P1020863.JPGLief and Mary Cleverly Disguised

Because we have cleverly disguised ourselves as native Germans in our lederhosen, we pass undetected amongst the locals. Using German phrases like “Guten Morgen” and “Auf wiedersehen” only adds to our stealth. Ha! If only they knew we are really Americans!

We have chosen a little town in Bavaria called Immenstadt to spy on the Germans. Our apartment is on the shore of a small lake called Alpsee from which we can walk a mile into town on a footpath. Our landlord is a friendly guy named Hubert.

The View From Here

This apartment thing, never mind the spying, represents a change of plans, even though we never had much of a plan. We expected we would travel around for most of the first month but our new strategy is to have a home base and make short forays from there. What we’d really like to do is just live the German life for the next six weeks. This area is prime hiking territory as the Alps are right here and Munich is not far away.

As any spy can tell you, language acquisition is key to this job. I had hoped to find a language school at which I could take intensive coursework in exchange for offering my tutorial skill. I haven’t been able to arrange that yet but Plan B entails an informal arrangement whereby I find individuals who are interested in trading German conversation for English conversation. Failing that, I’ll just pester whomever. After all, everybody here speaks fluent German, nicht war?

(I’m sitting in a Tourist Information center now making use of the free hot spot. At my table is a middle-aged German couple (bald man, plump woman) who keep reaching out to squeeze each other in personal areas like they’re on their honeymoon – and they may well be. This is a vacation town, after all. They’re speaking tenderly in hushed voices so I couldn’t tell you what they’re saying even if I understood German. I think I just heard the guy whisper “liebschen” (sweetheart).)

The weather today is rather cold and rainy which is not really a big surprise. Germany and Seattle have a lot in common weatherwise. Next week is forecasted sunny so I expect we’ll be getting up to those picturesque Alpine valleys then. For the time being we have consoled ourselves by walking into town and buying a few things. I love this German bread and have eaten several loaves already.

We passed by a large open area on the way back home today where all these guys in lederhosen were corralling cows with huge bells on their necks. Wolfgang Frasch told us there is a festival in this area (the Allgau) this time of year where they bring the cows down from the mountains and march them through town. It’s next week in Immenstadt and we’re looking forward to that.

P1020862.JPGGerman Cowboys