Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

My new German BFFs wear lederhosen without shirts

I don't know that I have ever, EVER been as embarrassed in a foreign country as I was today, and I include in that assessment the time I begged for money in Japanese train station. This was a slightly different kind of embarrassment, though, as you will see.

It all started when my friend Anna (who lives here) showed up at my house so I could follow her on the day's outing. She mentioned offhand, oh-so-casually, that she was going to take a different route out of the village "because they're asking for money for the Kirwa [that's how you spell it] on the main road and I don't want to drive by there again."

Maybe she set me up, though, because on the way home, she left to go to her house, with my kids, leaving me alone in my car, and I drove on through the main road. And saw ahead, to my horror, what was probably every young man from town dressed in lederhosen, but without shirts, jovially/drunkenly harassing all the passing cars for the (dubious) sake of donations. As I pulled up at the narrowest part of the cobblestone road, where two cars can barely pass each other anyway, half a dozen youths were dancing around a stopped car with music blaring and headlights flashing. And I was next.

I immediately decided to play the not-entirely-true "I don't speak German" card. But as I rolled down my window, I realized it wasn't going to be that easy. They wouldn't have cared if I spoke only Chinese. They were determined to have their fun.

To my great, great relief, at least they were quite drunk. That way, I could kind of pretend this was not happening. I tried to give them all the change I had in the car (about two Euros) right away, thinking maybe they'd let me leave. But first we had to chat about me being American, and World Cup (DEUTSCHLAND!!!), and our favorite players on said team (thank goodness I've been paying attention), and my name, and how it's the same as Bridget Jones (that was interesting, actually, since in the Middle East they go straight for Brigitte Bardot), and how I was so beautiful, and if I ever wanted a beer, my new shirtless lederhosen BFFs Johannes and Matthias would buy one for me and give me a kiss, too. I am not making any of this up. By the way, Johannes looked to be about 18; Matthias was probably a little older.

As I drove away (finally!), I could hear Johannes and Matthias chanting, "Bridget! Bridget! Bridget! Bridget!"

Greatest/MOST EMBARRASSING day of my life.

I wanted to google a picture of "shirtless lederhosen" to put on this post for you, but no. Just no.

Der Müll

An evening at the cemetery