Lately I’ve noticed a lot of photos on Facebook of my American friends and family with suntans and splashing around swimming pools and hanging out at beaches. Now that I’m on my 4th summer in Germany, the only thing I feel when I see those photos is not envy, it’s more like the forlorn complacency of a child who is always told to never expect too much. Kind of like the character Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I think “Oh, those summers aren’t for people like us.” Mind you, it’s still beautiful here in the old mountains where we are set in and among picturesque villages, with flowers everywhere. We also had about 10 days of loveliness in May but, like a summer fling, those days are just a bittersweet memory. Nora described it best this morning: “This summer has been really droopy.”
To cheer myself up, I’ve decided to pretend I’m the marketing director for Germany’s Travel and Tourism board. My job is to come up with a slogan to entice summer visitors to Germany. To be fair, there are parts of Germany such as the Rheingau and Bavaria which typically have better luck with the summer weather. But for simplicity’s sake, let’s just say it’s all kind of crappy. So here we go….
German Travel and Tourism Summer 2012 Slogans
“At Least it’s Not Snowing”
“Don’t Get Your Hopes Up”
“Autumn is Usually Nice”
“You Can Still Swim in the Rain”
“Please Hold, We Are Trying to Locate the Sun”
“Sunshine is for Wimps”
“We’ve Had Worse Summers Than This”
“Maybe Next Summer Will be Better”
“Summers in England Are Even Worse”
“We Were Afraid This Might Happen”
“Are You Sure You Still Want to Come?”
“Well, Well, Well, Not Good Enough for You, Princess?
“Greece: Saddling Us With Debt and Stealing Our Sunshine Too”
“So Long, Suckers! We’re Going to St. Tropez!”
Aaaah, but like Charlie Bucket, I have my Golden Ticket too. Later this “Summer,” we’ll have 3 weeks of warmth back in the U.S. In the meantime, in Germany, I will still enjoy friends, biergartens, and the pockets of sunshine we are given. Really, as Americans, it’s much easier for us to get home from here, unlike our friends from Australia and New Zealand. Yesterday, Nora’s teacher (a New Zealander or Kiwi as they say) told me she’s not going home this summer. It’s wintertime there so she’s not missing much in that way. Also, it’s a 12 hour flight from Frankfurt to Hong Kong; then another 12 hour flight from Hong Kong to Auckland; THEN, another flight to the lower island of New Zealand. All of that with her squirmy 1-year-old toddler….forget about it.