What to Find in Kornwestheim, Germany


The school principal invited me to the car painting training session in Kornwestheim, Germany so that I could translate for Silvia, our school’s car painting champion.

Did I mention she is also the national car painting champion?

At first I was confused. “I’d love to go! But I don’t speak German…”

“Neither do I, but you you don’t have to in Germany because everybody speaks English!” the principal said. 

Well, most everyone anyway. And they speak it well!

I’ll go by day because it was a crazy whirlwind. 


We planned to leave at nine, but I was up and ready by eight because I was so excited. A smooth flight from Santiago to Frankfurt and we were in Deutschland!

Beer is served by the liter or half liter.

While waiting for the puddle jumper to Kornwestheim, we toured Frankfurt. I asked for directions a lot. Hallo. Sprechen sie English? 


Early work schedule again! I kind of missed the 8-5 schedule. And the punctuality! Spain stores don’t open until 9 AM. 

Authentic breakfast at 7:30

Then, off to SATA for the first day of the Car Painting World Skills Competition Training. Don’t know what that is? I didn’t either. 

Meet the my team. Other than us, there was one expert and one competitor from France, Norway, Germany, & Denmark. 

As the sponsor, the Sata company hosted. 

I translated for our team. 

Everyone else understood English and German. It was crazy awesome to hear all the languages in the workshop. I even got to practice my French!

Found out I love translating! 

I used a lot of new vocabulary that day: buff (pulir), sand (lijar), and brillo (gloss). 

I didn’t realize how much English was used in worldwide auto mechanics. 

“In California, we had to convince the company not to change the painting pistol standards because it would have changed the world standards!” -paraphrased from a team member. 

Lunch at the company cafeteria. So healthy!

Work time


This is the fancy restaurant …the napkins look like pope hats

Sneak off to buy toothpaste at Noma. It’s just like ALDI in the States!?!


Earlier morning than yesterday! Kaffee, bitten. Coffee, please. Everyone is so nice here. 

Silvia worked. I translated instructions and questions and chitchat. 

Breaks for coffee, art viewing, and painting simulation. 

To the mead hall! Can’t miss the spring festival here! 

People stood and jumped on the benches so much I thought they would break
This is the shots station where you get mini shots. The tops of the shots say seduce me

Can’t miss the Celine Dion either. So much English!


Work is cut short for a Mercedes-Benz museum tour. I knew I knew little about car motors. Here I got an idea of just how little. 

I found the monopoly money bags car

Waited an hour for the speed taxi. Not so speedy. Fielded questions about Trump in the meantime. They don’t get why either. 

Third 4hr dinner feast in a row. I felt like they should have rolled me out of the restaurant. 

The title of this wine means the “art of making people forget their sorrows” in Greek


Autobots rolled out at 4:30AM, but taxi didn’t arrive for another hour. Bye Rabbit Hotel! Tschüss!

We have ten minutes between a connecting flight so we run run run across the airport only to be packed onto a bus at the gate that pretty much retraced all our running. 

Then we waited an hour on the runway for airport permission for flight. Curse curse curse. 

I tiny cards quizzed myself on the 50 States because I should know more about that than Spaniards and German people. Why isn’t Virginia called North Carolina? The state shapes mirror each other. Virginia should be North Carolina and North Carolina should be South Carolina. And South Carolina can be East Georgia. 

Home in time for Spanish lunch and siesta. 

I wish I could go translate for the team when they go to the International Competiton in Abu Dabi. Everyone talked about it all week, as that’s what they’re training for. The police drive Porsche there. It’s unreal how luxurious the city is. 

But for now, I’m pleased I got to go to this one. 

Hasta luego,