Sunday, September 11, 2011


After a "suitable rest," Trish and I were met outside of our hotel by 3 German men--Matti, Wilfried, and (get ready for it) Hermann the German.  Yes, that's how he was introduced to us.  I had told Matti and Wilfried about "my" Cincinnati Hermann (flight attendant Herm), so they felt that they had to separate Hermann from Hermann the German.  LOL!

One thing that I forgot to tell you about earlier today was a man I met after mass, another friend of Matti's.  He was asking me if I was THE American, and I told him that I was from Cincinnati.  He thought that was the capitol of Ohio, but I told him that was Columbus.  Then he asked me if Cincinnati was the largest city in Ohio, and then I mentioned Cleveland, and that I believed that was the largest city.  I then went on to explain, geographically, where Cleveland was and where Cincinnati was.  He looked at me and said, "Yes, I know.  Germans know everything!"  LMAO!  BTW, he was smiling when he said that. :)

Back to this evening--We went to dinner at the same place we had dinner the first night and where the mayor's "party" would be.  But this time, we walked past a former schnapps distillery and a current one. I was also informed that tomorrow I get to meet Herr Rosche of Rosche Distillery (home of the Korn Queen).  However, the meeting will be very brief because after that I'm scheduled to be somewhere else.  Honestly, I've lost track of where I'm supposed to be and when.

Then we walked by the wall of the former Poor Clare's convent.  What I've found is that everything is within 5 minutes walking distance.  Everything.  OK, maybe 10 minutes, tops.

As we were walking to the restaurant, Hermann the German asked me if I go to mass every Sunday and if my children go to mass.  He wanted to know about Sean and what he did for a living, how old our kids are, where they go to school, what Nick is studying, etc., etc., etc.

Then when we got to the restaurant, Hermann the German then wanted to know what I thought about Obama.  OY VEY!  I don't even remember how I answered/stammered.  But I finally told him outright that I didn't vote for Obama.  After that, I was ready for the question/statement, "DOES THAT MEAN YOU VOTED FOR JOHN McCAIN???!!!"  But he took pity on me and didn't ask any other political questions.

For those of you who know me, you know that I love nothing better than a good debate/discussion about politics and/or religion.  But I have been told by everyone who knows Germans that they don't talk about these things with strangers.  They won't bring it up.  You don't ask them.  And from day one, they've been asking me about all things I love to talk about.  But I don't want to get into a heated discussion, so I try to be as "nice" as possible.  And you know what type of stress I feel when I have to be nice.

But the best point of the dinner came when I said something to Hermann the German and he said "Please?"  I couldn't have been happier and told him that he could be from Cincinnati!  I explained that in Cincinnati (and Matti explained to him in German) that we say "Please?" instead of "Huh?" or "What did you say?" Hermann the German translated "Bitte" into English and used it correctly, for those of us in Cincinnati!  I loved it!  And I felt like I was at home.

                                      From the left--Hermann the German, Matti and Wilfried

After dinner, we stopped in at the mayor's reelection party.  He won with 84% of the vote.  Since he was running unopposed, the residents voted either "Yes" or "No."  I met Herr Bürgermeister, his lovely wife (who told me that she's a school teacher and has a couple of students whose last names are Kerkhoff), and another woman who was running for City Council (didn't look like she was going to win).

I also met a man who is related to the Meppen Kerkhoffs.  He's going to call his uncle tomorrow to ask if they're related to the Haselünne Kerkhoffs.  I have to e-mail him with my Kerkhoff info so he can give that to his uncle.

Oh, I almost forgot about the "secret" hallway/tunnel under the street that connects the two hotels.  Photos are below.  Let me simply say that it takes so long to go down the stairs, walk through the tunnel, around the corner, up the stairs, etc. that you could have walked across the street, eaten breakfast and been back in your room by the time you would have gotten out of the tunnel.

At least they put the sauna down there so if you need to rest, you've got someplace to go.  Just be warned that there are probably naked Germans in there.

1 comment:

  1. Mom remembers saying "Please?" instead of "huh?" or "beg pardon?" (She lived in Covington for a while.) :-)