Day 1, After the Waking Up
Right. Germany. I am bad - shoot me.
Flesh wounds only, plz.
So when we left our intrepid, multicultural heroes, it was December 5th (by a ridiculously small margin) and they were cruising around Central Europe. They had started out by letting Jorge drive - an idea quickly vetoed by the time he had managed to stall out the car twice while getting lost for half an hour on the way across Munich (a distance of approx. 5 miles) to pick up Kristina. He blamed it on the dark. Juan and I blamed it on his being Mexican. (nb: though this post contains a number of "dirty Mexican" jokes, as did the trip in question, they are to be read ironically, please.) All four heroes then set off (intrepid/multiculturally) to Lindau, Germany, the first stop on the list.
Well, the first thing that I noticed when I stepped off the plane was that it was very, very, very very cold. I'm-wearing-a-sweatshirt-under-a-peacoat-and-gloves-and-a-scarf-and-still-freezing cold. The second thing I noticed was that I was tired. I-went-to-bed-at-1-and-woke-up-at-5 tired. The third thing I noticed was that I was hungry (no hyphens for this one) and it was 9am on a Sunday (this either) and ALL the shops were closed.
"Hey guys, what're we doing about food?"
"There's food in the trunk. We brought some so we wouldn't have to spend much money."
"Wow, really? Great!" *opens trunk* "Umm...what is this?"
It was, indeed, Walmart brand! It was a veritable treasure trove of Walmart brand! Walmart cookies, Walmart bread, Walmart tuna, Walmart mayonnaise, Walmart mustard - the ultimate dream of any self-respecting college student was contained within the trunk of that VW Golf.
I was afraid it might reach event horizon and implode at any minute. But then - then, my friends - I saw the fatal flaw.
"Guys? Where's the FRUIT?"
They chucked a bag of bananas at me.
BANANAS ARE NOT A FRUIT I MEAN THEY'RE A FRUIT BUT THEY DON'T HAVE ANTIOXIDANTS AND THEY DON'T HAVE A COLOR OHGOD OHGOD OHGOD.
(extended collector's edition nb: for the sake of brevity, I will be condensing all conversations here into English. Just for comparison's sake, here's what the above exchange sounded like in real life:
Allison: I'm hungry.
Jorge: You're what?
Allison: Ich habe hunger.
Allison: HAMBRE, IDIOTA, TENGO HAMBRE. TE VOY A MATAR SI NO ME DAS DE COMER AHORA MISMO, MALDITO HIDEPUTA.
Jorge: Ooooh! Bueno, pues tenemos some food im Koffer.
Jorge: We've got food in the...Koffer, Koffer, what's Koffer?
Allison: Oooh! Ok.)(it got marginally better as we went along, I promise. And apparently, while I can understand German AOK, I am completely unintelligible when it comes to SPEAKING the stuff. They all complimented me on my accent at the end, but it was offset by their tendency to follow my every comment with "Wie bitte?")
So, right. Lindau.
It was cold and nothing was open, so we decided to take a walk. Fortunately, Lindau is an excellent place to take a walk, what with it being a gorgeous island/town on the incredibly picturesque, deep, and COLD Bodensee. Jorge has sent me a very few pictures; however, some of them suck. As such, I will regale you both our pics and Googled stock photos. Can you count the number of copyright laws I'm breaking?
1. Here's the town at night (obviously), taken from over the Bodensee. This is facing sort of rightish, so you can't see the lighthouse. Googled photo.
2. Here's the lighthouse. This is looking out over the Bodensee, and those are the incredible ridiculous Alps, which I love. They were not quite so agreeably snowcapped when we were there. Googled picture.
3. Lighthouse the way WE saw it (aka. misty and early in the morning)
4. This is a sweetsweet building. It would have been sweetsweeter had we not passed it 476933 times.
So where was I? Lindau. Right.
Nothing was open, so we decided to take a walk. Jorge had scheduled for us to spend half the day in Lindau, so we relished the idea of a nice stroll. Unfortunately, what Jorge had not counted on was the fact that Lindau is little. Itty bitty. Teeny tiny. Diminuitive. And, while it is gorgeous and has a lake beach with water so clear you can see the shadows of the rocks on the bottom, it is also very cold. Have I mentioned that nothing was open? And that it was cold? And that we had to keep moving our car before our parking passes ran out? I hadn't? Oh, ok.
Looking for somewhere to shelter ourselves from the vicious lake breeze, we dodged into one of the two Baroque churches that faced into the main square. Jorge, Juan, and Kristina started oohing and aahing. I started getting nervous.
"Uh, guys? Hey guys! I think they're going to have a service in here or something. Yes, I agree, the little kids with recorders are very cute, and it's fun to listen to them play, but don't you think we should be getting out of their way? NO, I don't want to go upstairs! That's the choir! Guys, get OUT of the choir! BECAUSE THE CHOIR IS COMING TO SING IN THE CHOIR!"
Luckily, we escaped before being trampled by marauding Bavarians, but not before Jorge had taken pictures and I had been thoroughly embarrassed.
We continued to walk, passing abovepictured fancy house and tiiiiiny lighthouse (seriously, it's only like 20 feet high). We saw the pretty houses. We wandered down to the beach and played with the ducks. (I don't know why this won't be big, like a good picture.)
We hopped on the (short) retaining wall. We sat on the bench. Then we got up to walk again...and ended up at the fancy house...and the lighthouse...and the beach. Again. Because Lindau is like three blocks long.
A tower next to the lighthouse. We were trying to figure out what it was for but couldn't read the plaque. I ad-libbed. "This tower was built in 1978 to accentuate the subtle, bright yellow beauty of Lindau's harbor and to attract more gullible tourists."
Eventually we wised up and headed towards the mainland, stopping at the bridge that connected the town to the rest of the world. There, we spent an inordinate amount of time trying to name the flags that dotted the rail of the bridge.
Kristina: That one's Slovakia!
Allison: Really? What's that yellow one? Hey look, there's Russia!
Jorge: There's USA. Why is there no Mexican flag? I want a Mexican flag.
Juan: Because nobody likes the dirty Mexicans.
Allison: Amen, brother.
We ended up walking around the island to the not-so-pretty part of town where people actually live - by the time we'd circled around again, it was time to go. Civilization was beginning to stir once again, seeing as how it was a decent hour of the morning. On our way out, we passed what had previously been a small circle of boarded-up booths in the main square (see picture of weird building for visual reference). Now unboarded, the booths contained...sheep?
Allison: HOLY CRAP, THOSE ARE SHEEP!
Juan: Good job, you know your animals!
Allison: What are sheep doing in the middle of town?
Kristina: It's Weihnachtsferien!
Allison: *computecompute* Christmas fair?
Jorge: Yes! and they sell Glühwein. You HAVE to try Glühwein before you leave.
Allison: *computeroadblock* something...wine?
Juan: Sweet wine. With spices and stuff.
Allison: Oh. Can we get some now?
Allison: Why not?
Juan: Because it's 11am.
Allison: We're in Germany! Isn't drinking wine at 11am considered prudish?
Apparently not. Damn.
After seeing sheep, we decided the apex of Lindau had been reached. We decided to take off for
Jorge: Ok, guys. There's two ways to get to Konstanz. We can drive for another couple hours or we can take this ferry.
Kristina: How long's the ferry ride?
Jorge: An hourish.
Allison: Ooh, let's take the ferry!
*ten minutes later, we arrive in Konstanz*
Allison: Jorge, you are the biggest crock of shit I have ever seen in my life.
Jorge: Que significa "crock of shit"?
*Juan bursts out laughing*