Friday, September 7, 2007

Off to Munich.....

Posted by Raquelle

After boarding the plane in Heathrow to head for Munich, we all were able to relax a little. Then they came around to serve dinner. British Airways definitely has a leg up on American companies in terms of food. In other words, it tasted decent and we didn't have to pay for it. What a concept!!! :D

We were given the option of chicken and tuna sandwiches or some sort of cheese and tomato sandwich. These were accompanied by a "digestive biscuit." That means a cookie. And yes, "digestive biscuit" is what they are called. :D

Then the stewardess made the fatal mistake of asking Dad what he would like to drink. Rather than using the American term, "sparkling water," he asked for "water with gas." The stewardess was fine with the term but for some reason it seriously caught Mom's funny bone. We've never heard it called that before. Mom went off into an extended giggle fit. Everytime she'd manage to stop she'd see Dad's water and go off again.

I got to giggling at her and then got amused by the cute little plastic oar-shaped stirring stick that was provided for tea. I began gravely stirring my plain water with it, while Mom was giggling explosively beside me. I chanced to look up and saw a woman across the aisle giving us a very puzzled expression. Ah well, those crazy Americans....there's no accounting for them. :D

Munich was a much quieter airport. We arrived somewhere around 10:00 p.m. I think. We had to take taxis to the hotel. There was a line of them (a "queue") and I noticed two middle-aged German-looking gentlemen sitting in one, whiling away the hours playing cards. They ended up being our drivers. I went with Grandma and Gramps. I showed the driver the address. "Ah yess," he nodded. "I know vere dat is." Then he went and conferred with the other driver. He came back, climbed in and chuckled drolly, "Now I know eZACTLy vere dat is."

Gramps forgot to fasten his seatbelt so the warning chime kept sounding. "Ef you vould be so kind as to fasten your seatbelt," the driver said courteously, "eet vill stop de music."

(I can't believe it, after an hour and twenty minutes, the tiny load of laundry is finally done. Silly European machine!!!)

We began chatting with the driver, who was very polite and had a delicious bass chuckle. I told him I only knew a few words in German. "I can say good morning and good evening," I lamented.

"Vell," he smiled gallantly, "Dat ees almost more German than I know." Heh heh!!

His cell phone rang. He looked at his caller ID. "Ees forbiddeen, but I do it anyvay," he said, and answered it. He began speaking in German to the other taxi, who was leading the way. They had several more calls that evening between each other and ended up getting a little turned around. The drive took about an extra fifteen minutes, but they at least didn't charge us for THAT!!

In Germany they drive on the right side of the road, like in the US. We remarked that it was nice to be back on the familiar side. "In England they drive on the left--and they drive like madmen!" I snorted.

"They drive so FAST," Gramps explained.

"They are English!" shrugged the driver, as if that explained everything. :D

We arrived at the hotel at last--a quaint little place with few frills but tidy and pleasant. We never could figure out the heating system and had to keep the windows open most of the time because the rooms were so warm.

The receptionist was very polite and everything we did as we filled out the paperwork was "wondahful."

Then we all crashed and hoped for a "wondahful" night's sleep.

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