I took 3 years of German in high school. I assumed I'd never use it, but thought it would be interesting.
A couple of years later, I was in the Navy and my ship pulled into Bremen, Germany for a few days. I really enjoyed the few days we were in Germany. I was very impressed with how clean and well maintained everything was, particularly Bremen.
Anyway, some shipmates and I decided to take a train to a rock concert in Hamburg. We got into a cab. I was the only one that even had a clue as to how to converse in German. I told the cab driver, in my awful German to take us to the train station. I called it a "Zugplatz", which I believe literally is "train platform". The cab driver looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and kind of hand signaled to wait. He'd be right back. He got out of the cab and ran to another cab sitting in front of ours and returned. He said, "Oh, you want to go to the train station." Turns out he was a Brit working in Bremen as a taxi driver. I guess he only understood good German and not awful German. He told me the correct term for train station was "Bahnhof". I'm guessing, since Bremen was in the British sector back then, he was a British serviceman moonlighting.
While taking German in school, I had a particular phrase that I had a lot of trouble memorizing. It was "Vorsicht! Stossen sie sich nicht dein Kopf mit der Lampe." Which means "Watch out! Don't bump your head on the lamp." It's about the only thing I remember, now. I always thought that that was dumb. When would anyone ever use that? Well, one night in Bremen we went into a bar and ended up sitting at a table drinking beer with a bunch of German high school students. They spoke English very well. I believe they told us English was required in school. The beer pitchers were actually in the shape of large glass boots. And, guess what, the tables all had lamps over them hanging down from the ceiling. One of the students was getting up and talking with his head was coming very close to one of the lamps. I said, "Vorsicht! Stossen sie sich nicht dein Kopf mit der Lampe". He looked at me astonished and said, "You speak very good German."
Anyway, just a couple of experiences with German that I thought was interesting and a little comical.
I don't write Universal Law. I just live by it.