I am leaving for Europe in less than a month and my packing list is still too big, but after hearing this story my mom told me, I will not be bringing shorts with me to Germany!

“I am an avid runner, and when I lived in Duusburg, Germany that didn’t change. The first few days of running I went alone. I ran along a path beside the river.  It was safe, and easy, and one direction one way, and then straight back.  What I found a bit weird, was the expressions of the men that were working on some sort of construction project along the path.  It was a very large project, and the workers were up very high on scaffolding.  Because of the extreme heights I could not really make out what they were saying, but I was pretty sure it was directed at me.  I just shrugged it off to bored construction guys that were being entertained by an older than average jogger.

“Well…..as the days went on, I continued to jog the same route.  Sometimes I would bring one of my grandson’s with, but the route remained the same. The comments from the construction guys seemed to become more frequent, and almost in a funny sort of way.  The day I figured it all out was a very busy one.  I wanted to get my run in, and my daughter-in-law had errands to tend to.  I told her I would take one of the grandson’s with me on my run.   We had a plan. We would meet up at the Kodak picture store in one hour.

“Off we went.  Me and my grandson on our run, and she to run her errands.  I had on the same clothes that I always ran in.  My nylon running shorts, my t-shirt, and a wind breaker if needed.  For some reason I felt a bit more adventuresome that day.  Maybe it was because it was such a beautiful sunny day.  I ventured off of my regular route and was loving it!  There were many more people on this route. Lots of people walking and shopping.  For some reason, I was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable. I thought that people were laughing at me.  I thought that maybe it was because I ran so slow, or because I was so old, or because I was running pushing a baby in a stroller.  I didn’t know what it was, but it was something!

“An hour later, I met up with my daughter-in-law at the Kodak store.  I mentioned to her that my run was good, but that I thought that people were laughing at me.  She shrugged it off, and we continued to walk to the Mcdonalds down the way.  As we continued on, she also noticed that people were laughing at me.  I started to check my self over, like you do when you think your zipper is down.  Everything seemed fine to me!  Well…..fine to me in America, is NOT FINE in Germany!  After several conversations with the locals, I came to understand that you don’t jog in shorts in Germany unless you are of the male species!!  You see….to them, it was like I was jogging in my UNDERWEAR!!!   Women do not wear shorts, much less nylon running shorts!!!  Joke was on me!!”