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No Sprechen sie Deutsch-Day Two

Story ID:10532
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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No Sprechen sie Deutsch – Day Two
By Chuck Dishno

Bessenbach Germany August 3, 1978, 6:30 am.

I have always been an early riser and even after a long and tiring yesterday I couldn’t’ sleep anymore. The house was quiet so I got up and made a pot of coffee, no easy task at the Wilson’s house since they don’t drink coffee. Joanne’s parents had visited a few months earlier and I rightly surmised that they had coffee and I finally found a pot and some grounds I was enjoying it when I head. David was stirring. He had to go to the dental clinic for the day. David asked me if I wanted to go along and explore more of Aschaffenburg as I had done the day before but I said I thought I would walk into Bessenbach and explore the area. David told me of the fantastic bakeries in all these small German towns. I thought that was great and I would leave about 7:30 and maybe pick up a loaf of bread to feed the girls when I got back.

David left for work about 7:30 and I woke Roz up and told her what I was going to do. I said I had made a pot of coffee and will probably bring back a loaf of German bread. By the time I walked out the door, Roz was sound asleep again. Not a peep out of Joanne.

It was a beautiful morning with not a cloud in the sky when I started on my trek. The house was set back on the farm and the drive into it was at least 500 yards long and ended on a highway coming out of Bessenbach.

I walked up the long drive to the highway that came out of Bessenbach, turned right and headed into town a distance of less than 1km.

One of the first houses I came to I was surprised to see a nice lady in her mid 30’s wearing shorts and halter with a garden hose in her hand washing a milk cow in her driveway. She had a bucked of warm soapy water and was really doing a great job while the cow, I think she was a Jersey, chewed her cud and seemed to be enjoying every minute. The lady smiled at me and said; Guten Morgen! I touched the brim of my new Aschaffenburg cap and replied back to her, Guten Morgan. I would have liked to talk to her but with my limited German I let it pass. Roz said latter that it’s a good thing didn’t because I might have asked if she minded if I pulled one of her teats. I of course would be speaking of the cow but the lady might not have seen it that way. I just smiled and kept on walking but couldn’t help wonder if after the cow dried off she was going to get a coat of Simonize. It was quite a strange sightseeing a cow being washed in a driveway but I just chalked it up to another delightful event in my growing saga of Germany. I promptly gave the cow the name of Bessenbach Bessie.
I walked along about 10 blocks into Bessenbach and soon my olfactory nerves were overwhelmed by the smell of fresh baking brot, the German word for bread. The further I walked the stronger it became and seemed to be coming from all directions.

About another block further on I came to my first bakery or bäckerei in German. I seemed to have no control over my feet and my nostrils led me thru the first door I came to. Once inside I was awe struck. The delightful smell was captivating and there were piles of fresh brot on the counter with samples that they would cut off and lather it with fresh churned butter that melted into the brot. I was hooked. I wasn’t leaving there without a loaf or two. On the counter were several types to choose from including a hard shell baguette, both light and dark rye and pumpernickel. I was confused so I selected an assortment of five different loaves. Once again I took out a 5 dollar bill and was rewarded with a small handful of German coins that I promptly put into my bulging snap purse. I then asked the nice girl behind the counter where I might find some milk. She just looked at me, shook her head and walked away. Apparently they didn’t sell milk there or they didn’t have any idea what I was talking about. I think it was both. I just smiled, grabbed my bulging bag of brot and headed out the door.

Once outside I turned right and continued toward the center of town. I soon came to what appeared the Main Street or Strassa in German. I looked down the Strassa and saw several stores just opening up. The first one I came to was a sort of hardware store. I was in search for my milk and sure they didn’t have any but thought maybe they could direct me to the right store. The man behind the counter was a kindly old gentleman and when I said, “Excuse me, no sprechen sie Deutsch, I am looking for milk.” He shook his head indicating he didn’t understand so I thanked him and went back outside. A few doors down I saw a matronly lady putting some sort of display in front of her store. She seemed very friendly and once again I said, “Excuse me, no sprechen sie Deutsch where can I find some milk?” She looked like she really wanted to help but didn’t understand. Suddenly it hit me to demonstrate, so I squatted down, put out my hands and made like I was milking a cow all the while making squirting sounds with my mouth. Almost instantly the light went off in her head and she said, “Ja, milch!” It didn’t sound too much like milk to me but I knew I was on the right track. The lady then stepped up beside me; put her huge left arm across my shoulder that was sprouting something looking like a sagebrush from her arm pit and with her right hand began to count off the shops down the Strassa. “Eins, zwei, drei vier, fünf, sechs, sieben. When she reached seven she proudly said, “milch” and nodded with a big smile. I said, “Danka” shook her hand then proceeded to my goal for that elusive milk. Sure enough, seven doors down I came to a grocery store.

I entered the store and went immediately to the sweet young girl behind the register. I now practiced my new word and said, “milch”. She looked up and pointed to the back of the store. I walked back expecting to see a large dairy case but all I saw was a wall with lots of shelves and goods. On closer inspection I spotted several two liter boxes that had the word Milch on the front. I picked one up expecting it to be powdered milk but to my surprise it was liquid. Apparently someone had developed a process that kept the milch from spoiling. At this point all I wanted was my milk in any form. If I hadn’t found it I might have been desperate enough to stop and ask the lady who was washing Bessenbach Bessie if I could pull of a liter or two.

I took my box of milch to the girl at the counter and this time I decided to use my German coins. I took the snap purse from my pocket, opened it up and dumped the contents into my left hand. I then tried to sort thru the pile and find the correct amount. It was hard to do with the purse in my right hand so I just snapped it vertically onto the end of my nose. When I looked up, the girl was staring at me trying not to laugh. I just peered at her with my one eye looking down one side of the snap purse and thrust my hand out for to take whatever she needed. After the transaction was made, I thanked her, grabbed my bag of brot and box of milch then headed back for the farm where Roz and Joanne were waiting for breakfast.

A I headed home I again passed by those incredible smelling bäckereis
They still smelled great but I now had my own, still warm booty under my arm. I was disappointed that the lady at the “cow” wash had gone in and the driveway was almost dry. One thing I hadn’t noticed on the way in was the beautiful flowers that lined the sidewalk, driveway and house. I have never seen such a beautiful array of blossoms and so many vivid colors. I guess it pays to have your own fertilizer plant, a.k.a. Bessenbach Bessie.

I still had almost a kilometer to walk before I could feed the girls but I was stepping on thin air thinking of the great morning I had spent in Bessenbach and the new German words I had picked up.

Upon arrival at David’s house I went in and was followed by the fantastic smell of fresh brot. Joanne and Roz were sitting at the kitchen table and immediately jumped up and marveled at the haul I had made. Joanne got a tub of butter and we started attacking the brot, Roz put on another pot of coffee and it wasn’t long before we had consumed one loaf of brot and started in on another. All this time I was telling of my experiences in town that morning.

David came home early that afternoon and we sat around reminiscing. Joanne was preparing dinner for us and I was looking forward to her good cooking. After a great dinner we were all tired and headed for bed early. The next, August 4th was going to be a great day, not only was it my birthday but we were going to Stuttgart to take delivery of our new Mercedes.

To be continued…
“auf Wiedersehen”