Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The good stuff.
I might have mentioned it in passing in a previous post or two, but I have fallen in love with plain yogurt. Nearly every hostel or pension offers it as a choice for breakfast, usually served with granola, but sometimes with corn flakes or other crunchy cereal which adds such a nice texture.
Back in New York, I often have vanilla yogurt topped with granola and fruit for breakfast, but it never tastes like this. Here, I want to lick the bowl clean.
"Why is it so much better?" I asked Katrin.
"Because our yogurt has fat, and all American yogurts have no fat, and so they taste like water."
She would know. She worked as an au pair in New Jersey for a year. And then I thought about yogurts in the States, and yes, it is true, almost all of them claim to fat-free or almost fat-free.
"Also, American yogurt has many ingredients in it. Ours just have milk." I inspected the German yogurt carton this morning at breakfast. 3.5% fatty milk. Nothing else in there. It's a lot of fat, but it's totally worth it. I might have to do an inspection back home to see if they actually have full-fat yogurt, and if they do, I may never go back again.
Oh, and you know how I thought it was weird that that woman left her baby outside of Starbucks? This is completely normal behavior, according to Katrin.
"I don't know why Americans are so afraid of having their kids be kidnapped," she said. If a baby is sleeping, why disturb him/her? Here, leaving a sleeping child outside in the stoller outside or in a parked car (where you can see them) is acceptable.
We even watched it happen on TV, where they left a child in a car for a few minutes, and Katrin goes, "See?!"
Tonight we caught a re-run of Germany's most famous television program called Tatort. I learned about Tatort back in Poland when Philipp dramatically demonstrated the opening sequence for me. He would use his hands in vogue-like fashion to block his face and reveal his eyes, humming the music the whole time. It was so funny watching him do this that I made him repeat it a few times. But the other Germans knew what he was mimicking without explanation. I wish I could show you Philipp's version, but here, you can watch the original yourself.
Tatort's opening sequence.
Tatort has been on air for 37 years, new episodes every Sunday night at 8:15--right after the news, which apparently every German watches everyday at 8. My Lonely Planet guide says that you should never call someone at 8 because of the news, and Katri n says this is totally true. The show is commercial free and runs for 90 minutes.
Tatort is a drama that follows investigation police teams in 15 cities of Germany (kind of like CSI) and every week is a different city. Some cities' police teams are more liked by the German viewing audience than others.
We watched an old episode from the 1990's of the investigation team from Bremen. I watched most of it alone, so this is what happened.
There was a woman with really long red nails, and she cried over a picture of a girl. And then she had sex with this guy on a train, and then they had sex again in a hotel room. And then this girl with blonde hair, a sex-phone operator, got shot, and she had a child who was now being taken care of this girl with brown hair. Some guy who owns a flower shop came to visit the girl with the brown hair and he touched her boob, but they played bad music, so I don't think it was a good thing. And then the woman with the red lipstick later kissed the flower shop guy, so she was bad, too.
The main cop of the show was a woman who had blonde bangs who sometimes wore scrunchies in her hair, and she was into this journalist and they took a bath together. (Total female nudity on television, by the way, and when Katrin came to join me and translated some, I found out there was also cursing). The scrunchie cop and her partner walked around and asked a lot of people questions about the sex-phone operator, and scrunchie cop was also was friends with the woman with the really long red nails. And then it got really confusing with a video-tape and some s&m scenes and the cop's boss was involved.
Long story short, it appears that the woman with the really long red nails steals the child being taken care of by the girl with brown hair (and Germans aren't worried about their kids being stolen!!?). Scrunchie cop finds them at the graveyard, where red nail woman is mourning over the death of her real child--remember the picture of the girl in the beginning?--and the cop takes the child away and then the woman with the really long red nails shoots herself with a pistol.
It was pretty intense. Now imagine how intense if would be if I actually knew what they were saying?
Feeble attempts to buy a winter hat.
Auf Wiedersehen, Tubingen! Hope to see you again soon, Katrin!