My husband is German, so in keeping with his family tradition, we spend Christmas in Austria every year – SCORE! Here’s a picture.
Pretty. So, the other day, I was supposed to take the bus from one of the ski lifts back into Kirchberg.
My family skis. I pretend ski, which means I slide from the lift to a lodge where I promptly remove my skis, drink La Mumbas (hot chocolate and rum) and do easy crossword puzzles until the family is done, then I act all exhausted and make my husband carry my skis back to the rental place until the next day when we do this all over again. Yes, we actually pay to rent skis, boots, poles, and a helmet (which I have to wear ALL the time because ONE time I fell on a flat, un-icy surface and had to go to the Austrian emergency room where, after a CT scan, we found out I had a sinus infection and not at all a concussion – feels the same) and we pay for my lift tickets because my husband is awesome and I think he secretly hopes I’ll be healthy one day and I’ll Susie Chapstick it down the mountain.
Catching a bus. It’s easy enough; you wait for a bus that says “Kirchberg” on the lighted marquee and get on it. Problem: my bus proudly displayed “KIRCHBERG” until it stopped and then the marquee changed to “Wörgl” – what the heck. So I ask in my best German accent, “Are du stopping in Kirchberg?
The driver (yelling really): “Ja. You must get out at conquistomachalacha or you go to vuurrrgul.”
Me: I don’t understand.
Driver (louder): GET OUT at CONFRAPALAPADONG or you go to VUUURRRGUL.
Me: I have no idea…Was!?
Pause. Ummm, two things. One: thanks for turning up the volume as if stressing your vocal cords turned them into the Rosetta Stone – by the way, that only works in America.
Two: I know you’re totally messing with me because you didn’t even say the same word. Not even close. Just throwing random syllables together.
So, I got on the bus. After about a minute, I saw something that vaguely resembled Kirchberg and I attempt to get off the bus.
We’re crammed in like sardines and apparently, “excuse me” roughly translates to “stand like you’re Kate flying on the Titanic”. So, I say “Entschuldigung”, resist the urge to say “Gesundheit” in another voice, and squeeze through the bus. The driver, who knows I’m going to the rental place, is trying to stop me but I’M NOT GOING TO VUURRGL, PEOPLE! Do you have any idea what happens in Wörgl!? Me either!! The driver says something like, no, not to Wörgl, and I practically fall out of the bus yelling “Goonies Never Say Die!” The driver sat there with the door open just staring at me like I had three heads. I never saw a stop for Constantinople.
Yay international calling plans, because I had to call my husband to rescue me. He did. We spent the rest of the day roaming the village, randomly announcing, “You go to Vuurrrgul!” He pretends like he’s a native American when he’s with me. Oh… not like a NATIVE American, like he’s a Najavo or something, but someone born in the United States instead of someone born in Germany. Someone born in Germany would behave much better than we do.
American German- language lesson #2
Entschuldigung (in shoed lee gung) – excuse me. Can also be translated to mean, “I’m not going to Wörgl!”