This was the first time in Germany for both of us and some quirks immediately became apparent:
- All grocery and most retail stores are closed on Sundays. Hungry? Too bad for you!
- Germans do not drink tap water! Really. We did the whole month and lived.
- Germany has banned Google street view.
- Bread and pastries expire after 4-5 hours so there is a HALF-DAY OLD bread store in town! 50 cent almond croissants??? HALLO!
- Pretty good wine costs 2 Euro a bottle. Cans of ‘WiesBier’ were 25 CENTS. I love Germany, don’t you?
We had the whole month of August in the land of ‘Merkel’ while hubs undertook learning German from the University of Tubingen ‘Sommerkurs’, an intensive firehose classroom experience which had mixed results. (No wonder the word ‘kurs‘ is in the name!) We were originally to stay in a friend’s flat in Tubingen, but we ended up staying with a German family in the village of Dußlingen about 5 miles south of the city. (the symbol ‘ß’ is the sound ‘ss’ … see- I did learn something!)
Tubingen is almost charming in the extreme. The city was not bombed during World War 2 so its ‘Aldstadt’- old city- is still completely intact. Its colorful half-timbered medieval houses leaning sideways make one a bit dizzy! The Neckar River winds through the Aldstadt making a delightful (and cool!) place to hang out.
One food that we came to eat frequently was called Maultaschen. It looks like a giant ravioli. This is really popular in the southwest part of Germany where we were. The story goes that in ages past church practice prohibited eating meat on Fridays…. So the idea of Maultaschen was hatched–hiding ground meats inside pasta–to fool God! Because of course God can’t see inside the pasta!
We loved Tubingen and getting to see friends there was a bonus blessing!
Next installment: Tubingen is close to Switzerland– let’s go!