Sunday
Aug202006

Exploring Mannheim (Again)

We trained into Mannheim today (yesterday). Mannheim, at least to me, is a secret as far as tourists go. In other words, there are very few tourists - I like that. I like that a lot. The city is loaded with things to do; shopping, eating, looking at art, history, listen to people on the street corners ranting and raving or just people watching. It's a great city. I've always wanted to live in a place where I could sit in the cool shade on a sunny day and drink a Milchkaffee while watching people. Now I do!!


"Milchkaffee, 1.70 Euro, Mannheim, Germany"
August 19, 2006

I love to people watch in Mannheim. There are so many people! It's like New York or Paris to me that way. More than watch them, I like to try to capture the nuances with an image. It's hard to do, I'm still thinking of ways I can make this happen...
This is shot through glass, but Germans through glass look very interesting to me. Germans love to stare at you... I do it right back and take pictures.. they last longer!


"A German Through Glass, Mannheim, Germany"
August 19, 2006


"Lucky on the Straßebahn, Mannheim, Germany"
August 19, 2006

Thursday
Aug172006

Ladenburg, Germany

Ladenburg is a beautiful, and very old, city. Depending on who you talk to, it's either Germany's oldest city or has the oldest university in Germany. We had dinner in a restuarant that was built in 1638. It was an experience to eat in "Die Kartoffel" - they serve you a very nice salad, a nice big potato (of course) with delicious Sahne and then your steak comes out - it's sizziling and raw on a very hot stone! You cook it to your liking on the stone (yes, a stone and it stays hot a very long time).. amazing stuff!


"Haupstrasse, Ladenburg, Germany"
August 16, 2006


"Street Scene, Ladenburg, Germany"
August 16, 2006


"Steak and Stone - Die Kartoffel, Ladenburg, Germany"
August 16, 2006


"Die Kartoffel, Ladenburg, Germany"
August 16, 2006


"Quinn Enjoying a Medevial Meal, Ladenburg, Germany"
August 16, 2006
Sunday
Aug132006

Always Wear Black Socks


"Mannheimer Strasse, Viernheim, Germany"
August 13, 2006


"Quinn Trying to Fit In"
August 13, 2006


"The Path We Walked Today"
August 13, 2006

Saturday
Aug122006

Schnecke


"Schnecke"
August 12, 2006 0950 hours - Kantstrasse K4, Viernheim, Germany
Thursday
Aug102006

Thanks George

It was bound to happen. I knew it would but, I wanted to keep it as far from me as possible. Last night we felt the "sting" of being outsiders. Of being Americans and of not understanding this culture.

We were visiting one of our favorite restuarants (so far), after meeting with the current renters of our house, and we had a "reality check" experience. Here's what happened:

It was about 8PM and we wanted to get something to eat. The Alteus Brauhaus was less than five minutes from the house and we decided to go for some of that great raspberry/vanilla ice cream and schnitzel. We walked in the resturant and we were greeted by the barmaid, "Abend", we replied, "Abend". It was so nice last night we wanted to sit outside. In Germany, like most European countries, people prefer outside to inside (weather permitting). We found a table and sat down. There were a lot of people sitting outside. Most of them were having drinks. Not too many were eating. My daughter worried that we were crashing a family reunion or something. I told her not to worry, it will be fine. 


The waitress came to the table and asked us what we wanted. In terrible German we said, "One Pils and two Spezis, please" I suppose that clued her into the fact that we were American (as if they couldn't tell from our dress and mannerisms already). She returned with our drinks and never said another word. We waited for 45 minutes and could never get her attention again. She served everyone else around us and we became invisble.
My American attitude wanted to tell her off, my "you're in another country" attitude wanted to humbly exit the place with myt tail tucked between my legs. We chose the latter. We had to go inside to pay our 7 Euros for the drinks. Again, she never came back to the table! The language barrier is terrible. If I would have known how to say, "Frau, Speiskarte bitte" life would have been much easier.. I think. I wonder if we were ignored because we didn't communicate well enough or that we were who we are? I think it's the latter but hope it's the previous.
It was both humilating and frustrating. If you've ever been in Europe, you know how long it takes to have dinner here. When you are hungry and tired, it gets complicated.