Monday, August 16, 2010


Mr. and Mrs. Roy recently traveled to Germany; Mr. Roy was working but Mrs. Roy was just being a camp follower and tourist.  We had a great time and Mrs. Roy learned a few things I would like to pass along to future travelers  because, as Dorothy so aptly put it, we weren't in Kansas anymore!  Mrs. Roy encourages you to put aside your prejudices and normal way of thinking and embrace all the little things that make foreign travel such a great adventure.

1.  Mrs. Roy had to buy a washcloth.  The hotel only had face towels and bath towels - big, nice, fluffy towels but no washcloths.  Mrs. Roy tried to do without but was glad to spend one Euro for a washcloth that Mrs. Roy just wrung out and let air dry every night after my bath.  Now Mrs. Roy has a nice orange souvenir that will make me smile for years to come.

2.  Europeans are very garbage-conscious because they have a lot of people living on a relatively small plot of earth and they are running out of room for trash dumps.  Consequently, trash is very expensive - you won't find public trash cans anywhere (plus trash cans make handy terrorist bomb holders) and Mrs. Roy didn't find a lot of amenity type stuff in our hotel room, like paper-wrapped soap or plastic bottles of shampoo to stick in your luggage.  What Mrs. Roy did find are wall-mounted dispensers for soap which often doubles as shampoo.  Mrs. Roy has seen this in a few ecology-conscious American places, too.  It certainly makes you stop and think about all the stuff we throw away.

3.  Germans don't do ice.  Mr. and Mrs. Roy only had ice in our drinks at one restaurant the entire trip but we had been there before so we knew what to expect.  After a couple of days, you don't even notice it anymore.

4.  When Mrs. Roy orders a salad in the USA, I get a long list of salad dressing options.  In Germany, they bring you a salad and it is dressed however they think is proper.  This trip, most of Mrs. Roy's salads had yogurt dressing.  At other times, we've had mostly oil and vinegar.  Never fear; it's always good and one less decision is something Mrs. Roy can live with!

5.  Euros consist of paper bills and various coins, sort of like American money except more coins.  Mrs. Roy always ends up with a bunch of one cent, two cent, five cent and ten cent coins that are nearly impossible to use.  Even when Mrs. Roy tries to use them, the cashiers don't really want them.  Mrs. Roy got the hotel clerk to take some of my small coins in exchange for a larger coin but she said they couldn't really use them, either.  Mrs. Roy's grandchildren will probably get some in their Christmas stocking to take to school for show and tell.

6.  It costs about 20 cents to use the bathroom in Germany - pay toilets are alive and well there - and one of the few places you can use those little coins (see #5).  On previous trips, Mrs. Roy was obliged to "tip" the human attendant but we only saw mechanized WC's on this trip.

7.  Kindereggs!

8.  Castles!

9.  American soldiers, airmen and dependents.  Mr. and Mrs. Roy had the distinct honor and privilege to visit several military bases while in Germany.  I am amazed and humbled by these Americans who pack up their entire families and move to a foreign country to protect Mrs. Roy's very American way of life.  May God bless each and every one of them.

10.  Mrs. Roy is rounding out her top ten list with the very friendly, kind, patient people of Germany who made her feel welcome.  Many Germans speak English, at least enough to help Mrs. Roy order food or make a purchase, and they are always so kind in response to my pathetic attempts at speaking German.  The Germans are unerringly polite while driving and even out walking on the streets.

Mrs. Roy hopes you will hop on a plane the next chance you get and explore our wonderful world for yourself.  It is always interesting to see how other folks live and to realize that Mrs. Roy's way may not always be the best way - but I'm learning!


  1. Mrs. Roy world traveler ... Fifi hopes to become a world traveler one of these days too!

  2. Well written. fyi -- not all americans use washcloths - hands or brushes work for some of us. Home wall soap dispensers : USA stores have
    'em for sale.

  3. What an exciting adventure!