Friday, October 11, 2013

Where were the seven dwarves?

So, in addition to becoming a nudist, I have also taken to a life of crime. 

This morning I trekked out of my hostel to catch the tram. Finding no ticket machine at the station, I assumed I would buy one from the driver, as I had previously with buses. 

Well, the tram pulled up, and it became immediately clear that this was not to be. I knew it was not legal to ride public transit without a ticket, that it is stealing. I also knew, in Germany at least, no one ever checks for tickets. 

I actually was on my way to the train station, which would have a machine, and I was planning to buy a day ticket anyway, which would cover this illicit ride, so I didn't feel that guilty. Then I heard the driver come on the PA -- not the automated voice, but the driver. I turned around and say a guy who appeared to be wearing a vest taking a ticket from someone behind me. 

Holy crap. I was about to get busted. And, there behind the vest, was a ticket machine. If it hadn't been 38 degrees I would have been sweating. 

On closer reflection, the vest guy was not working for the transit company. I debated getting a ticket but didn't because if I got up now, three stops later, everyone on the bus would know I was a dirty ride thief. (If anyone noticed or cared, which was doubtful.) And, more importantly, it takes three or four attempts for me to find the ticket I'm looking for and pay. I prefer to keep witnesses to a minimum. So I sat in the corner and prayed for my stop. 

I spent several more minutes on the tram today, though with that day pass in my pocket none were as nerve-wracking. It was a wet, cold day in Freiburg. It rained off and on, except for when I took a cable car 1,200 meters up to the top of a nearby mountain, when it snowed off and on. It was probably not the blackest the Black Forest has ever been. 

The weather sort of confined my activities. I tried to do a walking tour outlined on my map, but I couldn't juggle the map and my umbrella. It was impossible to stay completely dry, and I walked around with wet socks for much of the day. At one point on Schauinsland (the mountain) I was actually fantasizing about getting back to the hostel, stripping down to my towel and going to the sauna. I didn't care how many naked bodies were in there. Fortunately it warmed up and I could walk around the forest and surrounding meadows. And earlier in the day I had my first bratwurst of the trip, which I enjoyed while making a mental note of the fact that there was never anyone at the tofu wurst truck when I walked past. 

I did get back and go almost straight to the sauna, though. Four. 

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