An opinionated German baker

Our town has many bakeries… but there’s one I always visit with trepidation. Not, I hasten to add, because of the quality of the bread. No… the bread is amongst the finest you will find in all Germany. The reason for my hesitation is because the lady behind the counter is a German woman of robust opinions, forcefully expressed. To the extent that you often reel out of the shop wondering quite what hit you.

The bakery lady today was being forthright on the subject of underwear.

The reason, according to baker-lady-wisdom, for the ill health of much of the German nation… including incontinence, bowel cancer, kidney disease and other illnesses I dare not mention on a family-friendly blog… is that too many people nowadays wear underwear that is too skimpy. “A sensible German….” and she fixed me here with a steely gaze while deftly picking out my Brötchen with a pair of steel tongs…”… has stout drawers which reach from just below the breast to the upper thighs, made of pure cotton and are of tangibly good quality fabric. Preferably with guaranteed thermal qualities.” Her fingers scrunched up the top of the bag with a white-knuckle motion which meant no dissent was possible.

“Some people today wear items which consist of a couple of scraps of lace held together with string…” Her fingers jabbed at the till in a way which seemed to pierce my eye-sockets. “Some women….” and she sucked in her breath here, in a way which suggested that “women” might be too kind a term… ” shave their armpits and legs… and even..” there was a pause for the full shamelessness and horror to sink in… “down there…”

I handed over my 10 Euro  note and considered abandoning my change and fleeing from the shop….

“They will die an early death. And it will be entirely their own fault….” she concluded, counting the coins into my quaking palm. “And our health insurance should not have to cover it… they brought it on themselves…” was her parting shot as I grabbed my rolls and fled.



Filed under About Germany, food, Life in Germany

20 responses to “An opinionated German baker

  1. I was raised by women like her in our village…

    We young ones were especially warned of kidney troubles if our lower back was exposed. “Du kriegst es an die Nieren!” (your kidneys will suffer one day), we often heard. Since I rinse mine with beer on a regular basis, I have had no problems so far.

    But this lady sounds a generation removed from me. Do you have any idea how old she is?

  2. Neil

    Well I was as shocked as you were, I assume you were wearing your briefest lace string tanga at the time and were terrified of being found out !

  3. Don’t talk to me about health insurance!!!

    (specifically the price of it, which the German government increased today)

  4. Before moving to Germany, I was completely unaware that Urinary Tract Infections were cause by the wearing of mini skirts. (I was under the mistaken belief that they were bacteria based. Silly me! ;-))

  5. I really hope that I don’t get told about the dangers of shaving “down there” when I go out to buy my daily bread.
    Then again, my German is limited to about 6 phrases so I doubt that I would understand it even if they did.

  6. Oh yeah, the cold will give you SUCH a bladder infection.

    They tend to invent problems so they can support a healthcare industry to take care of it. How many hundreds of millions of euros a year would be saved if the word “Kreislaufstörung” were struck from the language? I’d never heard of it before coming here, never suffered from it over the past dozen years despite efforts to convince me otherwise.
    I go to the doctor about once a year. The German average is 18. Eighteen visits a year!!! It’s a nation of hypochondriacs.

    • I’ve never suffered from Frühjahrsmüdigkeit… but I’m working on it.

    • Agree with you on the phantom threat of bladder infection and Kreislaufstörungen.

      This is so German – and I might say this without the threat of “German bashing” as I am German 🙂

      But we have been brainwashed with this – if you walk around barefoot, you will get a bladder infection – if you sit on cold stairs , you will get a bladder infection, etc.

      I did not know the average German sees the doctor 18 times a year. I returned to this way of life from the other extreme – living in the USA for years without health insurance. That would really cure anyone of pity illnesses!

    • Speaking of diseases that exist only in Germany, what exactly is a “Hörsturz”? Almost sounds like you’ve fallen on your ear! 🙂

  7. You see, this is why you should not believe your husband when he tells you you will be fine going to the bakery on your own, all you need to say is “zwei normale Brötchen, bitte”.

    • I think the key to safe bakery visits are *only* knowing the phrase “zwei normale Brötchen, bitte”.

      Mind you… I’m not sure my husband would have coped well with a discussion of ladies’ underwear. Worse still… he might have tried to express his own preferences… this blog post could well have ended with the phrase: “… and he was never seen again.”

  8. She’d love me because I’ll show her my granny pannies in an instant. Maybe get some free bread!

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