Germany is winning today. I like to think of it as a friendly game, but I can get a little competitive sometimes.
On Tuesdays, Brian has a pretty light class schedule - just 2 classes to teach. So I usually come and meet him for lunch. Yesterday we had the idea that I could go get food from Subway and we could have a picnic by the Maschsee (the big lake). They have Subway all over here, and it's one of Brian's favorites. We hadn't been there yet, mostly because there is a lot of conversation involved in ordering at Subway. Think about it - what kind of bread, what kind of cheese, which vegetables, mustard, mayo, salt and pepper... oh, and do you want it toasted?
So I got up the courage to go and handled all those questions pretty well.
[note on German Subway - they have a lot of the same sandwiches, but the cheeses are feta, cream cheese, shredded cheddar, or some sort of white sliced cheese. There is no pepper jack and no banana peppers. The bread flavors are the same.]
I got to the end of the line and noticed that the cashier was using a calculator and the cash register was not working. I ordered 2 cookies [ sorry, I had to say, two chocolate chip, not two chocolate], she told me the total and, feeling pretty good that I remembered the word for pickles, I handed her the money. Only after I walked out of the store did I realize I had paid 18 euros for one sandwich and 2 cookies! After I did the math I realized that I must have paid for the sandwich twice. But since I had no receipt since there was no cash register, and since I didn't really know how to say that I had overpaid, I just let it go.
Our friend Dizzy told me that there is a sort of foreigner tax you end up paying when you live in another country - you end up paying extra for things that you get by mistake or because you just don't know how much they are supposed to cost or where is the best place to buy them. So chalk up the extra 8 euros to the foreigner tax. The Subway corporation can thank us later.
Do you remember the story about the yellow and blue recycling bags? Well, my one victory of the day was that I figured out how to get them if there is not a box of bags lying around in the checkout area. You just have to ask the cashier! So I practiced in my head how to ask for yellow bags, asked the cashier, and she gave them to me. That will take care of the 2 weeks's worth of plastic and aluminum piling up in the kitchen.
We'll see who wins tomorrow.
- 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.