Today’s Weird and Wacky Wednesday post is brought to you by the striking DB, as they are responsible for some of yesterday’s nonsense.
I don’t have any pictures today, instead just some observations on yesterday’s commute.
~ A very popular kind of bike here is called Hercules. Today I saw a Hercules bike with the model ‘Los Angeles.’ I found this amusing because I’m pretty sure no one in LA has a bike past the age of 10. Perhaps with the exception of bike messengers, I hear that everyone there prefers to own a car that they can’t drive more than 45 mph because of constant gridlock traffic.
~ Riding public transit means you see people carrying some weird stuff sometimes. Today’s favorite was a guy who got on carrying only a Swiffer mop, and dangling a loaf of sliced white bread. Or, as the Germans call it, toast bread (be sure to say that with a certain amount of disdain). I almost wanted to invite him over to clean our place and make me a grilled cheese.
~ Student quote of the day: “I have moles (pronounced moe-lay) on ecstasy!” Said by one of my tech guys, while describing a particularly industrious garden-dweller at his house. This led to a discussion on if he meant ecstasy or cocaine…
Teaching English… Not what you thought it would be.
~ When I came back through the Nürnberg Hauptbahnhof after work, it was the middle of rush hour. Adding to the madness was a camera crew smack in the middle of the fray. Hey, I understand they want that action, and to show/hear how people will be affected, but oh my God people would not move!
If you want to watch them film, how about moving off to the side? Nope. Instead people were coming up the escalator, stepping off, and stopping short to watch. It was impossible to get through with my giant work bag without hitting people, and I may have whacked a few on purpose. Post-work passive-aggressive Heather is not to be messed with.
~ The last observation of the day is possibly the weirdest of all.
I witnessed strangers… talking to each other… on a train… during the week.
I’ll let that sink in for a minute.
Strangers… talking… on a train. Mid-week.
For you non-Germany living people, this almost never happens. That thing where Americans will strike up a conversation in line at the bank? That doesn’t exist here.
The perpetrator was already on my shit-list before we got on the train for his salmon behavior, but then the driver made an announcement about the strike. He was apparently the last person in Germany to hear about this strike. This is pretty much what followed (translated from ze Deutsch)…
Salmon man: WHAT? What did he say?
Unfortunate blond woman next to him (blond 1): The trains are striking from tomorrow until Monday.
Salmon man: What?
Blond 1: The trains are striking. From tomorrow at 2am until Monday at 4am.
Blond with newspaper in front of them (blond 2): They’re striking again (holds up newspaper).
Salmon man: Strike? What? Shit.
Blonds (in chorus): The trains aren’t driving from tomorrow until Monday.
Boys across aisle: He said you can go to the internet and see what trains are driving.
Salmon man: What? Internet? Shit. What?
Blonds in chorus again: The. Trains. Are. Striking!
Blond 2: Look! It’s right here! (Holds up newspaper, he gets up to look)
Blond 1: Do you speak English? (In English and very loudly, then leans across aisle to say…) he stinks like alcohol.
Salmon man: Shit! I must work tomorrow. I must go to Nürnberg.
Blond 1: Yes, I also must work tomorrow.
Others around: Yes. Us too. The buses will go, or you must use a car.
Salmon man: Bus? What?
Blonds: Yes, buses drive.
Salmon man: What? Buses? What?
Blonds: Yes. Buses drive. Bus 70 goes from Zirndorf to Nürnberg.
Salmon man: Bus to Nürnberg?
Blond 1: Bus 70. Seven. Zero. (in German)
Salmon man: Bus seven?
Blond 1: Bus 70 (in German) bus 70! (In English with drawing of numbers in air)
Salmon man: Bus. Shit.
Then he got on the phone to yell more with someone else about the strike. It was very odd. He was speaking German, but didn’t seem to hear/understand anything anyone was saying. There was much spelling out of things- including a whole part of spelling out the Deutschbahn website address that I omitted here because it was repeated at least 5 times before someone just dug out paper and wrote it down for him. He did reek like booze so I’m sure that was part of it but good lord. It went on for the entire ride from Fürth to Zirndorf, which is about 15 minutes. Usually people actively ignore each other on the train (especially during the week), but this time the whole car was involved. Doesn’t sound like much but for here? Weird and wacky for sure.