Unexpected praises…

First off, welcome to my new travel blog. Yesterday afternoon, I suddenly decided it was time to move my old blog to this space. I have a number of reasons for making that decision. The main one, though, is that WordPress is more secure, less wonky, and more professional. It does cost money to use this blogging platform, but I decided my blog was worth $100 a year. So I took the plunge. One thing I like less about this platform is that it’s not as easy to search as my old blog is. On the other hand, maybe that’s a positive.

I made the Blogger platform private for a few reasons. I could have simply left it that way and just written for invited readers, but Bill and I are about to go to Scotland for another whisky cruise and I wanted to be able to write about that. I know there are people who are genuinely just interested in reading, don’t necessarily want to “join the club”, and I don’t feel like they should be left out simply because a few people are trying to cause trouble for me.

I have been thinking about making this switch for awhile. Recent events forced my hand. Some people seem to think I’m interested in being popular. I’m not… I just want to be able to write in peace, whether I have one reader or thousands.

So… on to today’s anecdote. It’s about shit, so brace yourself.

Baking in the sun…

Yesterday, I decided to take a break from creating the new travel blog. The dogs needed a walk. So I put on some shorts and a t-shirt, got them on a leash, and made sure to pull out a few shit bags for whatever they happened to drop on the way.

I recently changed my walking routine, mainly because where I had been walking is now a major construction site. Our neighborhood Rewe is expanding. I used to be able to cut easily past it, but now there’s a fence. If I go to the other side of the store, I have to walk through really tall grass, where we’ve found some unpleasant remnants of other people’s visits. For instance, a few months ago, I saw what appeared to be human feces. What made it distinctive from dog poo were the dirty napkins scattered nearby. I may be kind of gross sometimes, but that sight really disgusted me. And when you have dogs who want to eat everything, it’s even more disgusting.

A few years ago, I wrote about how when people walk their dogs, they sometimes “shit and run”. Although Germans can be very fastidious when it comes to their own home and environs, they aren’t always so good about picking up dog crap… or horse crap, though that’s not so easy.

It’s only natural that people don’t want to deal with dog droppings. They don’t smell good and disposing of them can be messy and inconvenient. I don’t enjoy doing it, either. I will even admit that if we’re in a place where people aren’t typically walking, I sometimes “shit and run”, too. However, I am very careful to bring bags with me when I walk the dogs and I always pick up poop if we’re anywhere near civilization. I’m hyper-sensitive to being yelled at, and Germans often have no qualms about doing that. Since I’d rather not have someone telling me off in a language I don’t understand that well, I do my best to avoid those confrontations by following the rules. Also, I empathize with those who step in crap. No one likes it.

Anyway… Zane and Arran and I were walking through this area near a big field, where Bill once found a dildo. The upper part of it is also where I found the pile of suspicious poo. Down on the other side of the field, people have locked gardens and there’s a farmer who grows stuff. As we were about to pass his storage shed, Arran crouched down to take a dump.

I already had a somewhat full bag, but I bent over to pick up his poop. As I was cleaning it up, a shirtless old German man drove up in his truck. He sat there and observed me for a moment, which made me nervous. When he got out of the truck and approached, I was actually afraid he was going to start yelling at me because Arran had pooped next to his woodpile. I was trying to hang onto the dogs while I awkwardly picked it up.

I stammered in my shitty German that I only speak a little bit of German. Then I realized he had an utterly amazed look on his face. He said in German that people were always leaving poop by his woodpile. He pointed to it for emphasis. And he was very happy that I was cleaning up ours. I laughed and said, “Oh, I get it! Ich verstehe!”

That was an unexpectedly rewarding experience. It kind of made me proud to represent America.


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