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

Fossils and chicken necks

Here are two stories from Germany.

1. We heard about this place in a village called Pottenstein where you could break apart rocks to look for fossils. Unfortunately, aside from some vague word of mouth, we could find out almost nothing else about it. But how big can a German village really be? We figured we'd go to Pottenstein and ask around. Surely an attraction as awesome as a Fossilklopfplatz would be well known to the village's inhabitants.

What ended up happening was that we asked around in town and got sent to the local mini golf course not once, but TWICE, by well-meaning townies. This is due to the fact that when we were trying to describe, in German, the concept of hunting for fossils, we used the word "dinosaur" (because fossils - do YOU know how to say trilobite in German??). Aaaaaand the local mini golf course has a big statue of a dinosaur in it. Fossilklopfplatz FAIL, but we went to the village Rodelbahn instead and had a blast.

(A few days later, I took the kids to look for the fossil place again and found it entirely by accident. It was run by a semi-crazy mad fossil-scientist named Julian who had a pet raven who ate out of his hand and drank out of a water bottle. Fun was had by ALL.)

2. One time at church, a German woman stood up to give a talk and an American missionary stood next to her to interpret. To help the missionary interpreter along, she used lots of hand gestures as she spoke. Also, this was the missionary's first time interpreting and he had a hard time at a few key moments.

As a result, instead of hearing the real story (she went out to her garden one morning and found something wrong with the watering system - a vent was malfunctioning, and she had a hard time twisting the faucet open and closed), we were almost told a story about her finding a small animal in her watering system (some confusion about "ventilation" in German, which includes the word Tier, which means "animal"), and it was a chicken (same word as faucet in German), and she had to WRING its neck [expressive hand gesture] to get the water flowing again. It was a pretty exciting talk, even if the missionary eventually had to correct himself.

Cast removed, and a mystery

Reluctant mom taxi