Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Never a dull moment in Berlin!!!

The plan for Monday was to get up early and visit the Reichstag (parliament building.) Just as we were about to leave, Granny realized that her purse was missing! This was an especially big problem because the purse contained jewelry, passports, credit cards, traveler’s checks, a drivers license and money. After a call and 2 visits to the restaurant we ate at on Sunday night, we decided we needed to get the passports reissued because G&G were scheduled to fly home Tuesday morning. The restaurant said the purse might turn up when the evening shift from the night before showed up for work, but the passport office closed before the time the evening shift began working. The restaurant was not able to get in touch with the evening manager.

So with snow beginning to fall, we headed to the consular section of the US embassy. Everyone from the security guards to the consular officers was very understanding and helpful. But the most unbelievable moment occurred when Granny and Grandpa sat down with the vice consul. He asked them where Boulder Court (their street) is. When Grandpa sternly answered “Rochester Michigan,” the vice consul asked, “how do you get from Adams to Boulder Court?” Assuming that the vice consul had done research to test if they lived where they claimed to live, Grandpa began to give the guy directions. The vice consul then said, “You must live near Stoney Creek.” Come to find out, the guy lived in Rochester and graduated from Adams High School in 1998. Small world! When I mentioned why I was in Germany, he said he did his masters thesis on European public diplomacy. Even smaller world!

Of course what story on this blog doesn’t have a happy ending…

We left the consulate for a couple of hours while the passports were being made. As we were buying subway tickets, my cell phone ran. It was the restaurant. The purse had been found!! Unfortunately, the money had already been paid for the new, expedited passports. But at least Granny would get her jewelry, travelers checks, etc… back!

As we headed back to the restaurant, the other “oh my gosh” moment of the day occurred. Two women walk onto the subway and start making out. (My internal monologue: “maybe Granny isn't paying attention. I would be very happy not discussing this with my grandparents.”) On no, Granny saw!
Granny: “Erin, do you think those two are a couple?”
Me: “Yes Granny I think they might be.”
Granny: “I wondered because they are all over each other. I also saw a transvestite advertisement in the metro station.”
Me (internal monologue): Oh brother! Why do people have to make-out in the subway? For the benefit of everyone, no PDA in the subway! Please!

When we got to the restaurant, the waiter explained that the manager saw the purse contained passports and locked it in a safe overnight, which is why the morning shift could not find it earlier. What a relief! After a relaxing lunch, we picked up the passports and spent the rest of the afternoon at a couple of yarn shops. What a day!

8 Comments:

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erin,
Your grandparents are definitely cooler than you give them credit for ;)
Jennie

 
At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I had the same problem with a subway make-out session in Munich. (It was a heterosexual couple, but dude, they were ALL OVER each other!) Personally, I think that certain things are private and should be kept that way. So, I glared at them and loudly declared how disgusted I was by their behaviour. (I think Jennie was quite embarassed!) -- Tschuuuuus, Anuradha :)

 
At 4:20 AM, Anonymous The Exit said...

I see intercultural conflicts!

Is there a difference in making out in public spaces?

I would say, kissing in the subway is quite normal in Germany.

 
At 4:38 AM, Blogger Erin said...

See, it is good to have American and German views represented on the blog. Maybe this is a cultural thing.

I would say PDA (public displays of affection) are considered appropriate in the US only if they are kept to something less than making-out. Hand holding and kissing are okay, but making-out=get a room! What are your fellow subway riders supposed to do? Ignore, pick up pointers, avert their eyes?

I can just picture Anuradha being irritated by the Munich incident and Jennie being embarassed by her indignation:-)

 
At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this scene in Munich. Anuradha was right, I was embarrased. I think PDA is okay and if you don't like it, then maybe you should look away. Of course, there are some boundaries that should not be crossed! But for the most part - I say - if you're in love then show it!
Jennie

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But being in love doesn't mean shoving your tongue down someone's throat on a train full of people. I think it was in bad taste. Kissing is ok. Frenching: get a room! Just my thoughts -- Anuradha :)

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger Erin said...

For those who read German, this discussion continues today on The Exit blog...
http://blog.the-exit.net/article/167/interkulturelle-kuss-differenzen

 
At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennie and Erin, you'll have to give me the gist of what's being discussed on the other blog. I am fascinated! Anuradha

 

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