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I'm born and raised in California and Germany. Born in California and spoke German until grade school, then learned English. As Shaw said, England and America are two countries separated by a common language. So if I take the elevator from my apartment to the ground floor and drive my truck to the gas station instead of taking the lift from my flat down to the first floor and drive my lorry to the petrol service station, please bear with me, my British friends.

Spent my entire teens in Germany in the 1970s.

My parents both grew up in Nazi Germany of the 1930s, 1940s, and into the 1950s (post-war Germany). They emigrated to the U.S. independently in the 1950s and met in California and married.

My father was born and raised near Munich, the birthplace of the Nazi party. Believe it or not, he still maintains possession of a bust of Hitler which was on the wall in their dining room when he was growing up outside of Munich. Although born and raised in America, I lived in Germany from 1969 to 1976 and visited his childhood home outside Munich many times. Growing up in post-war Germany, I learned a lot about the culture just a few decades after WWII. I spoke frequently with my paternal grandmother, who doesn't speak English, the grandmother who had the Hitler bust in her dining room.

My aunt, his older sister, also lives in California and has told me details of her childhood war years when all of us were on a recent trip to Germany visiting their oldest sister, my other paternal aunt.

My mother was conceived in Milan when her father (my maternal grandfather) was acting as a translator to Mussolini's Italy for the German Luftwaffe, if the information I have been told is correct. She experienced the horrors of WWII Germany as a BDM girl (Bund Deutscher Mädl = Union of German Girls, the girls version of the Hitler Youth), among other things by being on trains in southwest Germany that were strafed by Allied fighter planes. Even my sisters don't know this stuff, because my mother is very quiet about her childhood history. My wife also doesn't want to hear any of this, she abhors the subject of Nazi Germany. But hey, it's part of history. More specifically, it's my heritage.

Globe trotter during my life. Have visited large portions of the U.S. and northern and central Europe, and have been to every continent except Australia for at least a week. Speak enough Spanish to get by. B.S. in engineering, former airline mechanic, former private pilot, currently working in transportation side of natural foods distribution, truck driver, well traveled and well read, spelling and grammar snob.

Over 25 combined years experience in transportation as a limo driver, airport shuttle driver, truck driver, and airline & auto mechanic.

en This user is a native speaker of the English language.
de-4 Dieser Benutzer hat Deutschkenntnisse auf muttersprachlichem Niveau.

Countries I have visited

The only states in the U.S. which I have never seen:

Alaska Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota Alabama, Mississippi, North and South Carolina