tonight i got my first lesson in hessen. my colleague philipp and i walked around the old town a bit, tudor houses, cobblestone walks, that sortof thing before arriving at our dinner destination, some sort of meat and ale house. wood panel walls, loud bustling dining room where you sit at communal picnic tables. we ended up between a couple of guys in their 70s and a younger couple to my left. we started with a "small" pitcher of cider. philipp warned me "it's very, very bitter and may just clean out your stomach. it's ok to not like it." i can handle it, phil. i take one sip and feel like i've downed battery acid. then he tells me you're supposed to mix it with seltzer. i have had a least a gallon of seltzer since i've been here, btw. feeling like i've swallowed a beach ball is an understatement. it's a little better. i peruse the menu which has 11 different pork dishes, some "weiner art" many schnitzels, liver dumplings and words with the big Bs. i settled on boiled prime meat, boiled potatoes and green sauce, which the people are eating to my left, and looks rather tasty. tho they got the green sauce with 4 hard boiled eggs instead of the meat. 4 eggs. philipp orders the pork platter, which has sausage, bacon, pork chop and belly. totally kosher.
we gossip about work, and finally strike up a conversation with the old guys next to me. they're in town for the big bathroom fixture convention, which is why there are no hotel rooms downtown, and we're staying out in the middle of nowhere. so even though they barely speak english, philipp tries to translate without laughing, as these guys rrrreally like bathroom fixtures. they also love heated floors, villeroy and boch. i tell them how my parents just got heated towel racks, they are the best! the ony guy shoos me away with his hand and already knew what he meant when philipp says "heated towels racks have been around since the middle ages."
then come the fat american jokes. and the conversation moves towards them recounting the citizenships of all their girlfriends. "lichtenstein. never again! living in lichtenstein is like living in a prison!" "russian girls wear short skirts, even when it's cold!" that sortof thing. i go to the bathroom and find ads on the paper towels. brilliant! i come back to our table and our friends have ordered us a round of shnapps with a canned pear in it. you eat the pear with the toothpick and down the rest. yums. our waiter, whose name is wolfgang comes back and already, i've learned the words for "another round."
Labels: germany, travels