It didn’t take long for Germany – the home of organisation and efficiency – to rub off on me.
Being forced to pay €120 for a last-minute six-hour train trip from Belgium to Mannheim will do that to you.
So opposed to being the usual one day ahead of myself, I am now a week.
Luckily my first three days in Germany were cost neutral, thanks to the German Physio I met in Morocco refusing to let me pay for anything.
It blew me away, this guy took two days off work and borrowed his parents car so he could show me the highlights of his region, and like with Spanish guy – I sincerely hope one day I can repay the favour.
On our itinerary was: the Hambach Castle – which has come to stand for the cradle of German democracy.
Many a wine tastings in the Rhine Valley.
And, hanging out in his very quaint hometown of Speyer.
My only complaint was that he didn’t stop feeding me.
Breakfasts of eggs, muesli, bread and cheese, lunches of onion cake (pretty much quiche), afternoon teas of small windowless buildings of cream cakes and dinners of pig stomach, liver-meatball-like-objects (both surprisingly tasty once you get over the fact it’s offal), wurst (sausage) and on my last night – antelope from Africa.
Yes, antelope from Africa.
Illegal but delicious.
That meal was shared with his parents, who despite the fact they don’t speak much English and I speak kiwi, went surprisingly well.
The wine helped, as did the ice-breaker of me locking myself in the bathroom and the revelation our parents’ share the same occupations and music taste.
They also seemed to genuinely like the pavlova I made, even though German Physio thinks it’s called ‘pavalover.’
Going off on a slight tangent… I have to say German Physio’s English is fantastic, apart from his pronunciation of vegetables as ‘wedge-a-tab-uls’ and his sometimes interchangeable use of ‘he’ and ‘she’ which makes it sound like he’s friends with a lot of transvestites.
For example: ‘my friend, she couldn’t go backpacking like you because he’d have to bring all of her high heels with him.’
On the other hand, I know he found my English very hard to understand.
I know because of the way he often cocked his head to one side and looked at me with a totally perplexed look on his face and would simply say ‘what?’
In fact, the word ‘what’ came up so much in conversation I taught him other alternatives such as:
‘Could you please repeat that?’
And finally, for when I speak thick kiwi – ‘I don’t understand you.’
All in all, it was a truly lovely three days and I could have got used to being fed to death if Oktoberfest wasn’t calling.
And lastly, I want to thank German Physio for my new favourite quote – ‘always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn, then always be a unicorn.’