Saturday, April 7, 2018

The brat and the bitch...

Forgive me for the title of this post, but I'm a little steamed.  Well, maybe I'm not as steamed right now as I was about an hour ago.  But I am a little perturbed.

Today, Bill and I journeyed to the Stuttgart Messe, a huge convention complex at the airport, where they were having the Slow Food Fair, among other events.  We had a great time trying different products, eating and drinking, and buying stuff.  We came home with a small haul of items.

At about 4:30pm, we decided we'd had enough of the Slow Food celebration and decided to head home.  Our tickets to the event included train tickets, so we took public transportation rather than trying to drive.  That was probably the smartest thing to do, since there's a lot of booze to try at the Slow Food Fair.

Unfortunately, a whole lot of people were leaving the airport at the same time we were.  When the train finally came, we were all packed in like sardines.  Bill and I were pretty much smashed in a corner by one of the doors.  A woman and her daughter, maybe 7 or 8 years old, were standing directly in front of me.  Mom appeared to be Italian or perhaps Spanish.  She was with a tall woman who appeared to be German, although she had white hair and I couldn't tell her age.

The daughter immediately started loudly complaining in English about being on the crowded train.  She was talking about how she hated being touched.  Then she said, "When I'm with Dad, I never have to take the train.  We always ride in the car."

Then the mother, also speaking English, said in a rather nasty tone of voice, "That's because your dad is a typical American.  He's lazy."

I couldn't help but think to myself, "Well clearly, you fell for a lazy American's charms, because here you are with a child by him... and now you're badmouthing him and an entire nation of people to your child in public.  Classy stuff there, mom."

There I was, standing behind this woman and her kid, being forced to listen to this conversation, which continued apace.  A man standing next to her, obviously a local, spoke English and kindly said "There's your stop."  They'd gone exactly one stop from the airport and the kid was complaining the whole way... and her mother was pretty much cheering her on.

When the doors opened, the kid made a big, dramatic show out of getting off the very crowded train squealing, "I'm free!"  Her mother then said they had to wait to be picked up.  I watched the kid dance away with her apparently very bitter mom.

Granted, I'd been festing and enjoying a nice afternoon.  It was no fun for me being on the packed train either, being smashed into a corner next to people who publicly disdained my country right in front of me.  I don't like being crowded or touched by strangers either.  But if I had loudly made those kinds of comments in public when I was that kid's age, I'm pretty sure my mom would have told me to shut the hell up.

Maybe I should have said, "Jeez Bill, I guess as Americans we made the wrong choice in riding the train today.  People like us should be driving cars, because our people are 'lazy'."  If we had done that, I wouldn't be writing this post after having my buzz so unceremoniously shaved by an ill mannered urchin and her equally uncouth mother.  Instead, I just rolled my eyes and vowed to vent on my blog.  So that's what I'm doing.

Oh well...  we did have a good time today.  I'm sorry we haven't gone to the slow food shindig in prior years.  If we're still here next year, we will have to go... and maybe drive instead of taking the train.

I'll be writing about today tomorrow morning... for now, I want to enjoy the rest of an otherwise beautiful day.

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