“Kati’s Angels”

Back by popular demand (well, just Rufous, actually), my Germany stories …

I’m the John Bosley in this story, the father figure to the girls. The mission was a sightseeing tour of a Roman fort in Saalburg, Germany. I accompanied “Kati” and her angels on this particular expedition, albeit my mind state was more suited to boob tube viewing.

It was a fair weather day but still a welcoming change to the week’s antagonistic conditions. The snacks and drinks had been prepared and the incessant chatter loomed in the apartment before departure. "I can’t hear you. The girls are blabbing too loudly," I said on the phone to my father.

"Okay, okay. Get going," he said.

I grabbed my jacket and followed the four hens out of the apartment and into the direction of Jana’s car. With all the bonding I had done the previous night with my girlfriend’s two gal pals, I couldn’t help but notice a slight change in my demeanor on this particular day. I was starting to fear the worst. My personality would slowly morph into that of a German woman if I continued to hang out with the girls. But after a few minutes passed, I conquered my fear and possessed an air of newfound ballsiness that allowed me to look at the day’s coming journey as an opportunity to spend some leisure time with Kati and her angels—no preconceptions allowed.

Just shortly after noon, we hopped into Jana’s wheels and were on the road to Saalburg. But first we needed to pick up Ida, who was patiently waiting for us at a train station that resembled an urban crack house. A few turns in the wrong direction after that? No problem. Kati was working the map as Jana worked the car in reverse more times than I care to recall. Selma and I sat in the back, patiently waiting for us to get on the right track. We’d have to wait a bit longer, though, since the girls couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag.

As expected on such a journey, Kati and the angels were in full babble mode for far too long. I occasionally tossed in a German word here and there but mostly remained at peace with my own thoughts. Until Selma, who barged in with some tourist jabber, felt compelled to give me a brief historical run-down of the road in which we were traveling. The Limes was a boundary line that divided the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribes. However, on this day, it was simply a road with traffic.

After I’d gotten enough high-pitched German verbiage for one car ride, I was finally granted a respite. We took a brief detour through a fun park, where I observed, for the very first time, two adult men playing on a seesaw (hell, that could’ve been me out there). The loads of people and rides were appealing, but I was quickly slapped back to reality when Jana drove the car off-road through a bumpy grass and dirt path.

When we arrived at the site, the angels eagerly swaggered on over to the historical Roman fort. A couple of them were armed with cameras, ready to assume the role of tourist by snapping numerous photos at a moment's notice. I, on the other hand, had my sunglasses on and my sarcasm handy, ready for use if the need arose. But I was there to enjoy the company of Kati and the angels, and tour the ancient Roman fort grounds, so I mostly kept my wisecracks to myself. This was a time to learn the history of the parta praetorica, the horreum, the via principali, the old baking ovens, and the idea behind the L-shaped barracks near the granary. Oh, and I must not forget the “Roman shoe from a well” and the bronze statues of the Roman emperors, Hadrian and Severus Alexander.

In one of the rooms, while in the midst of staring at an old Germanic map, I thought of my beloved New England sports team that was about to engage in battle later that day. Unfortunately, I would be nowhere near their battlefield, nor would I be close to the same time zone. It was three o’clock in the afternoon with ten hours to go before the start of the game. I would have no possible way to watch an American football game. Needless to say, my mind was wandering, although I did get mildly excited when I came across some old Roman spears and knives. Yeah, those were manly things. There. I felt better.

Intrigue and enthusiasm plagued the girls. Their historical curiosity was evident. But I was bored, at times. I needed something I could relate to a bit more. Perhaps the history of the train stop where I waited every morning? I could have a sense of satisfaction in knowing the area’s origin while observing the surrounding rubbish and dog shit as I waited for the train to arrive. Clearly, I was onto something.

My apathetic state would soon be abandoned, however, once the girls and I explored a part of the site near the forest. With this sudden change in scenery, we became moderately goofy and gathered together for more pictures. Unbeknownst to my cranky side, this actually started to lift my mood. What was it about the girls’ intoxicating passion for a dull Roman fort and excessive picture taking that was so contagious? Damned if I knew. ‘Course, we all dined together back at our place afterwards. I even enjoyed that, too.

Perhaps what I suspected all along was right. Kati and her angels were a lovely group to spend the day with. I guess that’s all I have to say about that.

Comments

It took me a while to remember who is John Bosley!

At least your crew were up for an adventure. At least Romans were around to keep us entertained, hundreds of years later.

the Limes: that was amazing (I went off to read about). I'd want to spend the whole day, just hanging out by that trench.

I did put some European woods, on my life list of goals- predating bucket lists. I swore I would visit this place in the woods of Czekoslavakia, however that is spelled. A 13th century village. I saw a photo of it when I was a teenager.

Hope the ancient village is still there. It might take me awhile, at this rate, to head over there...
 
Well, it sounds like you took advantage of learning as much as possible about German (even if not aware of it) and the young ladies who were so excited.

Just remember that you were along for the ride. Chances are they didn't know what to do with you, either....thus the trip to the fort.

How long did you live in Germany? How is your wife settling into life in the U.S., it's bound to be different, although having young children helps in the making friends department and the like. Parents are just open to wanting to know more about their children's friends, thus the door for friendships to form. It becomes harder later in life....I'm talking about much, much later.

Always interesting to read....I have a thing about words anyway, but good for you in sharing your stories. Stay well. Yours, Lenora.
 
Well, it sounds like you took advantage of learning as much as possible about German (even if not aware of it) and the young ladies who were so excited.

Just remember that you were along for the ride. Chances are they didn't know what to do with you, either....thus the trip to the fort.

How long did you live in Germany? How is your wife settling into life in the U.S., it's bound to be different, although having young children helps in the making friends department and the like. Parents are just open to wanting to know more about their children's friends, thus the door for friendships to form. It becomes harder later in life....I'm talking about much, much later.

Always interesting to read....I have a thing about words anyway, but good for you in sharing your stories. Stay well. Yours, Lenora.
Hey Lenora,

I lived in Germany for three short, fulfilling years.

My wife has been here in the US for almost twelve years now. She’d always envisioned living in America, from the time she was a little girl in Berlin. After Germany, we’d moved to NYC for a few years and then came back here to Boston, where I’m from, in 2013. This is home now.
 

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