Saturday, May 14, 2016

German summer: dodging deer and picking up drunks at 4 AM on Saturdays

Technically, of course, a northern hemisphere May is not summer, but the locals in our German hills are natural optimists and have long since decided to call any sustained period of non-freezing night time temperatures summer.

Don't just take our word for it, read something by the gentlemen Sapir and Whorf, and be dazzled.

The blogster has added two more data points to its* definition of a 50+ North summer: dodging deer and picking up drunk Germans at 4 AM on Saturday mornings.

4 AM on Saturday mornings, give or take an hour, is the only time when the two phenomena occur at the same time. The deer are out for some fresh veggies and some socializing, and the drunks are out after some fresh booze and some socializing.

The darkness of northern nights is retreating noticeably, but in mid-May it is still pitch dark. The deer and the drunks are both hard to see, though deer are much easier to spot if they turn their rear to you.

The grass on the shoulders of the narrow country roads has grown substantially in the past month, it is now high enough to hide last year's baby dear or anything smaller.

Masking holes and cross ditches, the leafy greens make it difficult for humans to have sure footing, so the drunks tend to be out on the asphalt where vehicles live.

The 4 AM drunks are generally solitary youngsters. Groups do appear once in a while, but they have so far declined the offer of a ride, apparently enjoying the social staggering and alcohol sustained bonding on the road towards one of the tiny bar-less towns in our hills.

They take up a lot more space on the road, so coming to a stop and offering a ride is both nice and a safety measure.

The solitary walkers have never turned down a ride.

To their credit, they have been well behaved drunks, some more talkative than others, of course, but also exhibiting a surprising command of English at blood alcohol levels that induce zigzagging.

The young men have similar stories, telling of a night out in town after the work week, of staying beyond the time the bar owner locks the doors, of getting separated from their friends and eventually setting out on foot to walk the five or ten kilometers to their hallow.

Enjoy your summer.

* We are gender neutral at the K-Landnews. Love it or hate it, you may want to try it out. If it is hard, close your eyes and think of Sapir-Whorf.

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