Apparently there was an election yesterday, although there was hardly any news coverage. Did anyone know about this?
Relax, I’m only kidding!
To say that the election of Barack Obama changes America’s perspective in the world is a massive understatement. This is good news for those of us who want to travel abroad because for some reason, Americans have a bit of a bad reputation. Having family in Germany and Austria, traveling to the region is something I try to do whenever possible, however with the recent economy “changes,” it has been difficult to make it happen. This is the time to travel. Gas prices are down, taxes are soon to be lower for most Americans, and our global image has improved. As I have written about before, the mountains in Europe are legendary. I thought I would share this amusing anecdote with you today.
I went on a ski trip to Austria in 2005. We had a flawless flight, and after a short stop in London, I landed as scheduled. I picked up my rental car in Vienna (a sweet Mercedes-Benz) and headed off on what should have been a 3 hour drive to Klagenfurt, to see some of my family before hitting the slopes over in Innsbruck.
I stopped in a small town called Poggersdorf for gas, as I was nearly out. My German is pretty good, and I chatted with some locals about the weather, or so I thought. As it turns out I was using a very inappropriate German word, with out my knowing it. They failed to point this out. I decided to check out the area and found myself in an area called Pubersdorf. When I started making conversation in this location, one of the locals commented on how rude I was acting, and asked me to leave. I was dumbfounded. Was there some kind of difference in Poggersdorf and Pubersdorf that I was unaware of? I simply could not figure it out. I managed to get lost trying to find the highway, due to the fact that I did not have a GPS rental in Austria. I had no other option but to go into the store I had just been kicked out of. As I entered, the owner rolled his eyes and before he could kick me out again, I asked in English, “Why are you so angry with me?” He immediately started laughing very hard. Apparently he thought that I was someone else. When I met my cousin for the first time, I understood why! He looked just like me! We ended up being the best of friends, and I look forward to seeing him again.