Across Continents

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Komfortzuschlags und other stories

Seems I’d paid for a Komfortzuschlag. Didn’t think it was that sort of place. But then that’s the difference between bluffing your way around in a foreign language and being a bit more fluent. I had said I’d need a shower – ’mit Dusche’ – and a towel – ’ein Handtuch’ – and this seemed to have been translated into ’single en-suite’. Still, it was a youth hostel, couldn’t complain. Didn’t know how to.

The centre of Donauworth resembled Gunzburg from the previous night. The same pastel coloured buildings, expensive boutiques and cafes. France had its African communities, presumably reflecting former colonies, whilst Germany had the Turks. Odd. Thought that was one country they’d not invaded. And whereas in the UK we had curry houses, Germany had kebab shops. But they were different. The clientele were invariably sober.

Earlier in the day I’d stopped for ein Kaffee klein – a small coffee – in a Backerei – bakers. It had been a cold, wet and miserable morning. An endless stream of customers, cars pulling up outside, people dashing in out of the rain to collect their bread. It might have been France, but loaves rather than baguettes, and heavier pastries.

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