The detours detracted from my sense of exhilaration in exploring Germany this past weekend. The original plan was to go up to Beligum, in a 2 hour drive, to persue an early morning flea market. But the driver didn’t want to get up so early on a Sunday, so we headed to a pumpking patch instead. About 90 minutes in, the highway was blocked. We then changed routes to head
to a wine festival nearby. With almost all shops closed on Sundays, German folks throw loads of outdoor “festivals” which really consist of tents with picnic tables in them, wooden stands selling beer/wine/crepes/sausages and kids roasting chestnuts on the sidewalk. So after almost three hours, we explored this really cute tiny wine/beer/chestnut laden town for about 45 minutes before taking a 2 hour Sunday drive back through the forest….
In order to get where I am temporarily lodged, in order to work, actually, in order to breathe here, I require a security badge. And it wasn’t until 10 minutes to “home” that I discovered my little bag missing. It contained my precious badge (if I had to put a price on it, I’d say 1K!) a debit card and $50. I almost puked. The detour choice: drive back and look for it in a buzzed stupor or call it a bust and admit defeat. I couldn’t sit with “not doing anything,” so I called a practical just-met-you-friend and pulled in a “I just met you favor” to drive me back the 2 hours to look for it. You see, I have no license here. I am slated to take it TOMORROW, and yep, you guessed it, need my ID to take the test. For 2 hours, we twisted and turned through multiple detours. Once at the wine fest, now packed at 5 pm, the culture and language barriers felt overwhelming.
But the universal facial expression of pure relief and joy upon an unexpected grace of relocating the little purse, the undulating happiness of the German boy who handed it to me as I kissed him, made the 9 hours of driving, of shame, of detouring worth it….( for the first time, NOT the 4 ounce of wine I consumed!) but more the process of highs and lows, the process of being vulnerable and thus making a new friend along the way
…and besides, I got to practice my German road signs along the way.