Saturday, June 12, 2010
Alice in Wonderland is what Chad, my son, and I watched on the 8 hour plane trip from Atlanta to Munich. I could not sleep on the plane and I kept waking Chad up with every twitch. When we arrived, my body thought it was 2:40AM, and it was another 14 hours before we would sleep. While we wandered the streets of Munich hoping and waiting to check into our hotel soon, we tried to get oriented. A man approched us with a plate of bonbons. He told us in English that they were trying some "propaganda" in order to encourage business. We usually think of propaganda as trying to sell a product or an idea by not giving the whole story or only telling the part of the story that you want people to hear. I'm sure that is not what he meant, but I'm not going to judge his English when I am going to be dependent on others having a better command of English than I do of their language for the next 3 weeks.
As Chad and I wandered the streets of Munich, I was reminded again of Wonderland. Buildings I had only seen in pictures came to life, and new and unexpected sights await around every corner. I stuck to my plan of taking the 3:00 Hitler and Third Reich tour with Radius Tours. Chad got to sleep for an hour after our hotel allowed us an early check-in. I was too excited and nervous to sleep.
Our tour guide spoke English, but there were 4 other languages spoken on our tour. A Swedish couple spoke great English. The South American couple had a 3 year-old son in a stroller. German, and Italian. It was very hard to concentrate on the tour guide's talk on no sleep and in the unexpected heat. This must be culture shock. My attention kept being drawn to the 3 year-old who was wandering off from our group at every opportunity. Once he wandered away with a water bottle and poured out little puddles and then stepped in them.
The tour was very informative, but I will have to go back and match up pictures and stories when I have had some sleep.