec cars, so they are just better than the ones we can get in the States. Those watching the Flickr updates may have noticed a lot of pictures of cars, some parked in garages, some on the street and some in museums, the later being the topic of another post, if you don’t understand why I was doing this then let me enlighten you.  Germany does many things well, beer, chocolate, scary sounding dialect but first and for most is das auto!  Nowhere else are they making all wheel drive, manual transmission, wagons designed to go 155mph and that 155 mph is electronically governed because any faster and the windshield wipers rip off…or something.  I will be honest I am a bit of a BMW fanboy, we bought Gillian our BMW about 5 years ago and about two years ago it became mine, thanks Elena!  Even though it is nearly 8 years old I still prefer my all wheel drive, manual transmission, German sports sedan to nearly everything new coming out of Japan, Korea, Italy and the Unites States.  In Germany though my car would be nothing, about as boring and common place as a Toyota Camry. German cars are just better, except any new Volkswagen. Hell, even the “American Cars” built in Germany are better.  Brandon rented a Ford Galaxy, no not a mid-60s sedan, it was a minivan with manual transmission and a diesel engine, and it would go at least 120mph!  Why can’t I get one of those here in the states, I mean it is a Ford.             

Okay, so this was supposed to be a post about our first day in Munich and I really only got to the parking lot of the airport and then made a hard left into a rant about cars, that never happens, so Munich will be the next post.  I’ll give you a little taste though, Munich is where I learn the word “Dunkel”…though I had a hard time remembering it.