The simple life - kicking back in Germany

Trip Start Feb 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  ,
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Well, it's been a while since we've added an entry to the old blog. For the last month we've been living with Nadja's sisters family in a small village in Southern Germany. It's great to be able to settle down for a little while in the same place. It also doesn't hurt that the place that we're living in at the moment is a guesthouse and we're able to enjoy our own big ass 4 star room for most of the time and every morning we sit down to the delicous 'haus am bluanbach' breakfast.

We've also been helping out around the guesthouse and in the vineyards. In the guesthouse we have become cleaning ladies or 'putz fraus' as they like to call it in German. In the vineyards we've been given the difficult task of leaf removal. This job involves the removal of leaves from vines as the title suggests and I'm the self appointed supervisor with Nadja being the only other worker. But it's all good, because in the 'cleaning lady' job she pushes me around and gives me all the bad jobs. I also rode on the back of a tractor through some villages once, I think this qualifies me as a farmer also.

When we're not doing odd jobs around the home or in the vineyards, we are participating in parades. Ok, we only done this once. It was sometime last week that Nadja's sister Stefi told us that she had happily voulanteered the two Australian's to help the winegrowers of Shliengen (a village close to our village) to promote their wines during the Staufen Weinfest. This involved us walking down the main street of Staufen (yep, another village) behind a float pouring wines for the crowds of people that gather on each side of the road. When I was told that we'd be doing this, I was naturally a little nervous because my German is still, well, nothing. However, Stefi assured me that I wouldn't have to speak German and would just have to throw out the odd 'prost' (cheers in German) every now and then.

So a few days later, we arrived at the Staufen wine vest. We waited next to our float for a couple of hours, downed a couple of wines and everyone chatted amongst themselves. When we were given the cue to enter the parade, our tractor started up, drove foward and fell apart!! The wooden panel on the back simply dropped off!! So, with other floats quickly approaching from behind, some of the blokes from our float began hammering the panel back on as the tractor slowly entered into the parade.

Once we finally got into the parade, the tractor had unexpectingly sped up and left most of us behind chasing it down (this meant that the first 100 or so spectators missed out on free booze and we copped a lot of funny looks as we chased down our float). When we caught up to it, some lady gave me a jug of wine and I began to pour it for the people who held their glasses out on the street. I then soon found out that being able to understand German should be a requirement for people working in parades as I happily filled up everyones glasses whilst they only asked for a sip.

After walking through the crowds and pouring copious amounts of goon, we finally came to the end where we all had a few drinks together and the organiser let me and Nads keep the shirts we had to wear during the parade. It ended up being a really cool day.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we also have a little car that we get to drive around!!! It's a beasty little VW Polo nicknamed "little P". It's been so much fun being able to hoon around Southern Germany. Once we got used to the right hand side and road rules, there was no stopping us and we drive around a fair bit now. It just hurts a little when you have to put petrol in the little beast, it costs $1.50 Euro a liter!!! That's more than $2.50 Aussie!!!

Hopefully we'll get some pics up soon, I know everyones keen to see me in my yellow gloves, elbow deep into a toilet. Until than, Tchüss.
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