So, did you know that we can speak German?
Um, not really, but we’re HUGE fans!
I have significantly improved my German vocabulary on this trip. I used to know all of one German word – “nein!” which means “no!” And then we discovered in Alameda THE German restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area – Speisekammer (also know as Spice-en-whatsit) and then my German vocabulary grew by leaps and bounds! Speisekammer means “pantry” and they have the most awesome vegetarian strudel (which is a pastry-like thing) and they have TO DIE FOR Macaroni and cheese (or, as the Germans call it Gratinierte Kasespatzle. I only ever remember the spätzle part of it… So tasty, with caramelized onions, asiago and parmesan cheese… Mmmmmm….).
So by my count, we’re up to three words – Nein, Speisekammer, and Spätzle. Have you ever heard that traveling can expand your horizons or teach you language skills? Well it can! In Mexico, Tiffany’s Spanish got a lot better, and in the Tuamotu of French Polynesia, our German got a lot better!
“Wait a minute…” you’re probably asking yourselves. “I thought French Polynesian people spoke French or Tahitian or Marquesan? I didn’t know they spoke German too!” And you’d be right, they don’t. But there are tons of travelers who pass through that do! One thing you must understand about travel: there are Germans everywhere. Which is really cool, because Germans are the nicest freaking people you will ever meet. Greg has literally never met a German that he did not like. Elizabeth from our Pacific Puddle Jump buddy boat PROXIMITY is German, and at one point we had 4 boats headed toward the same island, all within about a day or so of each other and on every boat at least one person spoke German! How crazy is that?
We had BOREE, STERNCHEN, PAIKEA MIST and us on FLY AWEIGH. Burt and Ingie on BOREE are Germans who have been living in Australia for a number of years, the owners of STERNCHEN (which means “little star” – ha! Another one!) are Germans who speak some English, Michael on PAIKEA MIST is a German-Canadian, and Allan on FLY AWEIGH took classes for his degree in Germany. At one point, STERNCHEN called BOREE on the VHF radio to ask for some technical assistance, and I learned new German! We heard them call on the VHF radio to switch channels to “acht” (which means “eight”) and followed them over to channel eight, so Allan could listen in and keep up with his German and his long standing underway technical assistance skills
While we were listening, I learned 2 new German words – “computer” and “easy-peasy”. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “hey, those aren’t German!” But I counter – if you walked up to four Germans having a conversation in German, then the words they use MUST be German! Ha!
We have now over doubled our German vocabulary! Sternchen, Acht, Computer and Easy-Peasy!
Once we all got into port we actually got to meet the crews of BOREE and STERNCHEN and spend some time with them. We had some wonderful conversations. Greg is a huge fan of the German language, he just loves the way it sounds. (Greg – Actually, I believe my EXACT words were “someone discovered the sound of awesome and just decided to make an entire language out of it!”) Greg was such a big fan that Ingie even gave him REAL German Bread!
You do not appreciate how awesome this is. First off, it’s hot as heck here (80 F is the average temp) and no one has air-conditioning. She turned on her gas stove in her boat and heated the whole thing up, for several hours mind you, to make us bread.
Also, do you understand that we are 6,435 kilometers, oh sorry, 4,000+ miles *flying!* from Spice-en-whatsit! 9,655 miles flying from Germany! Need I remind you that those flights don’t even exist, so add in mileage for stops in Tahiti and Hong Kong. Do you know how much a flight like that would cost!? And. We. Have. FRESH German bread.
Do you have fresh, hand-baked German Bread right now? No, no you do not…and ours will be eaten before you get here so don’t try it.
During our discussions, we got to talking about the happy birthday song, and how the Germans don’t really sing happy birthday. Here’s why:
Which lead to Burt telling us about how Germans like to smash words together to make new words. His example: the soccer world cup. In German it’s one word: Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft.
How many languages can you speak?
Oh PS: Greg can curse in German too. Who says you don’t learn useful skills in the Boy Scouts? 😉