Sunday, March 9, 2014

Notes from Germany

  1. They have some strange priorities. Jaywalking is enforced, but walking around with open alcohol is totally fine.
  2. I sat down at the philharmonic and immediately fumbled around for my seatbelt. I've definitely been on too many flights lately.
  3. Speaking of the Berlin Phil, why on earth would you waste their skill on some contemporary intentional noise? A junior high orchestra would pull that off even better.
  4. English is truly the international language of Europe. I heard at least as many non-native-English speakers speaking English to each other than I saw English speakers speaking it with Germans. There are people from every part of the world in Berlin in large numbers.
  5. Buttered hot soft pretzels: best snack ever invented. Why haven't I seen that before?
  6. And speaking of pretzels, how are the Germans so good at making them?? How does that skill transfer so imperfectly to imitators in the U.S.? Most of them come from Germany in the first place! I definitely haven't eaten so many bread-products in a week since, um, probably sometime in college during a noodles-only phase.
  7. Bread and meat made up almost the entirety of my diet, actually. Döner kebap, bretzel, currywurst (mit pommes, natürlich), beer, Nordsee. Rinse and repeat. Then go back to California and eat a fridge full of salad.
  8. When I lived there in 1999, there were definitely street food carts selling bretzels and currywurst, etc. Now only permanent installments do so, except for a handful of guys who run around with a mobile sausage cart attached to their waists. How much do you want to bet there's some new ridiculous regulation about street vendors? The Germans do love their vendor regulations...
  9. Why do people keep pointing out to me "You know, no one actually eats currywurst in Berlin..." Who cares? It's delicious. If they're Germans who don't want to be associated with such a low grade of sausage, I suggest getting over it and be proud of inventing something so fantastic. If they're Americans who love jumping on the opportunity to prove that they're not ignorant American tourists, well, may I suggest learning to love life without needing a stamp of approval first?*

*Can you tell I'm just about ready to get out of the bay area..?


JohnRaymond said...

I still dream occasionally about doing an apprenticeship with a German baker in retirement so I can learn how they make their bread so wonderful. Then buy all the equipment and set up a bakery somewhere here in the States. Don't know how that could be a bad investment!

Vera L. te Velde said...

You know, in this day and age I bet you can learn most of what you need to know (and the rest via experimentation) from youtube. Certainly well enough to have the best homemade bread in Oklahoma! I'm planning to use it to figure out the homemade pretzels.