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Published: July 13th 2014
It was time to take a short trip (26km) to downtown Frankfurt. We drove, this home exchange includes a car, and actually made it without much problem.
Frankfurt was pretty much destroyed in WWII and unlike many other cities in Germany, they rebuilt everything modern. There are still a few older buildings but mostly very tall skyscrapers.
The trip to the city was pretty uneventful and we needed to get back so we could go to the community festival. Yes, another festival! This one had tractors, an apple queen and princesses, bratwurst, beer, and even bagpipes.
Over the last few days we have learned just how important it is to know more than just a few words in a foreign language. Here are two stories to prove that statement.
When we were in Frankfurt we needed a place to park the car. I saw a parking garage and the sign said "FREI". I was so proud of myself because I knew what that word meant -FREE. So we happily parked the car and went off to explore. When it was time to drive out of the lot, the arm at the exit wouldn't raise. Finally we saw
an attendant. Hopefully he could speak English and be able to help us. When we told him we were stuck and could not get out he said in very clear English, "Did you pay?" It seems that the sign said parking was free for rental cars. All others pay. "Nothing is free any more," the guy laughingly told us as he took our money and let us out of the lot. And later we learned that the word "frei" when referring to a parking space means that there are open spaces available -free spaces.
The second story. By now everyone knows that Jerry is a big fan of beer. In the places we visit he likes to find shops that sell a wide variety of bottled specialty beers. So he spent quite a bit of time on the internet searching this area for the locations of stores that sell bottled beer. He got the addresses of a couple and also the directions for driving to the stores. The reason it took so long was that he had to use Google to translate the information--the sights online didn't have an automatic translate option. So off we went to see if
these stores had something tasty for us to try. The directions were perfect. We found both locations with no trouble. But "bottle beer stores" lost something in the translation. These two "stores" turned out to be recycling centers for empty bottles--not exactly what we were looking for.
Just more evidence that we need to work on our foreign language skills!
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