Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dresden: Could We Stay Or Could We Go Now?

Back in 2006 I talked about the little stop and go guys they have over here. One of our students had told me that they had girls down in Dresden but I had never seen them and I didn't really believe her. Well, this time I confirmed the story:
The go-girl.
The stop-chick.
On Sunday we were sending the students back to Berlin after church and lunch, and renting a car to go down to the Saxon Switzerland, which is a national park south of Dresden. It didn't work out that way.

First Rob took two groups to the LDS church. The Saxon was tough for me to understand. I could tell how different it was when the speaker said "kirche" and it came out as "kelsha"; sort of like when my kids ask me for "malk" just to bug.

Rob thinks he topped his earlier Ugly American moment by ordering 17 pizzas for lunch while on a bus with his shirtless son squealing in the background. Then he had to get some cash to pay for this wad of pizzas, so he trekked off. In the meantime a wee pizza wagon pulled up to the hostel. It was like the opening scene of Home Alone, only with me running up and saying "My husband! He has all the money! Here! Talk to him on the phone!" because at the first sign of the pizzamobile I had dialed him. He had the cash, but he was back on the Neumarkt carrying 30 bottles of water. Here is what I saw next:
The man knows how to make an entrance, let me tell you!
We got all of the students fed with jumbo pizzas.
It was certainly an odd Sunday dinner, but everyone went away filled and we took up seven boxes of leftovers to give to the stellar folks at the hostel who were just delightful to work with.

Then the McFarlands took their luggage and stroller and took off. Rob and MA were very unpopular with the kids, but we insisted that we stop by the Frauenkirche just to peek inside of it. It is a beautiful, pastel church. Maddie calls it the Easternacle and Rob has heard it called the Frauenkuchen or Ladycake.
Then we schlepped out to get our rental car. Only the agency was closed. It had closed hours earlier while we were attending church.

The whole place was dark. Rob called here and there and all over, but there was not a car to be had in all of Dresden that would fit our family.

We were absolutely at a loss. I was sitting at a bus stop with three kids in the beating sun. (I know there were better places we could have been, but I wasn't feeling really energetic or creative and I had so looked forward to sitting in that car and letting the kids punch each other in the back seats and turning up the A/C until there were icicles hanging off the ends of our noses. Phooey.)

The handy man at the hostel finally suggested that we take the train down there. He printed out the train and bus schedule and we wearily made our way to the train station. We should mention that none of this would have been possible except for the fact that Joss was sleeping. We would have curled up on the plaza if he had been awake/running/squealing/demanding.

We caught a train to Pirna. Then we had to wait for nearly an hour to catch a bus which wound around tiny towns and over hills until we arrived here in Hohnstein.

We were so relieved to be in the same town where our hotel reservations were! It was in that castle behind us to the left. We had called ahead to let them know we'd be late, and they left our rooms open with the keys inside. I guess the drawbridge drawer had drawn the drawbridge and wasn't coming back until the milkman delivered the milk, about dawn.A big room for the kids and an adjoining room for us (adjoining rooms don't actually exist in european hotels so it felt like incredible luxury here).
And Haribo for turndown service! I was so happy I could have cried.
And we went up to the restaurant and had dinner. And it was still warm. Rob began talking to the server and he was all confused until he figured out that we were the Americans he was waiting for. They had nearly given up on us, fearing that we'd gotten lost or fallen into a ravine somewhere en route. The guy at the next table just stared and stared at us. I think it was because we had four children, but it may have been because everything was happening there in English and German. Or because we're all so good-looking. Or that our manners were so refined.

Well, uh, probably not because of that.

1 comment:

jenlinmin said...

Hilarious, Mary Ann! I love the little Gretel-like stoplights! VERY German! In Taipei the stoplights are animated, when the countdown in the crosswalk begins, the stick-figure character is walking slowly, then as the time ticks on the little character starts walking faster and faster until he is almost running... something that can be understood in ANY language :)