Deutsch Connection – IV


Drink, Dine & Dance!

The perfect climate means perfect vineyards and more the vineyards, more exquisite the wine! German wine and beer doesn’t need any introduction to the guzzlers! Sold in round Bocksbeutel bottles, mugs and kegs, the German beer is a true celebration. In the land known for its Oktoberfest, beer is no big deal. You get varieties of flavors and Pilsner seemed to be the most asked one! They even serve the dark wheat beers making it a memorable treat.

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A rule that would amuse all my fellow guzzlers would be the scale on which the beer is served. All beer is served in glasses with a calibration mark that is frequently checked by a calibration bureau. The common rule is that beer with foam must not be more than one centimeter below the calibration mark; otherwise a guest could refuse the beer even at the Oktoberfest.

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One thing that that seemed odd to the Indian in me is the availability of water. The wasser what Germans say is water is nothing but soda or carbonated water. Bottled water is easily found but comes at good cost wherever it is, even if you are dining in a multi star restaurant. People here consume the carbonated water more and the need for fresh water is minimal. A story says that during the world wars, Germany was bombarded so much that all the water sources and water bodies in and around the country got polluted to a very high extent.

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The water became unusable for any purpose and people opted for purified mineral water instead. This continued and today they are comfortable with it. Over the years the water got purer and purer but by then people were fine with the wasser.  Today, drinking water of excellent quality is provided by the public water industry and can be had directly from the tap without hesitation. So any outsider who would want fresh water in the mid night runs to the tap in his bathroom, as exactly as I did!

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The food in Germany is equally exotic. A record says that about 1500 different types of sausages are made in Germany. I obviously tried the Bratwurst, the pork sausage.  The breakfast here is a sumptuous matter. With huge servings of fruits, cereals, butter, burnt meat, bread, honey, juices and fish, it makes the perfect start for the day.

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The food is always very hearty with an emphasis on meat and potatoes. This is explained partly by the cold winter periods during which a higher calorie and nutritious food is to be consumed to sustain health. Doner Kebab is a Turkish food that’s more famous in Germany. Minced meat wrapped in a roti kind of shallow bread with toppings of tomato, onion, lettuce and yoghurt! A mouthful of savory!

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On a leisurely evening, I spotted many of them gathered around for a cake and coffee or drink in their lawns. Community eating is very popular and may be elaborated and extended on weekends, with family and friends. When the elder ones gulp in from their beer mug, the kids are given a fruit juice that gives out the color of beer when mixed with water. I better not start about the desserts and cakes!

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The nightlife is equally happening and to someone who is from Bangalore, well, really will have to be pinched twice to see that nightlife is actually in the night! On a Saturday night we were at one of the nightclubs and found it totally empty and the answer we got on enquiring was that they expected guests only after 11pm or towards midnight! On another night we were hopping from one to another through the night clubs of Stuttgart. All of them were crowded and had literally crammed in people beyond its capacity. There was another long queue waiting to get inside and the bouncers letting them enter in small batches. Finally I was seeing the city with some human movement around, and that happened at well past midnight.

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After downing few beers and tapping the feet, the music that hit my ears amazed me! Wait! I have heard this song somewhere? Munni??? Whaaat? Apna Bollywood in Germany? Seeti bajaore! Nope! I was not high nor was I dreaming. They played many hit numbers from the Bollywood and even played Hindi videos on tv. It was then I was asked a curious question, ‘why do you Indians focus more on this belly button and the camera, most of the times, is focused around the hip?’ No comments! By the way, they were playing Chikni Chameli on tv at that moment!

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