Fun in the Woods

November 10, 2010

Come join me beside the fire and come on a little journey with me.

I was in Karlsruhe and was on my way to an apointment. I had an address and directions. Should be easy. Ha! Famous last words.

So I have the address of this place, and it says it is in Karlsruhe. I have to jump on a bus and change buses and then walk. No big deal. I do this in cities all the time. I find the bus I’m supposed to ride for exactly 7 minutes (I love the Germans) before switching to another bus. The bus takes off and I’m sitting there taking in the city when suddenly I realize…we’re on the Autobahn…like, cars whizzing by Autobahn. Like, leaving Karlsruhe Autobahn. Like suddenly there’s no more city and there is around me is woods and villages. I double check the directions, double check the bus and the next stop, and everything is as it should be, so I stay put (not like I could go anywhere on a city bus driving down the Autobahn.). We get off the Autobahn and come to a stop in the middle of nowhere. It’s my stop, and since others are getting off, I get off too. Sure enough, it was exactly 7 minutes later and the other bus I was supposed to get on was pulling up. So I jump on. This bus continues to go to the middle of nowhere. And when I say the middle of nowhere, I mean I’m in the middle of the woods, going up a really steep hill. Again, I check my directions and check with the the lit sign on the bus saying what the next stop is. Sure enough, I’m still hot on the trail. Well, the bus stops in the middle of a hill in the middle of the woods. I double check AGAIN. Sure enough, I’m at the right spot and a bunch of people are getting off, so like the sheep that I am, I get off, too.

The directions say to look for a fountain and next to it I will find a set of stairs. I look around. I see no fountain. I see no stairs. But I do see a street that all the people are walking towards so I think, “Baaaaaaah. I’ll follow those people and maybe I’ll find a fountain and some stairs.” No dice on the fountain, but I do find the stairs. So I try the stairs. Now, when I say stairs, I’m not talking like a couple of steps, I’m talking 7 flights of stairs, climbing up the side of a small mountain type of stairs. I’m thinking, “I’m going to sweaty, stinky and disgusting by the time I find these people”. I get to the top of the stairs, panting and look for the next direction which is to walk straight for 10 meters. Uh, no way to walk straight. There is only woods. Only way is left. At this point I’m thinking, something is not quite right here, but what else am I supposed to do? So I go 10 meters to the left where I am supposed to find stairs going down! Down!?!? I just came up. But no stairs. Only a trail into the woods. At this point, I’m realizing I need help. No one is answering the phone in the office and I’m in the middle of a village in the middle of the woods on the side of a mountain somewhere near Karlsruhe. It also happens to be 1 pm, so no one is outside. They are either eating lunch or taking their afternoon nap. It’s a ghost village. But as luck would have it, I come across a car with an elderly gentleman in it. My first thought is, “Oh goodness, I sure hope I can understand this guy” because, you see, I’m in the middle of the woods on the side of a mountain where the dialect is so thick, many Germans can’t understand the locals. Fortunately, the guy realizes I speak proper German and does his best to accommodate, and I understand him just fine. Apparently, I am on the wrong side of the mountain and need to take the bus one stop further! What!?!? This is where I was supposed to get off! With an audible sigh, I thank him and take off back down the side of the mountain, down the stairs, to the end of the street and treck back up half the mountain to the bus stop…where I notice something quite odd. The bus stop sign is not the same name as what was announced in the bus! The bus was wrong!!! I had gotten off at the wrong stop in the middle of the woods on the side of a mountain! Breathing a sigh of relief and knowing that I indeed would find my way, I wait patiently for the bus in the middle of the woods on the side of the mountain.

The bus appears like my knight in shining armor. I get on, and just as I’m about to sit down I hear, “Sarah! Hey! How’s it going?!” I’m like, I’m in the middle of the woods on the side of a mountain and someone on this bus not only knows me, but is American and speaking English to me. I turn to find 2 Americans who happen to live in the same building as my voice teacher in New York and who were at my concert in New York in July!

Can you say small world?!?!

So all the Germans are sitting there listening to us gab loudly in English, thinking to themselves what was that American doing standing in the middle of the woods on the side of the mountain?

I was wondering the same thing.

P.S. I did make it…eventually.

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