CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

January 4, 2011

Shoplifting in Munich, Germany?


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SHOPLIFTING IN MUNICH, GERMANY?

    As the Munich, Germany, shopkeeper looked at me with suspicion, I knew he was about to call the police to accuse me of shoplifting.

     We spent two weeks in Munich, Germany, visiting my son when he held a post-doctorate position at the Max Planck Institute. While there, I was almost arrested for shoplifting another local newspaper.

     Early one day my husband and I stopped at the newspaper office, located off the main square. It was a site I wanted to visit, since I’d written for numerous local newspapers—all in rural towns.

     The lobby was akin to those found in large city newspaper offices. There was a manned desk, with a gate preventing entry to the offices to all but those with authorization. 

     “Can I purchase a newspaper?” I asked the woman at the desk, hoping she would understand me, since my grasp of the German language goes no further than “Sprechen die Deutsch?”   

     The woman, in broken English, communicated to us that they didn’t sell newspapers in the lobby.

     “You have to go to the kiosk in the square,” she instructed.

     We left the lobby and stopped at the ticker tape outside the office. I casually leaned against the stand, and held up a copy of the Greensburg (Pennsylvania) Tribune Review (Fay-West section), acting like I was “reading” it. Monte had the camera to take the picture.

     Suddenly, three people ran out of the newspaper office, yelling at us. It stunned me—what were we doing wrong?

     They startled me when they thrust a newspaper at me, until I realized they were apologizing. They refused to let me pay for it.

     I repositioned myself near the ticker tape, this time holding up the Munich paper.

     As Monte began to take this second picture, a man dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase approached him. He had just exited the newspaper lobby.

     He indicated that Monte should give him the camera and join me. Our picture was snapped: I was “reading” the German paper, and Monte was “reading” the American one.

     After this, we stopped at my son’s apartment to drop off the major part of the large Munich newspaper. Taking only the front page with us, we went to a corner news/cigar store.

     I stuck my copy of the Fay-West newspaper into a rack holding the numerous German newspapers—covering one. Then I leaned against the rack, holding up the front page of the Munich paper like I was intensely reading it. Meanwhile, Monte prepared to take this picture.

     Before he could snap the camera, the storeowner rushed from the store, his arms flailing. Although the older man with grayish hair yelled at us in German, it wasn’t difficult to understand that he wanted me to pay for the German newspaper I was holding.

     Again, we were handicapped not knowing the language. We attempted to communicate to him what we were doing. We must have been slightly effective because he calmed down some, reentering the store while shaking his head. I could just hear him saying to himself: These crazy Americans! What do they think they are doing?

     After Monte took the picture, I went into the store to the storeowner the picture, on the screen of the digital camera. His grin told me he finally understood what we were doing.

     Then he did something that surprised me. He indicated that I should take his picture in the store. I did, and showed it to him. He grinned from ear to ear.

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2 Comments »

  1. !!! Only you…Carolyn !!

    Comment by Joan — May 20, 2012 @ 8:14 am | Reply

  2. yugioh gx cards list

    Shoplifting in Munich, Germany? | CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

    Trackback by yugioh gx cards list — October 20, 2014 @ 11:52 pm | Reply


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