When I was in Germany during my army days, I used to wander out of the barracks most evenings to explore the local countryside. When I say wander I really mean that with no plan in my mind I used to drive my 1956 model Volkswagen wherever. I said with no plan but actually sometimes I would do what I called a left right drive.
A left right drive means you get to an intersection and alternatively turn left or right. With the same starting point you eventually exhaust all of the possibilities but if you say to yourself I will drive there and then start my left right drive ;you develop new unexplored byways. Well you get my drift.
One evening I had been out exploring and decide to return to my barracks. The road back to Fallingbostel and Oerbke led me down a very narrow road lined on both sides with pine forests. I can’t remember the name exactly but I think it was gasthaus zum Kneipe ( it’s been 50 years). Anyway, I decided to drop in to see what was going on.
I should mention that in this part of Germany, th4e locals speak a dialect of German called Platt deutsch. It’s a low German, akin to English and easily understood(so they say) by Glasgow dockworkers.
I entered the bar and asked for a beer and a doppel korn. although my German was good it was obvious to those who could hear or see that I was not from around those parts.
there were two older guys sitting about two tables away and I noticed that they quickly switched to Platt deutsch as soon as they realized I was not one of them.
I was not able to speak Platt deutsch but I could understand some of it.
So now the fun part begins: I got my beer and doppel korn and couldn’t help listening to one of the funniest conversations I have ever heard. The two guys were talking about fishing. they went from local rivers to one in Bavaria and then to fishing in the open sea.
The conversation went something like this;
Would you ever go fishing in the sea?
You mean in a boat?
Yeh, of course.
No I don’t think so.
Why not? You might catch herring to Pickle.
I heard about a man who went on a fishing holiday in Greece. he hooked a sword fish and it was so big that when he tried to pull it onto the boat it cut the boat in half.
Now I have heard about the one that got away but this one made me laugh. The two guys noticed that I had understood their conversation and asked me to join them. In spite of being a British soldier we exchanged war stories (soldier talk) and enjoyed a convivial evening.