My wife and I are beginning to put things together for a trip to Germany in what is just over a week from now. We have flown overseas a couple of times; the first time to Vienna the week prior to the millenium and then to Germany a couple of years ago, also around the Christmas/New Year holidays.
We're making this trip to visit our older son, whom we haven't seen in over a year. On both of our previous trips we were accompanied by our younger son, who, while not fluent in German as is his brother, still has a basic understanding of it and can converse enough to help us get to where we're going or whatever. This time, however, he cannot make the trip for a variety of reasons — something to do with his life. (Jeeze! Any excuse just to leave poor old mom and dad in the lurch.)
I am, consequently, a bit more apprehensive about this trip as neither my wife nor I have any knowledge of the language. I have tried listening to a German language learning program and have a phrase book, but I haven't managed to get much beyond "Wo ist der toiletten?"
Our older son reassures us that he will be there, "Johann on the spot," when we arrive, and won't let us out of his sight during the ten or so days we'll be spending in Deutschland. Yeah, right.
My wife and I are "getting on in years." both of us having eclipsed the 60-year threshold. By today's standards that's not really old, I guess, but neither is it young. As I've recounted here in previous articles and comments, almost ad nauseam, I have creaky, arthritic knees, and I am now sporting a painfully sore lower back. Add to that the fact that I'm a veritable tub of guts weighing in at over 250 pounds of flaming love! (That would sound better in kilos, wouldn't it? What — 114 kilos or so?) Consequently, according to my ortho guy, I'm putting something like a thousand pounds of pressure on my knees and back with every step I take. Great! My wife has a number of ailments big and small, that I won't go into in respect of her privacy, but suffice to say, we are neither one of us in the pinnacle of health.