Funny Snapshots – Awkwardness Goes Global

– So I was at the bus stop a couple of days ago and trying to get the wifi to work on my phone (no luck). Two guys sit down next to me on the bench, and I start explaining to them in German that my phone wasn’t working, and whether they could help me. They smile at me and one of them says, “It’s okay. You can speak to us in English. We’re Americans.”

Whoops. They were both from Colorado. BUT they said my German was great, so that’s a plus. Two points to me for speaking semi-fluently to the only two people I’ve met so far who don’t need me to.

– The day before, I found a monastery that has been brewing and serving beer since 1530. I went inside with my companions and they ordered, but I only wanted “leitungswasser,” which is “tap water” in German. For the most part, people in Germany drink ONLY bottled water (they recycle EVERY SINGLE bottle, though), and the water is carbonated. So, basically all water in Germany is sparkling mineral water. Typically, I get a weird look when I order tap water because no one here drinks it.

Anyway, I order tap water, and the waitress gives me a weird look. That’s normal. When she returns with my tiny glass of water, she launches into a minute-long lecture about how people don’t normally order tap water and they don’t normally serve it to people unless they’re ordering wine. According to her, people only order tap water to cleanse their palates for tasting wine because mineral water messes with the experience. Of course, the lecture is entirely in German, and my companions (two of whom are Germans), are completely baffled as to why she didn’t just let me be.

So, I got my leitungswasser, but not without a lecture because it’s important that Americans know “not to drink the water.”

– I finally got to visit the grocery store yesterday and get a couple of items to cook. I will post more about what I bought later, but it included some sausages and canned sauerkraut (bad idea – more on that later). When I returned from my run and grocery trip, I decided to take a shower.

You should know, that when I arrived there was no towel and no toilet paper for my en-suite badezimmer (bathroom). I had not thought about towels being an issue since I typically use Airbnb, and I wouldn’t have packed one, anyway. Luckily, the university gave me two sets of bedding for my stay here.

So what have I been using as a towel in Regensburg? A PILLOWCASE.

Well, I did my “normal” routine and wrapped my hair in the towel to help it dry. I then went to the kitchen and began making my dinner. As I was cooking, a guy I had met the day before in the kitchen came in and we started talking while he put away his groceries. He was looking at me kind of strangely, and I couldn’t figure out why. I thought it was my German grammar… something. But I couldn’t figure it out!

He leaves to go to his room and wishes me a good meal. I reach to scratch my head and realize why he was looking at me so oddly.


What’s even more ridiculous is he would have known that it was our dorm bedding. It’s bright yellow and everyone gets the same stuff. So here I was just chatting along and making dinner with my hair wrapped up in our allotted set of sheets. That guy must have thought I was nuts.


I am off to the altstadt for the first interview for my research, but I hope this post gave you a laugh. Updates with pictures coming soon!


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