On the autobahn, another long drive. We've had one day off in two weeks. This is intense! It requires a little discipline; for instance, in a country that can't pour a bad beer, I had two last night over the course of five and a half hours. Anything more, and the drive would be painful.
I was amazed by the way Klaus just passed a police vehicle, but this is Germany with no speed limit, and it seems to work okay. The police vehicle of choice? A Volkswagon van. He was tipping his cigarette ash out the window. Are police allowed to smoke in their patrol cars back home? Who would arrest them if they were breaking that law? Is there such a thing as self arrest?
Last night's accommodations were a little more working class. When we got back to the rather large B&B, there was a sign instructing workers to leave there boots by the door. I'm picturing big burly guys removing them and padding softly to their rooms. That might be why I never heard them leave this morning. I went down to the basement breakfast room at 7:30, and there wasn't a soul, save for Klaus. The day must start early around here.
Big old Germany sits outside the window, and I've barely looked. I've drawn the "b*tch" seat, as it is called in this sophisticated crowd, for the first part of the drive. It's the middle of the back seat between Dylan and Kurt. No way to sleep, and after killing one and a half New Yorker articles, I open Sketchbook Pro to doodle. A pun, the lowest form of humor that I love anyway, has occurred to me. So I kill a half hour making a stupid drawing of "Beacon and Eggs." I'm easily entertained.
My stomach is growling now, as we didn't have time to do proper breakfast before we shoved off. The German breakfast (and its Italian cousin) is a mini-smorgasbord of cold cuts, cereal, delicious fresh rolls, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, coffee and juice. In Italy, they had more sweet stuff. We've developed the habit of making little "Klauswiches," sandwiches for later when we're driving. This is done furtively, especially after I was informed in Salzburg that it was uncool.
I was embarrassed to be the ugly American, but I got over it. Today, I didn't have the time or the inclination, and I'm getting peckish after two and a half hours in the b*tch seat. I could go for some beacon and eggs.
Bonus section! Things I've seen on the road:
- A dead man's arm hanging out of a crushed semi-cab, very disturbing and fleeting at the same time.
- A beautiful painting of the Virgin Mary on the back of a semi trailer in Italy.
- A rainbow in the misty Alps.
- Exit signs in German that read Ausfahrt, a target for cheap humor that is hanging so low on the tree nobody touches it.
- Countless castles on hills and mountains, always commanding the best view. Those people really knew how to live.
- Too many roundabouts. Klaus takes them sports car style, and invariably a water bottle falls and rolls around.