Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What I Learned in Germany - People are the same everywhere

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got back from a week in Germany on Sunday, November 2nd, 2009. It was a crazy trip as my friend and I discovered that their father had passed away while we were out hiking.

One of the things I found in Germany, and indeed everywhere I've ever been in Europe, is that people are the same everywhere. There's graffiti. People litter when it's inconvenient to go to the next garbage can. If you can't speak the local language, you're probably from North America. And everyone does the same thing with soup apparently.

On the last night, my friend brought me and two of her closest friends to the Ratskellar in Bad Hersfeld where they ordered for me. They started me off with Ochsenschwanzsuppe, a soup which, with my limited German, I thought to be ox tongue soup, but turned out to be something surprisingly available in many cultures.

When it came, there was no ox in it, just a couple of really thin dumplings. By the time it landed on the table, we'd laughed about it and I figured out what it was, but was again surprised that it wasn't in the soup. I cut open the dumplings and scraped the filling out, but no, there was no ox meat in it.

Afterwards we asked the server about it, and she said the part of the ox used is boiled in the soup, then taken out. I was strangely disappointed.

If you haven't figured out what I had, you can check it out with this Google search link and be amazed that it's in so many cultures spanning the globe.

By the way, if you have kids, the Ratskellar menu also features a cutesy fairy-tale menu for kids, with items such as "Snow White and Rose Red" -- from what I could guess, this was fries with mayo and ketchup for dipping.

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