When Olivier & I woke up in our hotel room in Breda, we couldn’t focus on much except for breakfast. Here’s the thing about breakfast: each time I leave France, I get all worked up & dizzy about what this new place will be serving for the first meal of the day.
I judge a country based on its breakfast. Sure, there are other small, less important factors that affect my opinion of a place: the booze, the people, the sights… but, these are all nothing compared to the importance of what food a country starts its day with.
France, I love you, but a croissant & cup of coffee just doesn’t cut it for me. This is a snack. Fail.
Holland, on the other hand… they have their shit together in this area. There was fruit, cereal, plates of meat & cheese… yogurt, juice, coffee, pastries & a variety of bread. A chubby woman with an absurdly sincere grin brought me a plate the size of Greenland that was covered with runny eggs & bacon.
I was drunk on Dutch cheese & bacon. Afterward, all I could do was gurgle incoherently with glee. I didn’t want to move, but I had no choice. As soon as the feast had ended, we had to stuff ourselves back into our scorching Renault oven to drive ourselves to Germany.
It was going to be a few hours, so we’d have entertain ourselves like the jackasses that we are… singing ridiculous made-up songs is a pretty good way of passing the time during a road trip.
While we were on the road out of the Netherlands, Olivier & I each remarked at the profound lack of tulips & windmills. We did see a few windmills off in the distance as we sped down the highway, but not once did I see rolling fields of tulips. It’s a good thing that I was drunk on Dutch breakfast cheese, or else I might have been very riled up about another cliché crashing down to the ground in front of me like this.
Another thing that we had to do besides keeping an eye out for confirmation of cultural stereotypes was to find postcards to send to friends & family.
It seems that the cagey bastard who swiped the tulip fields had also gotten his mitts on the fucking postcards. We couldn’t find anything, so we had to settle on some free ones that we found hanging on the wall in a gas station. Now, receiving a postcard with a picture of a gas pump on it & some gibberish written in Dutch may not seem classy to you, but… well, you’d be wrong about that.
Triumphant with our classy free postcards in hand, we were back on the highway & heading toward a campground just outside of Hamburg.
Just after we entered Germany, we made a rather wonderful discovery: Germany has something that France doesn’t. Something that Olivier & I often lament because no one should ever have to go without it.
Of course, I’m talking about this:
As soon as we saw it, we were speeding into the parking lot, running inside & in the best German that Olivier could spit out in his excitement, he was ordering Whoppers.
I also noticed in the Burger King the cleanest bathroom ever to be found in a fast food restaurant. Likely it had something to do with the dude hanging around outside the shitters charging people 20 cents a pop to clean up after everyone. We ended up seeing this all over the place in Germany & while we weren’t used to tossing out some change each time we had to see a man about horse, it was actually worth it because… well, you know – public bathrooms can be terrifying.
Anyway… on to the campground.
We stayed at a campground in the town of Großensee, just to the east of Hamburg. We had picked up a few bottles of German beer somewhere between Burger King & putting up our tent.
We also had plenty of butane & canned ravioli.
We were pretty much set for the entire night.
Well, we were… until around 1:00 in the morning when I awoke in agony. At some point during the night, it seemed that someone had attempted to remove the tiny bones of my inner ear with a rusty pair of needle nose pliers.
Evidently, I had also swallowed a fucking golf ball that was still lodged in my throat. I was in pain. I was outraged. Naturally, I did what I always do in these situations.
I wept like fucking baby.
In the morning, instead of getting excited about breakfast, I was pouting & choking, sobbing into my scrambled eggs. I was also barely able to speak, so not being able to bitch endlessly about my suffering was a bit of a bummer.
Obviously, I wasn’t very cheerful about this shit.
Olivier was on the phone, trying to find out what kind of medication to get from the pharmacy. Words such as “infection”, “antibiotic” & “prescription” were flying around.
We went into the nearest pharmacy & Olivier threw together some words from his rusty German to discuss with the pharmacist all of this business with “antibiotics” & “prescriptions”. Fortunately, the pharmacist didn’t feel like dicking around with us much & probably figured that if we were pill poppers trying to scam him, we wouldn’t be asking for fucking amoxicillin.
So, antibiotics & aspirin in hand, we were off to Copenhagen, where I would eventually be able to speak again.
Technocrati Tags: Breda, Holland, Netherlands, breakfast, Germany, Hamburg, Burger King, bathroom, Whopper, Großensee, tulips, windmills, stereotypes, cliché, travel, road, camping, sick, pharmacy, ridiculous, food, postcards
Tags: bathroom, breakfast, Breda, Burger King, camping, cliché, food, Germany, Großensee, Hamburg, Holland, Netherlands, pharmacy, postcards, ridiculous, road, sick, stereotypes, travel, tulips, Whopper, windmills