Friday, September 24, 2010

3 Little Things #1

Here are 3 little things that each on their own make me go 'hmmmmm', none of them individually big enough to warrant their own post, but together these 3 little 'amuse bouche' combine to make a main course, in my opinion anyway...

  1. At the bakers when you ask for a loaf (one of the maybe 20 varieties on their groaning shelves) they generally ask "geschnitten oder am Stuck?" (= sliced or not) I always opt for not, so that I can hack the loaf apart as and when I wish (although most German bread is best eaten on the day it's bought, doesn't last well due to the lack of preservatives in it (a good thing) and also really doesn't need to last longer than 1 day, or even 1 mealtime, as the bakeries are ALWAYS open, even on Sundays and bank holidays (except for maybe 2) It amuses me however, that there are some loaves that the bakers refuse to slice (I don't know why, haven't listened in to the conversation that follows the 'no, we can't slice that one' comment, maybe the mechanical slicer doesn't get on very well with that particular bread, I don't know, I'm sure there's a reason, but it does at the same time make me smile (internally, otherwise they'll think I'm a loon, grinning to myself at apparently nothing) because if that loaf isn't good for slicing then why do they make it so big, as surely you have to hold it like a bun or a roll and gnaw off chunks?
  2. Birthdays CANNOT be celebrated before the day. It's bad luck. In England I'd give a friend their card &/or present before the day if that was the closest day to their birthday that I'd be seeing them and expect the same behaviour in return. But here you shouldn't even wish someone 'happy birthday' before the event (i.e on the Friday before, saying 'happy birthday for Monday') I'm not sure why it's thought to be bad luck, maybe in case you die before the day - but then surely it'd be good that you had had the chance to celebrate beforehand? Rather than miss out altogether due to your demise? Back 9 years ago, when Jas was born we had Ben's whole birthday about a month before the event just because we didn't want his actual day overshadowed by the birth of his sibling (their birthdays are 3 days apart), everyone quite accepted it (obviously at the age of 4, Ben didn't have a clue that we moved his birthday) but that was in England, I can't imagine getting away with that here.
  3. 2 weeks ago I had to spend an interminable 2+ hours at school when the parents of the class got together with the teacher to discuss this term's work and blah blah blah. Dull, doesn't even start to describe how grim an evening it always is. One of the more irritating wastes of time was a discussion between 3 mothers about what to do, cake-wise (I'm not joking) one particular, imminent week, because their children all had birthdays on subsequent days and surely 3 days of cake was too many (is it possible to have too much cake? I think I'm turning into Marie Antionette) I think they spent 10 minutes debating which day they should join together to provide a breakfast buffet and so on. Fine (I guess). Imagine my surprise this week when Jas came home to report cake on 2 consecutive days and was fully expecting cake on day 3.
I don't think I'll ever understand the Germans.

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