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Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Sunday, May 5, 2013

Howdy folks,

Well it has been a long week at work especially considering I have never done a warehouse job before and standing on my feet for the whole shift takes some getting used to. Having never worked in logistics, I never knew how the whole thing works. It is a pretty complicated process full of different layers of distribution which the computers keep a track of. I couldn't imagine how it would be possible without them, at least not on this level. I'm not even the last stop because after me they have to be loaded onto trucks and distributed to the clients.

I'm in the packing area which basically means that once all the articles have been picked and sorted they come rolling over to me for packaging in cardboard boxes: one for each order. Half of the fun is trying to work out how to fit 20 pairs of sandals in a box for a nudist club, seeing 20 pink helmets to be packed or any of the various other items I would never have imagined. Other noteworthy items have been a 5kg saltlick for horses (along with riding crops and saddle rugs), more stupid pop up tents than I ever care to see again and a full on wetsuit with boots and hood. Every day is definitely different! I've seen a canoe go through, but thankfully I didn't have to bubble wrap it!

The opening of the DTM or Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters was held this weekend in Hockenheim. I didn't get to go to the Friday practice or Saturday qualifying sessions because I was working, but I did have Sunday free for the race and Steffie tagged along. Having never seen a car race before, she was a little hesitant. The DTM is Germany's equivalent of the V8 Supercars, although they do have a few races in Great Britain, Russia, Holland and Austria. The are three main manufacturers: Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

I wanted to get to the track early on Sunday to see the supporting races, but we ended up leaving late and the traffic on the autobahn was terrible. Thankfully Winfried dropped us off on the other side of town and we caught a shuttle bus to get to the track. We bought some tickets from a guy at the cashier which turned out to be some pretty awesome seats along the final corner meaning we could see the Sachs Kurve and the start of the main straight. We sat down to see Race 3 of the Formula 3s and they had a safety car after a 4 car collision on the back straight. The only complaint I had was that we couldn't see the big screens very well.

After the race finished, they brought on the driver's parade and a few of the older DTM cars had a drive around. We decided to spend some time stretching our legs and checking out the displays and stalls. The whole circuit has a fence around the seating which means you only need a ticket to get into the stands and you can look at the stalls for free. In addition to the usual Audi, BMW and Mercedes car displays, they had a couple of dragsters and even a car rollover simulator which wasn't very realistic considering how slow it was! The rain from the past few days made the ground a little muddy so everybody was putting dirty feet into the nice new display cars. We sat in a few and they were nice, but way beyond our price range.

The sunshine came out from the clouds for the race and it was a nice 22 degrees. At 1:30pm the race started and last years champion Bruno Spengler, a French born, French Canadian in a German Series, didn't shine so bright. He dropped back a few spots and it was a little hard to tell which driver was leading because we couldn't read the screens. The definite highlights were seeing Mattias Ekström driving around for 10 laps without a bonnet, a car bursting into flames on the back straight and Timo Glock losing a rear wheel after a pit stop failure. Apparently they had 87,000 spectators over the weekend and most of those in attendance on Sunday rushed down onto the main straight after the race to see Brazilian Augusto Farfus lift up the winner's trophy.

Given the number of people, getting the shuttle bus back to the parking lot took some time and for the most part people were patient. Hockenheim is just a normal town that happens to have a huge racetrack next to it so I don't know how people feel about having so many people walking up and down their streets or through their front yards. I guess they are used to it by now!

We stopped off at McDonalds to get a milkshake while we were waiting for our ride and there were a couple of old American muscle cars in the parking lot. That isn't to say there weren't any Porsches, Audis or other nice cars driving around either and there seemed to be people from France and Austria there as well. Not a bad event!

http://www.dtm.tv/Index/Start/EN/1804

http://www.decathlon.de/salzleckstein-fougasalt--id_8058186.html

P.S. The cupcakes were made by Steffie for Leonie's birthday party. I had no involvement in such a girly thing!
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