I wasn’t going to post again, but I feel the need to write about what happened to Bill and me tonight. We went back to the biergarten featured in my previous post because after visiting a potential new home today, we were both really thirsty. We enjoyed several rounds of beer, then headed back to the hotel room. On the way there, I heard loud music that sounded like fun. I decided to check it out.
The music led to a small hole in the wall bar. A very friendly guy invited Bill and me to go into the bar. He offered to buy us a round of drinks, which immediately made Bill suspicious. The guy seemed nice and *harmless* enough. I noticed the bar had a lot of poker machines in it and I got the sense they were hoping we’d stay and spend money. It felt very scammy. Bill, on the other hand, was having a very different response. He had broken out in a cold sweat and was very pale.
There were several drunk Greeks in the bar… or so we were told that was what they were. At least two or three of them weren’t wearing shirts and had been dancing. I took it as them having a party, but it really was kind of a bizarre scene. Bill had a death grip on the beer he was holding, with his thumb over the top. He had been well-trained in scams and we had run into our share of scammers in places like Spain and Greece. The people were running well-known and easily researched scams and they followed the well-publicized games to the hilt. And Bill was afraid our new “friends” in Germany were of the same ilk… though in fairness to them, they may not have been. All I know is that my husband was very freaked out.
We got out of the bar and I wrote about our experience on a Facebook group for expats called Stuttgart Friends. Before too long, someone called us idiots. Another person said we were paranoid. Someone else assumed we were totally new to Germany and had just fallen off the turnip truck. These are people in a group with the word “friends” in it.
I wrote that I had clearly misjudged the group and was sorry I brought it up. One person got defensive and still tried to blame me for what happened… This is what happened. We went into what looked like a “legit” bar. I had seen it appear operational all week. An overly friendly guy we didn’t know offered to buy us a round and was grinding against some drunk blonde lady near us. Two guys were behaving rather oddly in the bar, too, and there were two other guys standing outside, staring at us. They noticed me noticing them and tried to look friendly. I wasn’t as weirded out as Bill was, I will admit, and I don’t think these people wanted to hurt us. I just think they were up to no good. Call it a gut instinct.
I shared our experience in this group and was somewhat surprised to be immediately labeled an idiot when really, all I was trying to do was be helpful. This shitty, judgmental, and frankly mean-spirited attitude among military folks is one reason why I don’t enjoy being around them much or getting to know them, although to be fair, more than a few people appeared to be Germans somehow affiliated with military people. At the very least, one would think they’d be sensitive to PTSD, which may have been all we were experiencing tonight, but it was definitely a real thing that had Bill very rattled.
That’s the last time I will make that mistake. I got along fine in Stuttgart without the “Friends” group last time we were here and I can do it again. I suppose I should have told that guy and his buddy to go fuck themselves, but I managed to stay civil in that group, anyway. I’m glad we’re moving to a temporary apartment tomorrow. I don’t have to be around the skanky bar anymore… and next time we have a weird/suspicious experience, I’ll be sure to keep it to myself. Maybe if they ever encounter a similar situation, they will be able to deal with it better than we did… though I have to admit, neither of us ended up crime victims tonight, so that’s a positive thing.