Great news for all regular Planet Germany readers! Young Germany is giving away a FREE copy of my book . If you haven’t already read it, it’s a great opportunity to pick up a copy for nothing. Swabians… take note!
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Nothing when travelling in a foreign country, is ever as daunting as that first trip to the lavatory.
German toilets are among the scariest. You see, on first sight, German toilets masquerade as normal toilets. This creates a false sense of security in the unsuspecting foreign user, who then lifts the lid and finds…. the inspection shelf.
German toilets are modelled back-to-front. Anyone sitting normally on the device cannot aim last night’s digested curry squarely down the hole. One option would be to straddle the toilet while facing the cistern, however this requires the user to divest all their lower clothing. Obviously the time taken to do this means that the queue of Germans outside the door becomes restless. People start banging and shouting: “Sind Sie immer noch nicht fertig?” in an increasingly hostile manner.
What the locals do is to sit on the seat as though it were a normal toilet … and emit their excrement straight onto the shelf. SPLAT.
The shelf, I am informed, plays a key role in the health of the German nation. The user, on rising from the throne, will inspect (I’m not sure whether with satisfaction, disgust or curiosity) the resting turds and make a note of the consistency, shape, colour and any abnormalities. Once the inspection is over, the toilet will be flushed… and the bowl cleaned as necessary using the brush provided.
The scatological information gleaned from the study of this morning’s dump can be passed on to a member of the medical profession if anything untoward were found (possibly with accompanying photo). Alternatively the experience will form part of the cheery response if any unsuspecting English person is silly enough to enquire after the Teuton’s state of health.
So when in Germany, remember to take your camera to the toilet… and never ever ask a German how they are. Especially when they’re just emerging from the bathroom.
Just when I thought I’d got used to the strange country that is Germany, I went to Bavaria. Bavaria is actually another country situated about 5 million miles away from the Federal Republic and has nothing whatsoever in common with it.
They speak a different language for a start…
They also eat things which other Germans wouldn’t necessarily recognise as food. Let alone squeamish Brits…
In fact Bavarian cuisine seems to consist entirely of strange unidentifiable bits of animal… anyone got a clue what this is?
I’ve spent the day teaching my youngest daughter the art of making chocolate rabbits.
I’ve been a scavenger of German flea markets for years, and one of the things you happen upon from time to time are old chocolate moulds. After nearly twenty years in Germany, I’ve amassed quite a collection.
There are a few things you need to know about making your own chocolate forms. First… getting the chocolate into the mould is simple, if sticky. Getting the chocolate figure out of the mould, on the other hand, takes a bit of a knack. With metal moulds, it’s definitely worth greasing first with a little sunflower oil. Once you’ve added the chocolate, put the whole thing in the freezer to set until it’s really hard…. otherwise it will disintegrate when you try to get it out. Of course you will then have to eat the broken bits. (Alright… technically you could melt them again and have another go… but who does that, when there’s chocolate to be had? Huh?)
Anyway… after a hard afternoon’s work, our kitchen is now overrun with rabbits and chickens (well… they do seem to multiply…)
Oh… and for good measure there are still some hot cross buns left from the batch I made yesterday. It promises to be a good Easter!
Happy Easter everybody!