In April, we went to visit one of Ludo’s friends in Salzburg. We call him Dr. Wiki. Dr.—because he spent some time at a design firm in Italy and everyone who has a degree is called a Dr. We call him Wiki because he knows the most minute details about most things—mainly subjects he is passionate about—but details nonetheless. So Dr. Wiki he is.
We drove from Lausanne on a Thursday. It was in April, I can’t remember too much of the details, but I do remember a few things. Ludo drove from Lausanne to across the Austrian border. At on point, very close to the border, he asks me (the navigator): “Where do I go?” Meaning, do I get off the highway at some point or do I continue driving?
This is my first European road trip. I’m digesting road signs and trying to learn what they mean and figuring out how to get on and off a round about. I look up and I see a sign for AU. And I think AU=Austria. So I tell Ludo: “Sure. Get off the highway. Follow the signs to AU.” Except, except AU really meant AU—a wee town on the border of Switzerland and Austria.
Ludo looked sideways at me and sighed: “You do not know where we are going. AU doesn’t mean Austria.” And he continued driving.
It turns out there are tons of places to cross the border. If we had gotten off at AU, we would have found our way across the border. I wasn’t wrong. I was only wrong in assuming AU meant Austria.
Eventually, we made it to Innsbrook where we stopped for a coffee. (UGH, they still smoke in restaurants in Austria, talk about the dark ages!). Whatever. We had a coffee and got back on the road. I was driving this time. As we were leaving the town, there were a few roundabouts to navigate. Usually, coming up on one, there would be a sign as to which exit led where. On this particular one, there was no sign. Just get on the roundabout and figure it out. So *I* said: “Ok, we should just go around, look at all the exits, and then on the second time around, get off at the right one.” Something I thought was a pretty logical thing to do, if you were so inclined.
Ludo was mortified. He was so mortified, he could barely speak and just sputtered his indignation. Luckily, luckily, the first exit was clearly marked: Salzburg. I think I may have had too much caffeine. I was laughing so hard at the thought of us going around the roundabout twice–or until we figured out which direction we were supposed to go. I was laughing and laughing. Poor guy. He doesn’t know what to do with me sometimes.