We woke up in our car / house, did some obligatory souvenir shopping, and were off. Driving Mona increased our range substantially: we hit Munich, Dachau, Rothenberg, Wurzburg, and Dusseldorf today.
Dachau was stunning, an institutional reminder of how cruel people can be. Seeing the sight of such atrocities, it’s hard to say than any body should ever be allowed to take the life of another. It seems to me that if all were to conscientiously object to carrying out any exertions of unreasonable force upon others little men with funny moustaches named Adolf would be limited to writing books bitching about their stakes in life instead of causing widespread atrocities.
Speaking of guys named Adolf, the depth of the holocaust’s effects on individuals was captured for me in a quirk of one survivor. He worked for years to educate others about the atrocities of the holocaust, asking that people refer to him as “Adi” because he no longer liked the name “Adolf.”
This visit wasn’t totally depressing: many victims greatly eased the suffering of others while placing themselves at risk. And I don’t think it’s entirely too unrealistic to hope that a world shrinking and interconnecting to the point of Big Macs and cellular service everywhere might also bring a greater shared sense of humanity and a duty to rapidly respond to atrocities…
We left Dachau and got on that most famous of roads. Much of the Autobahn has 3 lanes in each direction, with the leftmost one for passing, most cars in the middle lane, and slower cars and trucks sticking to the rightmost lane. I was usually in the leftmost lane, as I passed frequently enough that hitting the middle land in between passes would have resulted in ridiculous amounts of zigzagging. Why am I telling you this? Because explanation is definitely needed when one gets pulled over on the Autobahn.
Yep: I know it sounds like the butt of a stupid joke, but I actually got pulled over on the Autobahn for going too slow. As I exited to get some gas, a blue Audi station wagon cut over in front of me, motioning for me to go to the side of the road. He’s blocking my way, so I go. An angry German guy, balding although probably only in his early 30s, marches back to my car and starts screaming something at me in German with a voice that would have made me laugh out loud if it had been just a tad higher. He showed me a green card featuring a picture that looked like him and reading “Polizei” across the top, but his car was entirely unmarked and he sported blue jeans and a t-shirt. He switched to English and told me that I had been going so slow in the passing lane that there were “miles of cars” behind me. He didn’t like my reply of “What are you talking about? I got over to let people pass whenever I could. There were cars in front of me holding me up!” even though it was true, so he shouted:
“You think you come over here and drive on this road is some kind of choke?”
“Do I what?”
“You think this is some kind of choke to drive on this road?”
I was pretty sure he was mispronouncing joke, but I decided to push it:
“Some kind of what?”
“Choke! You think this is some kind of choke?!”
Riad jumps in, probably stopping the game for the better:
“Joke, Luke. He wants to know if you think this is some kind of joke.”
The guy bitched a little more, opened a back door and shuffled through some of our stuff with no permission and just as much explanation, and left after admonishing me to “learn the rules of the road.”
If he really was a policeman and gets this flustered by only being able to drive his Audi 160 km/hr, what’s he do when he gets shot at? He’s some kind of choke of a cop:)
We next went for Rothenberg, a medieval town largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Or so we thought: that’s actually Rothenburg with with a –urg; RothenbErg is about 10 houses in the middle of farm fields. GPS can help you get places, but you still must be intelligent enough to know and correctly spell where you want to go...
A quick stop in Wurzburg revealed a wine festival. Nothing too remarkable; much like a church bazaar in good old Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania but the old bingo players were replaced with attractive younger people. Some excellent falafels and we’re out of there. Mona flew to Dusseldorf and will now serve as a half-comfortable bed.