Sunday evening Jens and I (as Robey read) watched a classic German-speaking movie called Sissi). It’s to the Germans what Sound of Music is to Americans, however it’s not a musical. Based on the story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, it’s super cute as anything compared to Sound of Music should be. At one point you even see a Dachshund carrying a really long stick wearing a jaegerhut. Just wow.

Then yesterday Robey, Jens and I went into the city and found Robey a new coat. Now Robey looks like a German, and he’s working on speaking like one. I am also working on my spoken German bit by bit, and remembering just how many cultural things I’ve forgotten about.

For example, tipping and paying for your meal in Germany. To pay, you have to get your waiter’s attention. You can’t just wait for them to stop by, you have to almost flag them down or partially shout at them from across the room. I tried to minimally flag down our waitress at the Thai restaurant this afternoon 4 times before Jens finally helped me out.

Also, tipping is 5 to 10%, not the 15 to 20 like it is in the US. If you pay with a card you can write it in. If you pay with cash, while they are sorting through the change to give you, they will remind you of the total cost and then you’ll tell them “More like price to other price”. Instead today I was awsome (read ridiculous American), and told the waitress to “Just take it already!” (cultural translational emphasis included) as I gave them 10 euros for a 8,25 total. Lots of teasing from Jens ensued.

Anyways, so the tipping stuff came up today while we were out visiting Mainz. We went to a Thai restaurant for lunch, found a board game shop, checked out the Weihnachtsmarkt and had some Gluehwein, had coffee (where the awkward tipping experience occurred), and got lost on the local public transportation system. That just proves that simply having a German along doesn’t mean you still won’t get lost in Germany!

Now we’re back at the apartment in Frankfurt and about to enjoy some Maendelmilch (almond milk) tea and play a new board game called Village. Tomorrow will be super exciting as Robey, Jens and I will be traveling to Luxembourg and Trier. Hopefully I won’t forget my camera like I did today, and you’ll get to see some pictures from our travels. However our pictures thus far can be found here.