Lessons I’ve Learned:
- As Michael was hurtling down the Autobahn at 180km/hr in the rain, I started to write notes and stick them into all our passports: In case of emergency, contact…. Then I put an entry into my phone named “Emergency.” Finally, I just watched all the Audis and a few Beemers and Mercedes pass us.
- Driving really fast is really intense. My shoulders ache, my neck aches and it gives me a headache.
- When your husband wishes he had a manual car and he doesn’t, he’ll drive most of the time. This is good when you’re trying to clock 8 hours in one day. You might end up only driving for two of those hours.
- A note about driving: you need to be aware that although those cute, picturesque towns seem close to each other, they’re not so close when you’re driving 30 km per hour. I thought we’d be seeing lots of little towns during our drive. Instead, in order to make the best time, we are hitting the same route on the same highways over and over again.
- When you wave at walkers or other drivers, you get a look that’s a cross between “Huh?” and “What the h$## is wrong with her?”
- Michael says Koln makes a bad beer. If you see the word “Kolche” on the beer, skip it.
- We went to a McDonald’s. We don’t even go to McDonald’s in the U.S., so I don’t know how we ended up at one. Actually, I do. We were driving a long distance and needed a quick lunch. Options: McDonalds, Burger King, Subway or the gas station. (Yep, the German and Czech towns are starting to have that franchise look. This is what I noticed:
- It’s more expensive in Europe.
- There are no quarter pounders. (Well, there might have been, but Michael was afraid to order one because he didn’t know how to say, “No ketchup! No mayo!”
- The seating area looks more like a cafe than a fast food joint.
- They also have a McCafe, which is more like a Starbucks.
- Many business travelers eat there. Either that or people dress up in business suits to go to McD’s.
- Drive-thru is “McDrive.”
- They have no styrofoam goods and they recycle the other paper goods. (If they can do it, why can’t the U.S. McDonald’s do it?)
- My burger was actually kinda tasty.
- I eat more butter in Europe.
And now for a story:
In Prague, T’s parents were commenting how he was quite surprised with Zia. All the girls at school think that T is the best. So when he asked Zia if she wanted to sleep with him in his bed, and she said, “No,” he was quite perplexed and hurt.
The next night, Michael and J (the dad) were playing a game of chess. T was watching. I told him that since Zia got to know him a little better, she might be willing to sleep with him. He wasn’t too sure about it. When Zia came upstairs, I mentioned that T wanted to ask her something. He sat still and wouldn’t say a word. Zia looked at him and finally said, “What?” Then she started beaming. She glanced around at all of us as her smile got bigger and bigger, and with a note of certainty, she announced, “He wants to ask me if I’ll play chess.”
We all laughed. But T still hadn’t asked her his question. She disappeared.
A short while later, Zia came running back upstairs and found T. Grabbing his arm, she queried, “T, do you want to watch me get ready for my bath?” T pulled back in horror and shook his head vehemently, “No!”
As J said, “We laugh now, but in eight years it’s not going to be so funny.”