It is exciting to be a tourist. I walk around wide-eyed, ignorant, and plainly innocent. These are all characteristics I haven't allowed myself to experience for years. I wear faces I wouldn't dare wear in NYC, lest I be marked as a fool and swindled by some scrupulous criminal. So if you see me on the street in Stuttgart, my range of expressions includes bewildered, studious, or wildly smiling to myself for no apparent reason.
Even more crippling is to be in a foreign country without a smart phone. I realize I'm completely dependent on my phone even in my hometown. If I had a phone that worked here, I would be finding places to go in a moment's notice, translating words on an app to communicate with people and getting instant directions and maps to places. Instead I'm chronically lost, and the only German phrase I have used is "sprechen Sie Englisch?"
I decided I would take the subway wherever possible and get to know the city on the streets and underground. The subway is a fascinating piece of German culture. To begin with, people smoke cigarettes right there in the station. In America, we don't have signs that say no smoking in the subway station, but I think that's because smokers know intrinsically there's no way you're allowed to do that.
difficult to get around. Even if I could speak German, I would easily get lost here. Stuttgart is not laid out with any sort of grid or respect to directional simplicity.
Oddly, purchasing a train ticket is kind of done on the honor system. Each ticket is valid for a certain number of train stations in a particular direction or for a certain amount of time. No sort of authority checks to see if you bought your ticket as far as I could tell, yet everyone buys their tickets. I saw one frustrated woman who took too long to figure out what kind of ticket she needed to buy, and she