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Heimat bist du großer Söhne…

Barstow - Victorville - San Dimas

The shortest trip on our adventure was Barstow - Victorville. Now short does not necessarily mean boring. Thankfully we were once again getting off the Interstate and hitting the ol' Route 66. As usual, desert landscape around us but this time we could also enjoy some headwind which made the short trip somewhat more interesting.

Oh, and we finally managed to get into a biker bar. Since we are bikers we thought we should try that out. Honestly the leather and jeans looked more badass than our wind optimized gear. But who cares? As we are responsible bikers we were sitting at the bar, sipping on our diet coke / sprite and enjoyed the view over "silicone valley". While the Harley Davidson folks were drinking their beer and had a blast.

The next day was our second to last daytrip Victorville - San Dimas. We might have been infected by all the flags hanging outside of homes, the "America is the best" attitude or it might even have been the eagle mobile that we saw in Ash Fork. But as it was Austrias Nationalfeiertag (it's something like the July 4th here in the states) we figured we have to show some colors. And of course we sang the national anthem on every stop we made. It didn't matter if it was in front of a red light or during a stop at the local subways, in a Burger King Drive Through or even on the short restroom break. We showed America what it means to be a patriot!

Oh and for all of you who are still trying to figure out how to properly behave when you are talking to an Austrian -> here is a nice guideline: (credit: Wings For Life World Run)

1. “I love kangaroos!”

And so do we. Problem: There are none of the fluffy marsupials around. You are either American, or we need to have a serious talk with your geography teacher. Australia is just a little over 14,000 kilometres (that’s 8,600 miles, for the not-so-metric-crowd) away. If you intend to stick to Australia, here’s something for you. www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/au/en/melbourne/

2. “Do you yodel?”

Yes, all the time. That’s why we don’t have cell phones or text messaging. In fact we break into yodelling at any occasion that seems fit. Really? Come on!

3. “What language do you speak?”

OK, that’s a tough one. Technically it’s German. The Germans, though, might disagree. Austrian has staggering number of accents and dialects, some that sound a bit German that make speakers from the beautiful western state of Vorarlberg completely incomprehensible to his fellow countrymen from Vienna; even villages around a city have massively different accents. When it gets really bad – and it does! – we have to fall back on to the age-old international communication tool of waving our arms around. It’s that bad,

4. “I love the “Sound of Music!”

Good for you. No Austrian in his right mind will ever admit to having heard or – God forbid – seen the movie. It’s the ultimate no-go and an entirely valid reason for having your citizenship revoked. If you want to stay friends with the Austrian people, you should keep your love for the Trapps running, singing and yodelling their way across mountained meadows to yourself. We mean it.

5. “It’s such a beautiful little country.”

Ouch. That really hurt. To us, Austria is still the long-gone Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, minus the emperor, his moustache, Hungary and all the other beautiful regions that used to make up our great nation. At least now the borders of our country finally resemble our favourite food: Wienerschitzel, a breaded and deep-fried veal schnitzel.

6. Do you wear Dirndl and Lederhosen?

OK, this would pass as an acceptable question; however, it depends on whom you ask. If you strongly believe we brave the harsh Alpine winters in short skirts and leather shorts, then we have to disappoint you – no. However, we might crack out the traditional clothes to have a beer at one of the countless little town parties and parades. Alright, make that two beers.

7. “I’ll be back.”

Oh yes, that’s a funny one. So what? Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria but has long moved on to govern other people, those of the Great State of California. Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate you visiting our wonderful country, just don’t do it with the most over-quoted line from a 30-year-old movie. Thank you.

8. “You are so polite.”

Thanks, we know. It’s part of the gig, would you please have a seat. Since the only thing the Swiss have contributed to mankind is the cuckoo clock, and the Germans are too busy building cars and highways, we Austrians like to think of ourselves as the last frontier of kindness and politeness. Alright, maybe with the exception of the Viennese. They even scare us.

9. “May I call you Franz?”

No, you may not. We Austrians have a tendency to start getting hysterical and even rude if someone simply starts addressing us by our first name. That’s what we have last names for. Family and close friends are an exception – you are not. To make matters worse, we are obsessed with academic titles to a degree that wives of doctors call themselves “Mrs. Doctor”.

10. “Do you live in the mountains?”

Contrary to popular belief, we do have real cities. Yes, there’s a pretty serious chance of running into a mountain or hill, but no, we have not yet retreated to caves. Stay tuned.

B & L

PS.: Don't forget, we are supporting Wings For Life with our adventure. Every € or $ you donate is going directly into spinal cord injury research. Please donate here! Thank you!


One Comment

  1. Cmtackaberry

    Reading about your trip across America has been awesome! You have seen it all I’m sure, like the lack of education and culture. I too am embarrassed by our simple folk sometimes. I got to watch some Appalachian redneck friends of mine make fools out of themselves talking to a Brit asking if she knew some other Brit that they had met before. So obvious that you must know Arnold too lmao. I didn’t know the Trapps were so disliked. My family knew them from staying at their resort I’m Vermont like 40 years ago, the matriarch of the family wasn’t the most pleasant from what I understand …the kangaroo thing cracks me up!! Lederhosen…I used to wear those myself as a child and yes if I returned to Deutschland I’d wear them again…yes with several litres of beer. I’d like to have a tradition MacRae dress kilt too when the opportunity and occasion calls for…

    But I must stop the mrs dr!! Coming from a ranked family in America and friends with a former baron and baroness from Bavaria…the title only goes to the person who’s earned!! Mrs. is a title belonging to the lady that takes her man’s name. Take the ladies of my family, none of them are Mrs. Gen or Col., my mother, she is Mrs. Kief Tackaberry but no rank!! I agree though we aught to stick to family names but for our familiar friends, unsere Freunden v Bekannte.

    We have lost so much culture in this country and lack of understanding of why we used to have such decorum. But lets face it…like you said yourself there are subcultures of Austria where the dialects and accents have stepped away from the educated and landed…

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