More reporting from our Department of Cultural Stereotypes. It's because heyyyyyy, you can't help it, you just notice things, right? When you travel? Meet new "peoples"?

Like for example, you come visit America for the first time....you notice things! Wow, everyone's so polite and friendly all the time, unless they disagree with your politics, or unless you have any kind of opinion about America not being perfect, or unless they're sitting alone at their computer posting violent, misspelled vitriol about things they only barely understand at some vague, inarticulate, primal level of repulsion or attraction! There are TVs everywhere, really loud, all tuned to either CNN or ESPN or something with Guy Fieri in it! And the food, goodness, the food portions are so.....big! The people are so....so....big!

You know what I mean. So, I made some generalizations about France. And ItalyAnd Spain. And now, it's Germany's turn! Well, not really, I only have one and here it is: they sure do like to follow rules!

There was a sign at the entrance to the campground that I saw, but didn't really read, because I don't speak German and sometimes the signs, they just bounce off. This one said something like "Rest Period: 13:00-15:00 and 22:00-07:00".

Great, yes, I'm all for rest. People need rest. We certainly could've used some rest the night in question because we barely slept a fucking wink due to some asshole snoring away like a power saw somewhere nearby.

But I digress. Something that was not explained to us when we checked in was that this signage I almost noticed indicated a mandatory rest period during which no vehicles were supposed to be driven in the campground. So when we got home from Das Sonntag at 11:17pm or something Thursday night, the big metal gate to the campground was closed. "Huh", we said. "Boo."

I got out and looked at the gate, and lo and behold there was a place for a key, I tried the one key I'd been given for the bathroom and showers, and lo and behold it worked. Yay! Why would it work if you weren't supposed to use it? I quietly moved the gate aside, we drove in, I locked it, we parked, we walked to the tent, didn't sleep due to power snoring, etc.

The next morning when Nelson was brushing her teeth one of the campground managers came up to her and gave her a stern lecture about making noise in the campground after 10pm. "Two people complained!!!" How did anyone have any idea that Nelson was the culprit? This we don't know. Nelson replied to the manager (probably with a mouthful of toothpaste), "Yeah, we didn't know, very sorry!" The manager said, well, don't do it again, and Nelson said, yeah, um, sorry (fuck you), we're going to do it again tonight. We have a dinner reservation at 8pm, so I imagine we won't make it back by 10. "Well then you can't park inside the campground." Stare in disbelief. Snarl. Etc.

I missed all this, I was taking a shower or something. When I saw Nelson again there was literally steam rising off of her and she was flushed scarlet a delicate pink with apoplectic rage. Her last coherent word was,"Germans!!!!" before her eyes rolled back and she slipped into a mumbling semi-catatonia (ed. note: catatonia and mumbling? may want to check on this). Eventually I was able to get her eyes to refocus and she gradually turned unpink and she told me what happened and then it was time to go into town for breakfast and Art.

We ended up at Moma Kafehaus and had a helpfully-portioned cup of coffee and a surprisingly tasty and intereresting piece of healthy "Worpswede" chocolate cake, unfortunately I can't find any more info on this, then went to look for Heinrich Vogeler's house and the museum inside. How hard could it be to find?

Wellllll....we didn't have the Wifi or the Google Maps or the any useful technology, and the town had kept signage to an impressively absolute minimum, hopefully due to aesthetic concerns because that's the only valid reason there could be for making your main tourist attractions so goddamn hard to find, and so we eventually gave up and went to the Tourist Center to find a map.

Nelson parked outside with the engine running while I went inside for maybe 4 minutes, and I returned to find Nelson wild-eyed and pink again.

"Did you see that woman?" she said.
"What woman," I said, looking around.
"That woman on the bike."
"Uhh, no..."
"She just came up to me and told me I couldn't park here."
"But you're not parked here. You're waiting."
"Exactly! That's what I said. I said I'm waiting for my boyfriend, he's just in there."
"And she said, well you can't wait here,"
"But there's nothing happening here."
"I know! And now...there she is! See her? She's taking a picture of that parked car over there."

Indeed, a totally normal-looking older woman (older than me, maybe 55) was on her bike, stopped, taking a picture of the back of a parked car with her phone. Was she the po-po? No visible indications of that. Was she just crazy? Could be.

Orrrrrrrr......was it just the kind of broken-camel-back behavior you see from rule-following locals in a town besieged by rule-breaking tourists.

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