Tag Archives: German china and porcelain

Random Memories of Germany-Part 6

12 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Fred and I tried to be good Americans – not the “ugly” Americans that are portrayed so often.  To do so, we took German language lessons before we left the States, and studied some after we arrived in Germany.

I remember taking classes after we settled in our apartment in Heidelberg. 

Part of Mark Twain Village – across the courtyard from our building

One of the last days of classes, we had to partner up with another student, go downtown Heidelberg, stop a German on the street and ask questions/directions in German and get an answer from them.  That was a rather intimidating thought to me, but my partner and I did it.  We would stop someone on the street with “Entschuldigen (Excuse me).  While we then began our questions, the person we stopped usually had a stern look on their face, which nearly made me stop.  However!….as soon as the question was asked, their face cleared, and they answered our questions eagerly and with friendliness.  It never felt like we had interrupted their day.  That was amazing to me!    

Heidelberg Castle, gate and town from the Neckar River

I mentioned in previous posts that we were occasionally mistaken as German by the Germans (i.e., please see my post of March 20, 2016 – The Cruise of a Lifetime, Part 6 continued).  That was always fun.  And that brings me to a time when we were walking from our apartment on Römerstrasse to our church, when a car pulled up beside us and stopped.  In German the people in the car asked for directions to Leimen – a town just a few miles south of Heidelberg.  Well I did my usual “ich habe nur ein bischen Deutch” (I only know a little German),and as I turned to Fred to ask about how far it was, someone in the backseat spoke up with “I speak English.”  But then, being good Americans, I still answered in my best German – that it was straight ahead perhaps 10 kilometers (geradeaus vielleicht zehn kilometers).  They thanked us – in German, with smiles on their faces – and off they went.  

Römerstrasse – the street near our apartment building – where we walked

While in Heidelberg, I found a set of china/porcelain that I wanted.  It is made by Goebel, the same company that makes Hummel figurines and plates.

The pattern I liked is called “Burgund.” 

There was a store in Heidelberg that carried the entire pattern, and I purchased my set from them.  When I got home with it, and compared what I had to what I had paid for, I realized that they hadn’t charged me for 12 saucers.

Again, wanting to be good Americans, I went back to the store with the receipt to explain.  Well, between my halting German and their halting English, it took some doing to make them understand that I had under-paid them!  They thought I was saying I had over-paid for something!  When it was finally clear that I was in the wrong – and was there to make payment – they were astounded!  And as a thank-you, they gave me a set of salt and pepper shakers in that pattern!!

 WOW!  It really does pay to be nice!  I just wanted them to know that not all Americans are “ugly” Americans.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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