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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Thursday, 4 December 2014

Stuttgart - Die Leute (people)

Strength not vivacity was this waitress's forte.
Daughter OS's pink scarf knitted by VR
In foreign parts people outperform scenery, architecture and things.

We entered a department store cafe, looking for a loo, chatting about this among ourselves. An elderly man, seated in the cafe, got up, took two steps and pointed: "The toilet is there," he said, inevitably in English.

... which led VR to reminisce about another visit to Stuttgart. "Where is the XX hotel," she asked. The questionee said, "I cannot say but I can walk you there." Which he did.

Airport security involves intimate inspection these days - with finger-tips and with an electronic gizmo. When VR's inspection at Stuttgart was complete the official said, smiling, "Well done."

I decided to be puckish with the receptionist at the Porsche Museum (of which more later).  I said,"Coming in here and looking at your cars is like looking at your advertisements. You should be paying us." She laughed pleasantly, said, "Indeed." then asked more questions which led to our not-so-expensive €6 ticket being reduced.

Hot Glühwein (mulled wine) is the drink of preference at German Christmas markets. But those in the know ask for Glühwein mit Rhum. The rum is poured unmeasured, with a glad hand from the bottle. A fragment of German surfaced in my mind; I said, "Nicht genug." (Not enough.) The cheerful, well-anoraked pourer doubled the dose.

More airport security. At Heathrow (London) I was asked to identify a strange object x-rayed in my shoulder-bag. It was my spring-loaded coin dispenser. At Stuttgart the same thing. I explained, adding "It impresses the French." The German security official said, "It is very practical."


  1. Those chatting skills are invaluable on backpacking trips. I have an envied reputation amongst fellow backpacking bloggers for offerings of tea and cake and the like.

    Well done.

  2. Oh what fun! "Nicht genug" used to perfection at just the right moment.

    I have a taste for Glühwein now.

  3. I was about to comment on the aptness of "Nicht genug." But Rouchswalwe has trumped me!

    Sounds like you are enjoying yourself.

  4. I am still bursting with the desire for Glühwein, so I watched a special on the most beautiful Christmas markets in Hessen on hr-online.de

    It's the closest I can get ...

  5. Sir Hugh: Every spoken sentence, even word, I understand warms me. Cathedrals (Doms in this neck of the woods) can go hang themselves.

    RW (zS): You're the patron saint of DIY. Why not make it? Even I can do that.

    Avus: But not I hope as a mere tourist.

  6. Right, that is it. Next time I am going to Germany, I am taking you with me as a language coach.

    How do you feel about sleeping in the back of a truck?

  7. Blonde Two: Oh, I wish I could live up to that invitation but my German's all in bits and pieces. Otherwise I'd accept a horse-drawn sleigh. How about France, starting off with an argument with the guy behind the counter at Monsieur Bricolage about boxing in a bath.

    Counter man: You must (ie, devoir) use faience (ie, ceramic tiles).

    RR: MUST? You say I MUST?