Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Kindness of Germans (Roadside Hospitality)

We took our friend Dominic to our favorite winery that I will never shut up about, Rudi Rüttger. In true Dan/Mel fashion we bought 3 cases of wine.

The winery is not too far from our house- maybe a 25-minute drive. But on the way home we hit the most massive stau (traffic jam) I’ve ever seen. Stand still. Bumper to bumper. For hours. So after about 30 minutes, Dominic and I were a little thirsty.

I crawled into the trunk to get a bottle of wine for our wait. Then came the trickiness of the cork. Now I’m no stranger to being without a corkscrew, but usually there’s other such useful items around like a knife, scissors, a shoe/wall combo. Being in the car, we were left with little.

I gave Dominic a plastic pen. He shoved the pen in the top of the cork, held the bottle outside his window and started pounding on the top of the pen with his shoe. The pen lasted .5 seconds before shattering.

Upon seeing our struggle, the man in the caravan next to us started digging around in his pocket to produce a seriously advanced army knife equipped with a…. wait for it…. Corkscrew!

Dominic popped open the bottle and gave the man and his wife a chug. We would’ve made small talk if it wasn’t for the language barrier, but wine is a universal language.

[Disclaimer: Dan, the driver did not drink any of the wine. As a passenger it is legal in Germany to have an open container.]

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