Eight straight weeks of visitors will teach you a few things about what makes a great hostess and what makes a good guest. You learn a lot about your guests, friends and family, and you learn who is allowed to visit more than once in a year–a full 365 day calendar year. Secretly, I have ranked all of my guests and will continue to do so as more come. I will never tell you were you fall on my list, but it isn’t hard to figure out who is on top and who is at the very bottom–did I tell you that you were welcome back whenever you want? No? Then you are not coming back until 2010. So in secretly ranking our first 6 guests, here are a few things I have learned or formed opinions on.
1. Anything over a week is probably too long, unless you are fine with sitting at my house doing nothing for a few days here and there. There are a few exceptions to this rule and if I offer you an extended stay in the downstairs apartment it is because 1. you are lucky and you probably cooked me a meal and did my dishes and 2. I technically don’t have to see you because you have your own entrance.
2. I am not a travelocity.com rep or flight attendant. I will not take you to Italy, Ireland, and Prague in one week. That’s like asking me to take you to Florida, Texas and Illinois if I live in Maine. If that’s what you want, check out germanwings.com and I’ll drop you off at the airport.
3. I take back anything I ever said about being happy to drive to Frankfurt to pick people up. There are now two options: fly in Stuttgart and I’ll pick you up or fly into Frankfurt and you’ll get your first taste of the train in Europe.
4. Day trips will consist of no more than 4 people in a car or 3 and two dogs. And I automatically get the window seat or the front seat.
5. Headphones are really great for car rides, especially if there are more than 4 people in the car.
6. I don’t know German, either. The bathroom is toilette and how much is kosten. Hello is alo and thank you is danke. That should do it for the week. Sending me around to “speak German” for you is funny because I only know 10 phrases more than you do and 90% of people here speak English.
7. Why am I always sitting on the floor or the awkward camping chair in my living room? I will let you sit on my couch for the first 4 days in my spot but then I get my couch back and you get to sit in the camping chair.
8. If you cook or clean for me or at least just after yourself, I will love you forever and most of this list will never pertain to you.
9. I live here. I like castles and palaces and forests too, but there is this thing called the train and a bus and they go there just as fast, if not faster than my car. I don’t like hand holding in the first place, too sweaty, but really, they speak English too. Give it a shot. Traveling on your own is fun too, I promise.
10. The dollar is worth nothing here and it’s not the fault of the German at the bank. You can blame a few administrations in the states if you want, but not the Europeans. And no, they won’t take your dollar anywhere. It’s like paying with the peso in Maine.
11. Saying the N word and the H word will get you a trip back to the airport or at the very least, you will be hated by every German within 5km. They may have wiped out millions of people once upon a time, but they don’t ever want to hear about it again. Interesting defensive behavior, I know. Just don’t be cute and wave your hand above your head while you’re here.
12. If I give you the book, 1000 Places to See Before You Die book, and you don’t bother to look through it and point out a few places you’d like to see, then you are going where I take you.
13. I’m doing the unthinkable. I’m announcing a rule no one could have ever imagined they’d see on this page. It’s my “we drink only every other day” rule. My liver can’t take it anymore. You can drink whenever you want. Drink 90 beers a day if you want. It was great fun for me the first month I was here…I know how excited you are about trying every beer, the wine, Rammazotti, Jager, Ouzo and Gluhwein. But now? My liver reminds me daily of the days it’s slowly taking off my life. I will watch you drink and I will steal steins and glasses for you to take home, but please stop yelling at me, demanding that I drink 90 beers with you. And no more Bud Light requests. You will drink German beer and you will like it.
14. I will steal your change if you leave it out. I don’t think that makes me a bad person. It’s survival of the fittest over here and at I least warn you. Hide it or have it taken.
15. Have a great time while you are here.
There, that should do it for now. As more guests arrive, more rules will pop up. I may just post them on the fridge next year as a reminder to those who visit. It’s not rocket science, just a few suggestions to help keep me sane.
That being said, who is ready to book their trip for the Spring? 🙂