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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Was Dad Right?

Started yesterday, continued writing today...
Looking forward to leaving Munich tomorrow morning. I usually love big cities, especially those in Europe, but this one doesn't qualify. I can't explain it, though we'll see how I feel about the rest of German part of our trip. The people aren't particularly friendly—I'd call them dour. The city is bleak-looking, though partially because of the weather, which has been overcast most of the days.
I remember standing on any street corner looking at a map in New Zealand and having someone come over and ask if he or she can help and where were we heading, and then practically walking us there. Most people in other countries are like that—very warm. Not so in Munich.
And something's been on my mind all day besides not liking the city or people here. I am uncomfortable in this country. Too much negative history that just doesn't leave me. I see families with children and I think of all those who were lost...well, not lost, murdered. And I see old men and can't help wondering what they were doing as young boys in the 30s. Maybe I'll get through this...we'll see. They haven't done away with that familiar police and ambulance siren sound we associate with the war either. That doesn't help.
 I am a first-generation American.  My father left Germany when he was around 16 or 17 with his two first cousins, Harry and Fred, to live with an uncle in San Francisco.  Their parents all came to the US about 2 years later.  Can you imagine leaving not only your homeland, but your family behind as a teenager?   When I was growing up, and I'd ask Dad where he was born, he would say, "San Francisco."  If I asked my mom where Dad was born, she would say Germany.   I was confused.  Dad told me his life started when he came to SF.  And he also told me never to bother visiting Germany.  There was nothing here for me to see and no reason to go.  My sister and I would ask about his home, and he would answer:  "I don't remember."  or "We had a large pond, stables, horses..."  and that would be about all we would learn.
Harry returned many times and told us my dad's family home was destroyed in the war.  Harry kept up with his German language; my dad did his best to rid himself of any signs of an accent (one friend called him "Mumbles" so maybe that's the reason he didn't pronounce his words distinctly.  I never thought he had an accent.
We have another 5 days here and the last two are where Dad was from, so we'll see how I feel by the end of the trip.  We are now in Fussen after a long car ride through beautiful forested countryside with giant mountains loomed in front of us.  It's already more fun than Munich--and they're having a historical festival here that looks just like the Renaissance Faire!
I know why my friends like to read my blog, and it isn't because I proselytize my feelings about everything. You want food pictures and stories about my day!  So, our last day in Munich, we went to the BMW Welt and museum. No, I didn't buy one. I'm happy with my red flash. But they did have some gorgeous cars there, both old and new. 

Yeah, I got in and checked it out....

My x-husband bought a blue box car in the 70s that I thought was ugly. It was a new import that had a stick shift, which I couldn't drive. I didn't really want to drive the had no style. It was one of the early BMW imports. Never did learn how to drive a standard....
They also make motorcycles, and have for years, plus they make Rolls Royces, and have bought the Mini-Cooper business. They're proud of the work they do and what their history is in the industry.
Bought a little yarn for my stash on our way back....squishy enough to fit in the suitcase I hope.
Lunch was sausages and “potato salad” which looked like lumpy yellow mashed potatoes, but was vinegary, room temp, and delicious.

Dinner was Italian! I'm over having dumplings and heavy German food...though lunch was good. I had ravioli and Matthew had....can you guess?


Random photos from Fussen, the first being the view from our awesome hotel room balcony.  Quaint, small town with lovely tourist shops.

People dressed for the festival.

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