Category Archives: Travel

Schwanz? This word I know!

Funny story from Berlin: I arrived yesterday pretty cracked out since I wasn’t able to fall asleep on the plane. I slept a little but got up after a few hours because I didn’t want to prolong the jet-lag. This, coupled with my normally precarious judgment, forms the context for the following story.

I was last in Berlin on my birthday in 2008. Johann, his sister and her husband Sven made me a traditional German apple cake called Apfelkuchen. I tried to say it and apparently I said “Applecock.” Since then it’s been a little bit of a running joke.

Yesterday I asked Johann how you actually say “cock” in German and he told me people say “schwanz.” Later on, Johann’s fiancee Alexandra arrived home from work and we started chatting. She doesn’t speak great English, so she was telling a story in German about how her friend hit her finger and it turned white. Sven replied that it shouldn’t be much of a problem – you worry about them when they turn black, which in German is “schwarz.” I thought he had said “schwanz,” so I started laughing and said “hahaha, I don’t know much German, but that’s one word I know!”

And then I found out they were talking about “schwarz” and felt like a giant idiot.

More (and hopefully better) stories when I get more sleep.