Friday, July 27, 2007

Apfel Essig

And so I return from various excursions that have kept me not-digital for many days. Writing about my birthday reminded me of other "classic" things that happened while I was in Germany:

Even though I was living with a host family in a house, we took a couple of trips around the country on a bus. Our bus stopped in Uberwesunglskahdk, if I could actually spell it, I would, but can only remember how it was pronounced. It was a small town on the Rhine, gorgeous, but we had to eat lunch there. Money was a bit tight and the only place that seemed open was an expensive restaurant and so we just walked around, stopped by a fruit stand and got a bag of fruit and then went into the German CVS to find something to drink.

I was thirsty and I wanted something ethnic and not Coke -- which is Coke in German, definitely not ethnic. I picked up a big bottle of apfel essig. Apfel auf Englisch ist Apple, so that was easy and I knew I had something good to drink.

It had an interesting rubber top and I popped it at the bus. I figured I'd wait to drink it because it would last me. I took a swig and it was horribly bitter. I decided that it was German Apple Juice and because of that, it would taste a bit differently. I just had to get used to it, no biggie.

I took another swig and cringed harder. Gawd, what were the Germans thinking? This was terrible juice, or it was past date and still on the shelf.

My German teacher was close by and wondered what my dramatic commotion was about. I told her my apple juice was terrible, about how bitter it was. She giggled in a nun-like way (rumor was she used to be a nun, but found a man and left the order) and told me that essig was vinegar, that saft was juice.

And nobody wanted it on the bus when I tried to pass it on.