Sunday, July 13, 2008


My brother Eric used to live and work in Puerto Rico. While there, he dated a local girl and the stories he tells of her sometimes leave us shaking our heads in laughter, such as the time she was trying to remember the word "alligator" and said "How do you say...big lizard...a-gu-lator!"

Where we live is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and we live right on the Hauptstrasse (main street) which is a pedestrian only street that goes right through the heart of the historic Altstadt (old town) of Heidelberg. The Hauptstrasse is always extremely crowded with tourists, locals, street performers and all manner of freaks you can imagine. There are a lot of religious groups as well such as Jehovah Witnesses, Hare Krishnas and the ubiquitous Mormons. You can spot the Mormons a mile away, they are young men with dark slacks, white shirts and dark ties with name tags over their left pocket.

Last time Eric visited he saw the Mormons and told a funny story of one time when he and his girlfriend in Puerto Rico were walking somewhere and as they passed by a couple of Mormons she got a scared look on her face and in a terrified voice exclaimed to him "Los Mormones!" as if she had seen El Diablo himself. I still laugh at that story and now every time Virginia and I are on the Hauptstrasse and we see the Mormons I get a pseudo-terrified look on my face and exclaim "Los Mormones!".

So yesterday we enjoyed a day around town which ended with us sitting outside the Dubliner with some friends enjoying the sun and a few glasses of vino. Eventually we left and headed down the crowded Hauptstrasse for home, ...and wouldn't you know it, halfway home there was a bunch of Mormons who had set up a makeshift choir right on the Hauptstrasse. About 20 if them were singing in the choir for people who were stopped to watch and listen while a couple others were passing out flyers or literature to passers-by. The vino had put me in a fun, frisky mood so as we passed by the choir, my face adopted a slight look of fear and I loudly exclaimed "Los Mormones!" which drew a smattering of chuckles from the people watching. No sooner had I said it when one of them appeared in front of me trying to hand me some literature. Without missing a beat my face adopted a full on look of fear as I repeated the cry..."Los Mormones!" And then, as if something out of a horror movie, a second Mormon jumped in front of me pushing some kind of literature in front of my face, which by this time had taken on a look of full-fledged terror; I pointed to his name tag and loudly shrieked "LOS MORMONES!!!!!" Half the people there were now laughing out loud while the other half was trying to figure out what was going on. I can only hope that some unknowing tourist recorded it and it will someday end up on Youtube. Never a dull moment on the Hauptstrasse...


1 comment:

eric said...

That's a funny coincidence....they were just at my door a few days ago. I tried to tell them there was a giant 'No Solicitation' sign out front, but they wouldn't have any of it, saying the weren't selling any thing. I further tried to explain 'Solicitation' doesn't always mean selling and suggest they look up the word solicitation.
Needless to say, I would have had better success talking to a wall.

PS, the correct pronunciation was 'Mormonos'.