Food for the Soul

I’d like to propose my assumption that there is absolutely no way to prepare for the insanity that is the German supermarket.  Before coming here, I heard it all–Have the proper euro denomination!  Weigh your fruit before you check out!  If you don’t buy food before Sunday, you will starve!  Seemed simple enough; I felt pretty darn confident.

Nothing.  Ever.  Goes.  As.  Planned.  Ever.

I started with the “I can hold everything in my arms because baskets are lame” mentality.  Nope.  I should have figured.  I’m terrible at restraining myself from trying anything new and international/bizarre/nondescript.  Some things I noticed:

  1. Most meat is mystery meat.  Sure, Schinken is ham and Prosciutto is, well, Prosciutto, but it’s hard to pick from 8 different things called “Rotfleisch,” and contrary to what I though earlier, “Bierwurst” only contains beer if you yourself provide said alcohol.
  2. The only American yogurt on display is Activia.  I personally would recommend Danimals, but I’m not here to buy American stuff 🙂
  3. You have to go through a turnstile to enter the market.  Can’t escape!

With a basket full of food, I was ready to brave the checkout.  I unloaded the basket and nervously awaited my turn.  All of a sudden, the cashier turned to me and spoke at 100 mph (should I be using kph?).

“something something something something zurücklegen”

I have to…put..something…back, maybe?  Oooh, basket.  Should I leave my stuff?  I guess…*awkward American walks halfway across store and back* Nice!  Crisis averted!  Everything costs €9,40?  Good thing I only have a €10 note!  No bags?  Oops.  My minuscule backpack fit about half of my stuff.  Fortunately, no one tried to steal all the groceries I had to carry back home in my arms.  My dignity should repair itself soon.

I’ll shift gears a bit.  Speaking of shifting gears, I found something today on my way to the history museum that does that pretty well!

BugattiMy hosts invited me to a dinner party with their friends later, provided I could help cook the meal.  I threw together some American-bought chocolate chip cookie mix [Leah and Ophelia (their daughters) were quite smitten with them].  Their guests were a German-Italian couple (their names escape me at the moment; I will edit when I relearn them)–the woman was working on learning German, and the man was an architect (he threatened to leave the room when Matthias and Leah proceeded to put ketchup on their pasta).

We spent close to 5 hours talking about EVERYTHING: differences between Italy, Germany, and the US; electric vehicles; education; the future; sunshine.  Leah and I played “Was ist das?”, in which she would point at something and I would tell her “was das ist.”  She is a good teacher; she was not afraid to let me know if what I said was not deutlich (Word of the day! In this case, it refers to the clarity/closeness to native German pronunciation of the words I said).

Ich mag dieses Land.

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