broken on the 'bahn

our first day went surprisingly well, so we were happily singing along to the radio when we hear a *clunk clunk* noise. i said "i hope that wasn't important" as a joke and we drove on thinking we just ran over something. if only it was that simple. more noises started happening soon after, so we decided to pull over at a rest stop - good idea right? well, just as we are nearing the end of the off ramp there is one more clunk and we stop short. no movement whatsoever. this is where we start to panic a bit, mostly because there are three impatient cars behind us who want to get by. so we jump out and push but that car wasn't budging an inch. the impatient people manage to drive up on the curb and around us, scowling on the way by as if we had purposefully gotten stuck in the middle of the lane, just to ruin their rest stop experience. another car comes along, this time with a man flailing his arms in anger. he jumps out to make sure we had the car in neutral as we tried to push again - we are girls, you know, and we obviously don't know any better. he finally reverses and goes through to the truckers' side, getting several others to reverse as well. that's about 8 cars and 0 people who have stopped to ask if we needed help.

at this point marie is frantically on the phone with her dad to see if he can diagnose the problem. which left me to go direct traffic away from our exit lane before more people got stuck behind us. notice the fluorescent safety jackets we packed, thinking we would never need.... finally, after many frantic phone calls and the eventual generosity of strangers, marie was able to arrange a tow truck to come pick us up.

the tow truck finally comes and the guy identifies a problem with one of the breaks that he has apparently never seen before. fantastic... we make our way to the garage in who-knows-where-ville and wander inside to wait. there we see two other guys who had been waiting two days for their car to be fixed! oh yeah, it was also friday afternoon, so we were getting a bit worried we would be pitching our tent on the grassy patch nex the garage and waiting..

luckily, we weren't waiting for nearly as long as we thought we might be and we were free to get on our way!

that night, our destination was freiburg to visit aaron. the lady navigated us into town pretty poorly, but eventually we found his apartment. we hadn't gotten his apartment number, so i was hoping his name would be on the buzzer, so i trotted up to the door, found his apartment and buzzed up. just as he was buzzing me into the building, the door opened and an elderly couple stared at me suspiciously. they were probably asking me who i was and why i was looking like i was heading into the building, but i speak no german whatsoever, so i just babbled a bit and asked bishell?? a few times until aaron finally made it down the stairs and explained that i was a friend of his. apparently they were the overprotective landlords.

after getting the tour of aaron's place, having some horrible coffee and just generally catching up, we decided to head out to dinner. aaron took us to a buzzing little local restaurant where we shared some tasty lamb steaks, had some big pints of beer and did some more chatting. after dinner, we went on a little walking tour of the town before we sat down for a cocktail at a busy corner bar.

as we were pretty exhausted from a stressful day, we turned in relatively early, stuffing our two air mattresses into the free space on aaron's floor and making quick plans for our trip to zurich the next day.


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