Wednesday, October 24, 2012

GERMANY - Week Two (Part I)

Monday: This was an easy day at home. Sometime during the day, I visited the discounter (the local small supermarket) and bought some ice cream (Neapolitan), some Cherry Coke for Thomas, and I stocked up on the Peanut M&Ms and Haribo Gummy Frogs. I looked like an American college student who smokes a lot of pot with those grocery choices. LOL! For the record, I have never smoked pot in my life, but I have eaten like I do. Often.

At the bakery inside the discounter, I noticed they had apple berliners. SCORE! I had been hoping to find these somewhere. Most berliners have marmalade or pudding. I am not interested in marmalade at all and I had not tried the pudding ones, but I really wanted apple. I had already eaten breakfast so I decided I would return on Tuesday for the apple berliners. That did not have a happy ending. See Tuesday's entry for why.

I headed over to what I now refer to as my "regular" bakery with the intent of picking up a croissant for lunch. I saw that they had mini-pizzas and immediately changed my mind and picked up one of the delicious-looking tomato and cheese creations. Turns out it wasn't so delicious, but it was passable. Live and learn.

In the evening, we headed out to dinner at a small restaurant here that was having Bavaria week. Contrary to popular belief, Bavaria does not refer to all of Germany. Like the U.S., Germany is divided into areas that often have their own dialect, food, and customs. Bavaria is in the southeast of Germany and is the second largest "state" in the country. It encompasses Munich. I am in the state of Hesse, which encompasses Frankfurt.

Anyway, Bavarian food is pretty good, I had sausage and potato salad. We were the only customers in the place for food. This was a little restaurant with a small bar. When we walked in, a group of men were playing poker. It looked like Thursday night poker at someone's home. They were smoking, drinking, and playing the game with a lot of laughter and fun. Nice to see people having a good time!

What wasn't so nice was the deplorable service. The man who was running the place (and there was only one) took our drink orders fairly quickly, but after that, it was like he couldn't be bothered. We got menus off another table ourselves and then it took quite awhile for him to come back and take our order. I finally waved at him. He waved back and then it was at least a minute or two before he came over. I am not one of these impatient people who can't wait for a server to come over when they are busy. But this guy wasn't doing anything. He was behind the bar shooting the breeze with customers sitting there.

In any case, it was good to get out of the house and have a delicious meal so I can't really complain all that much. Besides that, I am generally loving being in a foreign country and having the opportunity to try different foods and enjoy the scenery.

We headed home and enjoyed some cake for dinner that we had picked up at the bakery on Sunday. Excellent stuff! We also planned our trip to Frankfurt this weekend. Very excited to go to the Saturday flea market, see the museum and have fun!

Tuesday: This day dawned cloudy and cold. I had planned on walking to the bakery to get a croissant for lunch as has become my usual custom, but I dumped that idea in favor of going to the discounter (the local small supermarket) because it is closer and I didn't want to be outside too long in the cold weather. As mentioned already, I had been to the discounter on Monday and spied the holy grail of apple berliners. I planned to return today to get some. But no. It was not to be. On this day, they had no apple berliners. Only marmalade. The was great. But, such is life and I bought some soup and ham for lunch. So all was not lost. 

A quick note to explain the soup situation - I am terrible with pronunciation of most foreign languages. Two years of French in college and I can barely speak a word of it, literally! My pronunciation is just that bad. But, I had made the effort since January to try to learn some German and I've gotten very good at reading and writing it. As I stood in the soup aisle at the discounter, I was fairly certain that the soup I had chosen was chicken and rice. I was about 98% sure of this because I recognized the word for chicken on the label. Or at least, I was hoping I was right. 

I got home, opened the can and found that I was indeed correct! So chicken and rice soup, ham, and some pepperoni for lunch. Not a bad meal really. Following lunch, I cleaned some dishes (we were out of forks so I just washed all of those) and peeled some potatoes in preparation for dinner. I also watched Prison Wives on Netflix. OMG. That is going to be a whole separate posting once my Germany travel posts are over. I also started reading this message board about the show. Funny stuff there, but also very sad and very true. 

Anyway, back to regularly scheduled travel topic - the evening consisted of bratwurst and potatoes for dinner followed by some Peanut M&Ms for dessert. We watched TV, I played on my Kindle and took a little nap before heading to bed for the whole night. 

Wednesday: Another cold day in the land of wurst and schnitzels! The day dawned once again cold and cloudy. It is currently 50 degrees at 11:20 a.m. I walked into town and went to two different bakeries. I had never been to one of them so I thought I would give it a try. It smelled delicious in there and I talked to the clerk a little bit. She knew a little English and I know a little German in terms of speaking (see above about horrible pronunciation) so it worked out. I bought a couple of pastries and a slice of cake. I have eaten one of the pastries for breakfast, the other will be saved for tomorrow. The cake will be dessert this evening. I went to the other bakery (my usual one) and purchased berliners. Two for Thomas and one for me. I decided to give the pudding berliners a try since apple filled ones were nowhere to be found.

DELICIOUS! The pudding is vanilla and the soft pastry dough around that filling is so delicious. I ate it on the way home. I will definitely be back tomorrow to purchase more for the rest of the week/weekend.


Maria said...

Bing went to Berlin last summer and she came home with....KITCHEN UTENSILS! She said that she could not leave the country without buying potato peelers, sieves and ladles. She's right, they are made incredibly well. She wasn't so keen on the food there, though. Said it was a bit too heavy for her. But, then...she's a devoted vegetarian....

Lawfrog said...

@Maria - The utensils here do seem to be made incredibly well, I've got to agree with Bing on those purchases.

The food is heavy, no doubt about that! I do not normally eat pastries, Doners, and the like. At home, I try to be very conscientious, but I'm letting myself off the hook while I'm here.

Jillian Leigh said...

I know I could easily google it...but hows the money?? colorful?

Lawfrog said...

@Jilly - The money is quite colorful. You can see it here:

Also, it's very easy to figure out because it's much like our own money. Denominations are basically the same except they have "dollar" coins as well as paper so some coins are worth $2 euros, some $1, some $5 and so on. We do not have coins with such denominations so that is really the only difference.

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