In May of 2017, we made a trip to Germany with my daughters and @Theroamingroscoes. We had already set the date for our move to Germany for August of 2017, but, we needed to make this extra trip for a few reasons. We wanted to show my daughters the country that we were moving to(They had never been out of the USA before), we needed to find an apartment to rent, and we needed to scope out locations for our tattoo shop(Art of the Needle). It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that the trip did not go as planned.
No pressure at all, but this was the first time that my daughters were able to come with us to Germany. I wanted to show them as much as possible. After all, it is a pretty big leap of faith to move to another country, especially if you have never been there before! We made trips to Köln and Brühl. We ate plenty of regional foods and they were introduced to the amazing Eis.(One of my personal favourite things in Germany). They seemed to love all of these things as much as I did!
They also got to meet Dirk’s parents for the first time. Waltraud and Jurgen, Oma und Opa. This was an event of it’s own. Dirk’s parents had been anxious to meet my daughters since Dirk and I first started dating years earlier. They did everything possible to make my daughters comfortable and welcome in their home, and my daughters immediately adored them both.
During the visit, my husband and Matt(half of the RoamingRoscoes) rented a space for a weekend and worked from morning til night. This left us girls hanging out with Waltraud and Jurgen. I should mention that my in-laws do not speak any English, none at all, not a peep. We managed each day with lots of hand signals, broken German, and interpretive dance moves. My husband, Dirk, arranged for us to spend a Saturday shopping with his parents. The plan was for them to take us to the farmer’s market and the grocery store. (I wanted to make a dinner for them. A Thank You dinner for having us stay in their home.) The plans were clear, we would get up and go shopping mid-morning, Jurgen would drive. A Simple plan.
So, as planned, the next morning, Heather(the second half of the RoamingRoscoes), Sierra, Cheyenne and myself got ourselves ready for a little shopping. We all arrived in the living room carrying our canvas bags for shopping. Waltroud then decided it was a good time to “clarify” the plans for the day. And by clarify, I mean she confused the hell out of all of us. She proceeded to ask us a million questions in German about where we wanted to go and when. We tried to answer as best as possible, Cheyenne finally started using a translation app on her phone to assist. After thirty minutes of utter confusion and quite a bit of frustration for everyone we were back on track.
We all filed out of the house to the Mercedes SUV. Jurgen and Waltraud in the front seats, Sierra, Cheyenne and myself in the back seat, and oh, wait, where do we put Heather??? Luckily, Heather is a very petite woman because Jurgen had a plan. Jurgen walked to the back of the SUV, opened the hatch and offered her a hand up. Yep, Heather had to ride in the hatch of the Mercedes. So, away we went to the Farmer’s Market, Heather riding in the back like a child in the 70’s. Station Wagon style. I guess we should be thankful that he doesn’t drive a pick-up truck, or we all would have been riding in the bed of the truck.
It was a short drive to the market, and at one point Jurgen pulled off to the side of the road to point out a path that led into a wooded area. He said a few things in German and then “500 meters, Shopping Market.” and pointed to the wooded area. We assumed that he was giving us reference to where we were in comparison to the local mall.(A spot that we had all gone to earlier). We thought it was very sweet and helpful that he was helping us get our bearings in a new place, a new place that we would soon be our new home land.
There is a very nice petting zoo at the Farmer’s Market, and we stopped to feed all of the animals and take silly pictures of Alpacas, llamas and hungry sheep.
After visiting the animals we went to the market to buy some fresh foods. I stopped to get some chicken as I was planning on making spaghetti with a tomato/chicken sauce. I selected a package of chicken breasts and Waltraud walked up and shook her head at me. I wasn’t sure what she meant. “No, I do not want chicken” ? “No, that is not a good cut of meat”??? I didn’t know enough German words at the time to ask her what she meant, so I put the chicken back and started on to get the other ingredients. I found some garlic, onions and plenty of tomatoes for my sauce. But, I wanted to put some chicken in the sauce. I wandered back to the meat section and was trying to decide what to buy. I again selected some chicken breasts. Waltraud walked up and promptly slapped my hand. I immediately, set the chicken down and felt like I was three years old being scolded by my grandmother. Again, I had no way of asking why I shouldn’t buy the chicken. So, like a sullen child I reached for the chicken again. She quickly popped me on the wrist and said, “Nein!” Finally, I gave up, having no idea what was going on. There would be no chicken for the sauce today. We all continued looking around, although I was still very confused about the response to my trying to buy chicken.
