The Food, Fun, and Foibles of a First-Time Europe Traveler

Nuremberg Day 1: Denzel Washington and Miley Cyrus

Not too different from America.

After a good trip to Prague, we set our sights on Nuremberg. When we planned the trip, we knew we wanted to see a city in Germany besides Berlin, but we weren’t sure which one. Hanna had already been to Munich and Hamburg was pretty far out of the way, so we consulted our handy travel books.

After looking through a couple of cities, we arrived at the heading for Nuremberg: Beer, Gingerbread, and Toys. Needless to say we looked no further.

The train from Prague was relatively uneventful. We got another sleeper car, although it wasn’t as nice as the Austrian OBB. It was kind of weird when three police officers in full riot gear (shinguards, batons, plastic shields) boarded our train, but after a cursory glance in our cabin we never heard from them again. When we got into Germany we got a visit from the passport control officers (the nicest yet) who seemed quite impressed when they looked through Hanna’s passport. She balked when they asked, “Where is Dobova?” but I quickly remembered that we got our passports stamped in Slovenia even though we didn’t get off the train. “Aaaaah, Slovenia!” they replied in unison. They smiled and handed our passports back.

We arrived in Nuremberg (or Nurnberg as it is called in Germany) at around 17:00, only to find the train station filled with people dressed in red with scarves and jerseys on. Most of them were drinking so I figured that they were either on their way to or on their way back from a soccer game. Sure enough we asked the lady at the tourist office and she said there was a game earlier that day. We were trying to guess whether they won or lost and we concluded that since nobody was rioting they probably lost.

After a 10 minute walk in the rain, we checked into our hotel and headed across the street to the Aldtstadt, or Old Town, to look for something to eat. Pretty much everything was closed, so we decided to go with a reliable shwarma stand in what seemed to be a Muslim part of town. It was predictably good, and we headed back to the hotel to eat and plan our route for the following day.

In the hotel we were treated to some spectacular German programming. First we saw a special about sex scandals, sex tapes, revealing clothing, etc. on German MTV. It seemed pretty standard until, in the span of about a minute, we saw full-frontal male nudity and several female breasts. That was our first indication that German television was slightly less reserved than its American counterpart.

Our second indication came when we stumbled upon “Das Super Talent,” basically the German version of “America’s Got Talent.” First there was a pole dancer (who remarkably kept her bathing suit on throughout her routine) and she was followed by a crazy-haired middle-aged white man from Zimbabwe who proceeded to perform a strip show. His grand finale was when he, standing completely naked, took a firecracker, shoved it up his rear end, and lit it on fire. When it went off he ran around the stage singing something. The best part was that he actually got a vote to move on to the next round.

After that we found this German talk show hosted by an older German guy with blonde hair. He seemed to be interviewing German celebrities until suddenly, out of nowhere, Denzel Washington came on stage. The host spoke to him in German, which was then translated for him in an earpiece, then Denzel’s response was dubbed into German for television. It was all very strange, but got even weirder when they handed Denzel a piece of paper and he read something in horrible German that ended with “Miley Cyrus!” The camera panned to the stage where Miley proceeded to perform her smash single “Who Owns My Heart (is it love or is it art?)” We were trying to figure out how this random German talk show managed to get Denzel Washington and Miley Cyrus on at the same time. Finally we gave up, realizing that it was much better than any of the other options.



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