Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe & beyond...join me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

red bull...and a 'red hot' name

On Sunday, great guy and I took the motorbike up to friends, gerd and dora, in Henchhausen. Henchhausen is a small, small town, surrounded by bauernhöfe (farms), nestled high above the Rhein. The drive up and down the steep weinbergs (vineyard hills) was so much fun on the bike…I was hanging on for dear life. But, the smells along the entire drive were just as enchanting; ranging from lilacs in full bloom, wein wirtschafts (vineyard restaurants) whipping up their evening menus, forest earthiness, vines beginning to sprout, all the way to good ol’ spring farm smells! Delightful.

Zooming through turn after turn, giving gas, then braking hard, reminded me of watching the formula 1 race that morning. My dad has always been a huge formula 1 fan, and back when we were kids my brother and I would regularly watch it with him. When bro and I visited France a few years ago, with a day trip to Monaco, we both knew that a ‘must’ on our itinerary was to walk through the ultra-cool grand prix tunnel, which runs right through a hotel and up alongside the ocean. And, recently, while in Canada, my dad and I stayed up until 4 am to take in the live showing of the Shanghai Grand Prix. Spannend!

While watching that race, my dad told me that my name comes from the Finnish wife of Jochen Rindt, who was born in Mainz, very close to where I now live. My parents had seen her while attending a race at the Salzburgring in the late ‘60’s, and had kept the name in their minds until they had, well, me! Unfortunately, Jochen Rindt was killed in a practice race in 1970, but went on to win the world championship that year posthumously.

So, formula 1 must be in my blood somehow. And, right now, I’m a little bit obsessed with the Red Bull Team, and their current German super-star, Sebastian Vettel. The whole Red Bull story is fascinating. A toothpaste salesman visits Thailand in the early ‘80’s, meets a Thai guy who has created an energy drink, the two partner together starting a company in 1987, and go on to build an empire…the most popular energy drink on earth…each man worth something like 4 billion in 2008! They have sports teams, an NFL star, a ‘holy shit’ tab on their website featuring extreme sports photos, and even a Red Bull record label. And, they have plenty of controversy…starting years ago when reports came out of Austria that Red Bull Cola was laced with cocaine. And, of course, we all know the effects of one too many Jägerbombs the next morning!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not endorsing Red Bull, the drink or the company, but it is a good story. And, a good story, mixed with crazy roads and fast vehicles, makes for an exciting day in my books.

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