We were ready to check out when Waltraud and Jurgen walked up to us smiling and promptly said, “Tschüss!” then waved good-bye to us. The four of us stood there like idiots waving good-bye, but not really understanding why we were waving good-bye. Jurgen and Waltraud then walked away. As in they walked away and left the building. We just stood there. Did they really just leave us here? Why did they leave us here? Where the hell are we, and how to we get home? Yes, they really left us. We purchased our veggies and walked out to the parking lot looking like a group of confused zombies. No black Mercedes waiting for us. Again, we stood there like idiots, trying to comprehend what had just happened and why.
We tried working out a plan. Our husbands were very busy with work, they had back to back appointments scheduled so there was no way they would be able to rescue us. So, we started walking. Thankfully, it was a nice sunny day, although it was a bit on the warm side for a major hike across town. Luckily, we had been paying attention on the drive. We found our way back to the main street and started walking, and walking and walking some more. Eventually, we found our way to the side of the road where Jurgen had pulled over and pointed to the woods. So, off to the woods we went. Initially, the path was a clear, straight route and then it of course forked. We took a vote and followed the path to the right and after what seemed like forever we came out of the woods right beside the local mall. Oh, and by the way, Jurgen’s estimation of the distance being 500 meters was in no way accurate. NOT AT ALL.
As we were hiking across town, it occurred to me why Waltraud didn’t want me to buy any chicken. It wasn’t the chicken cut, it was meat in general. They PLANNED to leave us at the farmer’s market! She didn’t want me to give the whole family food poisoning by cooking chicken that I had carried for hours through the hot sun! I secretly thought to myself that I should have bought the damn chicken anyway! It would serve them right to have a raging case of diarrhea after leaving us to hike through a strange town in the burning sun.
So, after reaching the mall we decided to wander through shops to cool down a bit. Actually, we weren’t fully sure how to get back to the house from the mall. But we did know how to shop. But after another hour or so, we were very tired and wanted to be home. I had walked to the house from the mall once with Dirk, but that was a few years earlier and I wasn’t positive I could remember the route. We didn’t want to disrupt the guys, they were super busy cramming about a week’s worth of work into two days. So, we came to the conclusion that we would have to take a bus home. We came from the country, we didn’t have buses in the area that I grew up and lived. I had only been on the bus with Dirk. This was terrifying! Luckily, Heather was much better traveled than the girls are I were. We figured out the bus we needed, and pooled our money to get the tickets. Heather lead the way and used her German skills to get us on the bus.
Thirty minutes later we arrived at my in-laws home. We were a mess, hair flying all over the place, sun burnt skin and an attitude that was a tad put out to say the least. My in-laws didn’t bat an eyelash. They welcomed us into the house and got us drinks. It was if nothing was a miss. We felt otherwise, but what could we do? I didn’t know enough German to ask them WHY THE HELL DID YOU LEAVE ME AT THE DAMN FARMER”S MARKET?? So, I drank my drink and sat down to watch some television like this was the most normal day of my life.
Several hours later, my husband got home. He was tired and hungry, but wanted to know how our day was. I smiled sweetly, and told him that we went to the farmer’s market, then did some shopping at the mall and oh, by the way, your parents LEFT ME AT THE FARMERS MARKET!!! I then asked him to ask his parent’s why they left us at the market.
Dirk, “Mama, Papa? Did you leave the girls at the Farmer’s Market?”(In German)
Dirk, “Why did you leave my wife and daughter’s at the Farmer’s Market?”
Jurgen, shrugged and said (in German of course)”Well, I showed them the path to take to the mall”.
Dirk then repeated this information to me as though it made perfect sense. Because of course it is normal to point to a distant path in the woods and expect people who only speak English to find their way home in a strange town.
I then reminded my dear husband that his father gave us these directions in GERMAN and pointed at a path in the damn woods. He quickly realized that he should not say anything else.
So, my husband insists that his parent love me and are very happy to have me in their family. Well, thank the gods because I would hate to see how they treated me if they didn’t love me!