There’s an old joke about Americans’ whirlwind tours of Europe:
Son: Where are we Dad?
Dad: (Consulting itinerary) Well it’s Tuesday, so this must be France.
It’s funny. But it’s not really a joke at all. With so few vacation days, Americans tend to overdo their schedules and under-do their understanding. As a nation, we’re terrible at geography and foreign languages (including, some might say, English). So I couldn’t help but chuckle at our upcoming European road-trip: five German-speaking countries in 10 days, with notable gaps in our language (neither of us sprechen deutsch) and route planning (how exactly would we cross the Dolomites)?