Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Schokobroetchen, Those Darn Mediterraneans, and Other Tidbits

Woo, hump day! I feel like I haven't accomplished much this week, but am still glad it's half over. I just want to sleep in, just one day...please.

* My cravings have branched out! Formerly reserved only for difficult things to get like refried beans, root beer floats, and Qdoba crunchy tacos, last week I finally experienced my very first craving (in Germany) for something that I could easily get! And did...yum. A Schokobroetchen (literal translation: little chocolate bread) from Cafe Blank in Neuenheim.

* It never fails to surprise/amuse me that so many Germans are such language lovers. Nearly all, if not all Germans I've met speak at least 3 languages pretty well. Often, they want to know what other languages you speak. And they are surprised when they meet others who aren't interested in learning new languages! One fellow student in Mainz said he wanted to study Spanish because he loves visiting Spain, "but the people in those Mediterranean countries, they just aren't interested in learning any other languages, so you have to learn theirs, ja?" As if it were strange that the Spanish, in general, don't care to learn other languages - I'm used to that sort of populace in the US.

* I really did not expect the sort of disconnect from Independence Day that I felt on the 4th. I tried to get the usual "Woo! Get those damn colonialists out of here!" mood on, but just ended up thinking, "Out of where? Not here..." It's not that I don't like the US, but I just feel so distanced from it. However, every time I read a glurgy/biased email forward regarding some aspect of US politics, I do get a little further away from ever wanting to return to the US environment.

* My husband has declared that "no one in Germany has just one general practitioner/primary care physician." Although I love the idea that people can just walk into any doctor or clinic they want without dealing with the HMO-approved list and other fun aspects of the US system, this feels a little weird to me - and especially after spending five years working in patient safety - a little dangerous due to the resulting disjointedness of one's medical history. Or is there a central databank that keeps a medical history of each person which is accessible by computer to all doctors? (That seems a little weird, too, I guess.)

Time to study for tomorrow morning's German test: using the passive, verbs with prepositions (none of which I can remember to save my life), and the ever-present adjective endings. I sometimes wish I'd grown up with a more complicated language than English so that some of these concepts would seem a little more natural to me.


  1. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............................chocolate breeeeeeaaaaaaddddddddddddd

  2. Actually the Germans that I know *do* tend to have just one general practitioner. Of course they also have the internist, the HNO (ear-nose-throat), the ob-gyn, and other various doctors that they go to for specific reasons, but virtually all Germans that I know well enough to know their doctoring habits have one GP who they go to for minor ailments.

    Nope, no central database that doctors can access :-)

    Schokobrötchen are yummy, but have you tried Zimtbrötchen? Not all bakeries have them, but they're getting more popular these days. Instead of little Schoko-bits these have little cinnamon-sugar-bits baked into them, making them almost as yummy as a cinnamon roll, but of course without frosting and probably a little less calorie/fat laden.

    By the way you seem to be meeting Germans, what, 45 and younger? I've found that 50+ Germans tend to speak German, and German only.

  3. Sara: Come try some :)

    Martina: The doctor one was my husband's observation; I'm glad it's not necessarily that way though because it just seems a little disjointed to me, plus I don't want to feel like some kind of doctor-stalker if I go to the same one twice ;)
    I will definitely have to look for these Zimtbroetchen things. I love cinnamon rolls (but, admittedly, mostly for the frosting and the butteriness....)
    You're right, I mostly only meet Germans under 45...the guy I quoted re: the Mediterraneans was probably late 30s/early 40s. Anyone older than that who I meet is generally a professor or a language teacher and of course they are a special breed! However the interested of under-40s in language is still special because in the US the average person of ANY age gives less than .5% of a shit about any foreign language, and that's what I'm used to!

  4. Ooh, have you tried the Choco Wuppi from Kamps? I could eat like 10 of those.


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