Thursday, December 30, 2010
Of Shame and Redemption
Shame first: Shame on you Germany! You may wonder what the heck I mean by this, but trust me, all will be revealed. Today Jak and I decided to check out a local ski hill that he had not yet skied at. We should have realized that things would be less than fantastic when the line to park was out the gate, and it cost 1.50 Euro to park. Alas, we are nothing if not fatally optimistic and following a quick trip to the WC we paid our 30 Euro and got in line. Those reading stateside may think of an orderly queue, but rest assured it was nothing of the sort. That is where the shame comes in. How can an entire people be entirely without any ability to organize themselves? The cue to the lift was about 150 people doing their best rendition of Brownian motion, slowly, slowly, slowly making slight progress towards the lift. Now some could argue that it was simply the amount of people involved, or that it is our jobs biasing us, but let me point out some fallacies in the notion. We are in Germany, a land theoretically known for order and propriety, so let us imagine the opposite world. You have seen the pictures of the circumambulation of the Ka'aba, that is 20 or 30,000 or more Muslim pilgrims from multiple countries speaking multiple languages and they can pull it off smoothly. I have seen the documentary. There are obviously no German Muslims, because they wouldn't manage a single trip around the darn place. This leaves out the little bonus features such as chain smoking and lack of basic hygiene (i.e. deodorant) that our companions suffered with. Suffice to say that after 35 min, we made it to the top, skied down for 8 or 9 min, and then waited 55 min to get back up, than skied another 10 min, at which point we did not have the time to make it to the front of the line before the lift closed. Not a good day skiing, and not a good example of the mythical "alles in ordnung."
Redemption came in the form of food. Jak and I stopped at Netto on the way home to grab some bread. And potato salad. And terrible candy for Alli. Fortunately for German-American relations, the aforementioned was all amazing (save the candy) and quite cheap. It produced a dinner that managed to reduce our rage and hatred of people who cannot form lines to a manageable level, and life as we know it continued on. I suppose every day cannot be perfect.
P.S. That smile of Jak's in the picture? It is forced, and even then only successful because 3 Snowboarders had just crashed behind me. While walking. But being good at what you do is an entirely different rant for an entirely different day.