Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) (02/19/09)
TITLE: Ach, American Fräuleins
By Sheri Gordon
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At the sound of her husbandâs deflated voice, Gerlinde wiped her hands on the kitchen towel and hurried to the front door to greet him.
âAch, Klaus, es tut mir Leid. I am sorry you had a bad day. Come into the KĂźche for dinner.â
Klaus followed the enticing aroma into the compact kitchen. Gerlinde dished plates of Weiner Schnitzel und Pommes-Frites, and the couple bowed their heads. âVater, segne diese Speise. Father, bless this meal.â
âTell me about your day. What has you so upset? Did something go wrong on the tour?â
After years of driving a local tour bus, Klaus had recently started his own single-car touring companyââSalzburg Sings.â Seven days a week, during the summer months, Klaus took tourists on excursions of Salzburg and the surrounding areas, highlighting production locations from the 1965 movie, âThe Sound of Music.â
Klaus loved showing off his beautiful Austrian countrysideâŚuntil today.
Between bites of succulent breaded veal, crispy fries, and cucumber salad, Klaus shared his day.
âToday, I chauffeured three college girls on holidayâŚfrom California.â
âAch, American FrĂ¤uleins.â
âJa. Und they thought they knew more about âThe Sound of Musicâ than I do.â
âJa. They began questioning me right from the start.â
Klaus took a drink of Apfelsaft before continuing.
âOur first stop was Mirabell Gardens, where the FrĂ¤uleins skipped around Pegasus singing âDo-Re-Miââjust like in the movie. Then they asked to go to the hilltop where Maria and the Von Trapp children first started singing. So, I took them to a local hilltop overlooking Salzburg. But when we got there, they produced a picture from the scene in the movie, showing Hohenwerfen Castle in the background. When I told them that hillside was forty kilometers away, and not on the tour, they gave me a tsk-tsk.â
âIâm sure they were teasing, my Liebling.â
âNext we went to Leopoldskron Castle, to see the front of the house and the lake, and the FrĂ¤uleins sang the entire song of âI Have Confidence.â Naturally, they messed up the words, but I wasnât about to correct them. Then, they wanted to open the massive iron gates and run up to touch the front door of the Von Trapp house. When I explained that this was not the real Von Trapp house, and never had been, they were shocked. Dummkopfs.â
âKlaus, theyâre just dumme MĂ¤dchenâsilly girls.â
âOur next stop was Hellbrunn Castle, and, thanks be to God, they were too busy singing âSixteen Going on Seventeenâ to even notice that the glass gazebo has been relocated since the movie was filmed.â
Gerlinde cleared the dishes and poured Kaffee for Klaus, and Tee mit Milch for herself.
âDid you go to Mondsee Cathedral?â
âJa, ja. Und the FrĂ¤uleins âpracticedâ for their weddings, humming âMariaâs Wedding Processionalâ the entire time. I drew the line when they asked me to play Captain Von Trapp.â
Gerlinde suppressed a snicker, picturing her staunch husband role-playing the infamous wedding scene with giggling college girls from America.
âNext, we drove by the Nonnberg Abbey and, surprisingly, the FrĂ¤uleins werenât upset that we couldnât go in. Quote, the Von Trapp children werenât allowed in either, and besides, we arenât Catholic, end-quote.â Klaus rolled his eyes and dove into the chocolate Kuchen his wife placed before him.
âDid they ask to go on the stage at Felsenreitschule Theater, to reenact the Salzburg Folk Festival scene?â
âJa, ja. Luckily Herr Wolf was there, and he let them perform âEdelweissâ and âSo Long, Farewell.â The FrĂ¤uleins even started crying as they walked off stage.â
âMy poor Schnuckiputzi.â
âAch. I have not told you the worst. St. Peterâs District. We strolled by the catacombs and through the cemetery, where Rolf âblew the whistle.ââ Klaus chuckled at his wittiness. âBut when I showed them the tombstones where the Von Trapp family hid, the FrĂ¤uleins told me I was wrong. They insisted that there were too many tombstones for the scene. I assured them we were in the right place, and they assured me we were not.â
âAch, Liebling, what did you do?â
âI counted to zehn to keep my composure, and then called GĂźnther from Solvang Touring.â
âUnd GĂźnther said the FrĂ¤uleins were rightâthe scene was not filmed there. It was recreated in a studioâŚin California. He said the touring companies tell people it was filmed at St. Peterâs Cemetery because itâs good for business.â
âJa. I am so kaput.â
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