Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grill shopping - Doner - Froggy shoes

Sorry I haven't posted anything lately. I've actually been really busy this week. More on that later - today we talk barbecue.

A few weeks ago we smelled charcoal coming from the neighbor's balcony. We decided that if they could have a grill then we could have one too! So on Saturday, Brian and I went to the Bauhaus, which is like the German version of Menards. Bauhaus is where my plumbing adventures with the washing machine took place, so I know it pretty well already.

As a tangent, I'll tell you that Brian and I first had lunch at the Doner place near our house (one of them, there are actually 4 or 5 in short walking distance). Doner is Turkish/Mediterranean/Middle Eastern fast food and it's delicious.  Fast food is maybe the wrong word. It's gyros and falafels and kabobs and greek salad and something I have yet to try which is like a Turkish pizza. At some places they also serve pizzas and fries and other items that are probably not worth trying.  It's fresh and cheap and generally not greasy. If you can't tell, I am a big fan. I took the takeout menu home with me so I can practice my German Doner vocabulary.

Anyway, at the Bauhaus we spotted a sturdy little Weber grill - designed in Palatine, IL. It looked like the floor model might be the only one. So I approached the Bauhaus staff member nearby (they usually don't approach you in a store, but let you shop until you are ready for help, which I find very civilized and great also if you don't  speak the language). He told me he did not speak English, so I somehow managed to ask if that grill was the only one in stock. I said it a lot less eloquently than that. I said something like "is the one?" or " you have one?" but he figured it out.  We got a discount since it was the floor model and got a few modest grill tools and some lighter fluid, and headed for the tram.

I took this picture of Brian holding grill tools in the tram station (really dorky of me, I know), which attracted the attention of a man nearby, who then was interested in Brian's five finger (aka froggy) shoes.  So then he had to ask about them.  All I could understand of the question was "your shoes". Brian sort of froze up as he does when people speak to him unexpectedly in German.  I just said, "he doesn't speak German," and the guy walked away. It's a good thing that I wasn't wearing mine too.

In general we have been glad that Germans here are less outgoing than Americans. In the US, people strike up conversations about the five finger shoes all the time. They also (especially in MN) strike up conversations while waiting in line at the grocery store and sometimes while walking down the street.  It's good that doesn't happen here because it would be hard for us to respond.

So we made some delicious cheeseburgers and I learned how to use charcoal, having only gas grill experience thus far. Our old grill, which is still going strong at the house in St Paul, could eat this grill for breakfast. It has 6 burners and a rotisserie. But that's part of the more urban lifestyle we now lead. That and carrying grills around town on public transportation.

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About Me

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Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.