- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2006

I’m still in trial-and-error mode, and it would be useful to know a few German words. I took my normal tram into town today, but at the end of the journey, I found myself in a dark tunnel all by myself. I stepped down onto the concrete, when the mechanic gave me a baffled look and told me there were mechanical problems. So that’s why the train emptied at the previous stop. The kind mechanic finally led me back to civilization.

• I really wanted to watch the Brazil-Croatia game and arrived back at my garden house just in time for the kickoff. The people living up from my garden house were out, but they had said I could watch the game in their home. The only problem was, I couldn’t figure out how the television worked. Meaningless words kept coming up on the screen. Where was Comcast when I needed it?

So I jogged to the tram and rode into town, keeping an eye out for a bar showing the game. I was in luck because the tram stopped right outside a wine bar with a big screen. I caught the second half and had a nice chat with the young owner, Fred., who said he once had lived in the same tiny town in Kansas at the same time as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

“I must have met him at some point because there were only two grocery stores in town,” Fred said.

• I found myself sitting next to Michelle Lissel of the Fox Sports World Report on FSC, which I am addicted to. I watch it every night at 10 p.m. back home. Michelle is even more charming in person that she is on TV.

• There’s a large billboard poster of a naked man displayed everywhere in these parts. “Was ist mannlich?” asks the billboard. One might call it downright decadent.

An article on the poster took over the front pages of the major daily Die Welt today, with picture included. My grandma would have choked on her Corn Flakes.

John Haydon


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