It's been raining off and on in the typical central European summer weather pattern. Every time it rained it smelled like the country (read: manure) to me. Recently however, the smell seems to have dissipated, that or I've gotten used to it :).
Going grocery shopping is difficult, but getting easier. I tend to buy things that have English or at least Spanish instructions on how to prepare them. It takes me forever to decipher a food label. This is the tipping point, I have to learn German. D'oh!
Meat is scary. It's Germany, right? So LOTS of meat, all mixed and mushed into sausages. But what's in that sausage? Is is beef? pork? chicken? veal? who knows? Your best guess is something from a pig, be it bacon, pork, ham or feet, they love their piggies here.
One popular dish here is called Leberkäse, literally translated it is liver cheese. However, it does not contain liver nor cheese, discuss......
It's mostly "schweinefleisch", yes, swine flesh. Really tough to eat when its read that way. Nate loves it and thinks it tastes like a glorified hot dog. Eh, close enough. I really wish I knew how to cook better.
Another detail about Germany is that you cannot buy over-the-counter medicines anywhere except these special stores called apothekes. They are virtually on every corner, but you cannot self-diagnose, look over your options and then pick one out.....no, no. The following is a true story:
I went up to the counter today, where I spoke to a pharmacist (I think),
"Enchuldigung, Sprechen sie Englisch?"
"Yes a little bit." [of course] I tell her the symptoms.
"Um, yes, I need a medicine for upset stomach..."
"Um, well, yes, but um, after you eat, you have to go to the bathroom......uh [at this point I'm making lots of gestures, I'm sure you can imagine me, making churning movements with my hands in the abdomen area]....I NEED SOMETHING FOR DIARRHEA!" Well, I didn't actually shout it, but it felt like it having to say it aloud.
"Oh yes, I understand."And then she goes into the back room, which is filled with drawers to the ceiling, and gets the medicine for me, this tiny little bottle of drops. OOOOOOK. When I got home and looked at it more closely, it's more for irritable bowel syndrome or dyspepsia. Sigh. The language barrier. Thank you Tower of Babel and human pride! Grrr!
You can't just say "I would like some [discreet, name-brand] Pepto-Bismol please." After all, they do not have any of the brands I'm used to, the only one I recognize is Bayer. It's so embarrassing. Though the pharmacist does give me directions in English as best they can, I have to remember it. Maybe its good medical practice, and Americans already self-diagnose probably too much, but so much for privacy! And we Americans LOVE our privacy. I can't wait to get something really personal, like a yeast infection or something.
Just so you know, and are not worried, Nathan and I do not have diarrhea (yet), but I'm trying to stock up on the essentials: medicine for headaches, upset stomach, antibiotic cream, cough syrup, etc. Please pray that we NEVER get sick while here. :)
Anyways, that's usually what I do most days, go grocery shopping or apotheke shopping, clean, do laundry, cook and try to pick up German on TV. I can't wait until Merissa gets here.