Not everyone gets the opportunity to spend extended time on the Autobahnen, or even drive them at all. So to many, it may seem odd that a blast down A-27 – or any highway, really – could warrant a post about Autobahn-induced spousal homesickness. But this involved a coincidental encounter that completely justified her pinings for native grounds.
Our marriage was less than a month old, and save for the brief honeymoon at a SC beach, our time together was all in Germany. The immersion tracked with the expatriation paradigm, with wonderful newness soon replaced by noticing how different Germany can be compared with, well, anywhere. C’mon – stores not open past noon on Saturdays (except for one Langer Samstag per month that granted a whopping four hour extension) and heavens-no on Sunday? Throw in parsimonious smiles, warmth, English, etc. from the very formal Northern Germans; a two-week summer courtesy of the North Sea’s proximity; etc., and you get the picture: honeymoon over.
Not the most sensitive guy, then or now, my nomadic Army Brat upbringing would have allowed me indefinite relishing of the new land. I therefore never considered smoothing out the entry by bringing little pieces of PA into our lives. So perhaps appropriately, PA found a way to throw itself at us at Autobahn speeds. After a dinner in Bremerhaven, we jumped on A-27 in my ’83 Mustang GT convertible for the return trip to our apartment in Bremen-Blumenthal. Ahead, I noticed a U.S.-plated Nissan of some sort. Backing off for no real reason, I yelped upon seeing an East End Nissan sticker on the trunk lid. The expectation was for similar excitement from my wife, as her uncle owned East End Nissan! Unfortunately, the visual sent her right back onto I-83 in York, thereby dousing her with homesickness that lingered for days. Luckily, the clouds lifted, and there were no serious repercussions such as striking A-27 from our budding collection of favorite local roads. Just think – had such a ban ensued, this A-27 string would consist of but one posting; instead, there are six more to come!
Other than increasingly missing family (okay, and DQ) as our three year tour passed, and hearing “God Bless The U.S.A.” for the first time at an officer’s function, that sighting produced the single biggest bout of homesickness during our entire stay.