Notes From Das Boot, 160

Stuttgart, Germany 11/26/12
A twenty two hour drive from Manchester got us into Stuttgart at around midnight. We had a hotel last night and the combination of a good shower and a real bed made all the difference, so today everyone is doing pretty well. Went to the post office this morning, and…well first let me state for the last time that: the people of any country that we go to where English isn’t the main language, speak English better than I speak their language and in some cases speak English better than I speak English. I was mailing seven post cards.
Post Office Guy: ok…eight postcards
Me: …uh…no there’s seven
PO guy:… No there are eight. (he counted them out) one,two,three,four,six,seven,eight
Me: forgot five
PO Guy: nonono eight
Me: the number five…you forgot the number went one,two,three,four and you skipped five and went to six.
PO Guy: ……….eight.
Now, I can only count to two in German: ein, zwei, so I tried to count them back to him, meanwhile the line was getting longer.
Me: zwei, zwei, zwei, ein (and then I held up seven fingers, which I should have done in the beginning)
PO Guy:…ahhhhhhhhh…seven
And an international incident was averted.

Old artificial limbs from the WELLCOME COLLECTION in London, part of their Victorian Bionic Man exhibit

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