Hodge Podge


Hey, look at the progress on the Jaywalker socks. I am about an inch or so from beginning the decreases on the toe and binding off. Aside from a few mishaps from knitting while enjoying some of Bern’s wine (a no-no but I did it anyway), this pair should be done by the time we head up to Amsterdam with some friends. (This is a good thing since a 1pm walk left my ears cold.)

A note on my needles: they are fantastic wood needles. But I recently learned why I have been getting all the stares on the streetcar, and it wasn’t just for the fact that I was throwing my knitting (i.e. holding the yarn in my right hand). It turns out that wooden needles are viewed as poor quality here (might explain why I can’t find them anywhere). I can see their point–why would you knit with something you can break? (I have broken my size one’s–touche). But when you fly there is no way the TSA will let you through with metal needles. Maybe I will put them away for when I fly and join the metal needle knitting club…

Yesterday was the anniversary of the autobahn. I discovered this was not invented by Hitler, as I thought, but by Konrad Adenauer, and the first stretch was completed one year before Hitler came to power. Part of the purpose of the autobahn was so that Germans could enjoy the beautiful countryside while driving (which is a very scary thought when considering the speed, as I can personally attest to). So far the only thing amusing to me about the autobahn is that I am constantly saying, “OMG, can you believe how fast he was going???” but in a much more expletive vulgar unfathomable sort-of-way.

Trivia on the Autobahn:

  • There are speed limits. In some areas there is a lot of stau (traffic in German), so the speed is reduced to 80 kph. Otherwise it is suggested that you go no more than 130 kph, but this is not mandatory. But I can tell you the polizei do regulate this. It’s just like in the US–you see the cop in the other side of the road, everybody taps their breaks, and then goes back to speeding, except here it is at the speed of light.
  • Germans originally mandated a speed limit on the autobahn, but when the Americans liberated Germany, they set the speed limit aside.
  • Despite the fact that you can mostly go as fast as you want and only use the left lane for passing (they are very serious about this and cars come out of nowhere in the left lane) there is still a lot of traffic on the autobahn. For example, it should only take an hour to go to Strasbourg, France, but depending on the traffic, it can take up to six hours!

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