Sunday, May 21, 2006


I was just thinking how I only ever seem to go to Paris these days.

I am very lucky that I get to go to Paris so much and stay in the completely freakin' hippest neighbourhood in the most amazing building, looking after a very sweet geriatric cat.
But if I don't go somewhere new for a while I get itchy feet.

So then, The Gruppet calls.

'Do you want to go to Germany on Tuesday?'

I'll be honest, Germany is not even in my top 10, 20 or possibly 50 list of places I'd like to re visit. But I always said I'd give it another chance after last time.

Last time was a school trip circa 1990. England played against Germany in the World Cup final. We lost. A group of about thirty 14 year old school girls (us) were chased down a German street by about 20 big mullet haired men wearing German flags like capes, brandishing sticks (I'm not even exaggerating) and chanting 'ENGLAND GO HOME!'

That's all I'm going to say on that one. So, a second chance.

The Gruppet is probably the only person I would attempt a road trip with.
We will get up at about 4am, get in a pretty fast powerful car, drive to Dover, arse around on the ferry, speak in comedy voices for ooh, about 18 hours, be sure to stop and ask directions to 'Wankum'which is apparently on our route, get to Essen, pick up some wine for The Gruppet's cousin, then turn round and go back home again.

Refreshments will be provided by The Gruppet's cousin who just happens to be the proprietor of The Best Delicatessen In London, Possibly The World.

The Gruppet will be advised that, regarding soundtrack, this is not an opportunity to pay tribute to all those obscure German record labels he is obsessed with.
Although a little light Hasselhoff air guitar might be funny.

It's also a bit nostalgic for me, since I spent many a summer visiting the rellies in Brussels as a child. We would take the exact same route by car and ferry, only this time we will continue through Belgium into Germany.

The Gruppet claims it takes 4 hours to drive from Calais to Essen. I'm not so sure about that.
I remember interminable hours of driving from Calais to Brussels where our favourite game was to shout 'junction 8, junction 8,' until the next one. Then, 'junction 9, junction 9' etc etc.
How my aunt must have looked forward to those journeys.


eurobrat said...

You make me laugh-

Germany is definitely on my Top 10, however I'll make note not to attend a World Cup final there. Not that Canada even has a team, sad sack country that it is.

Julia said...

Haha! I can just see it too. Germany isn't in my Top 20 but I said after the last World Cup that I'll go to the next one no matter where - why couldn't I have said that for 98!

Bombay Beauty said...

Don't get me started on Germany... Too late, you've started me. All I can say is that for some places in the world, the clichés are true. Germany is one of these. On my first trip, on my first cab ride, the driver was telling me how Turkish immigrants were ruining the country; all the while, I was asking myself if he could distinguish South Asians and from the Turkish. Then there's sad post-war architecture. Then there's the food. Then there's all the stern old men who wander around wearing orange, green, and purple suits. Then there's the nude sunbathers in the English garden in Munich (by the way, why English? didn't think you folks did that kind of thing...) My only hope is Berlin, where I haven’t yet been... Good luck and bring me back some more clichés.