I know why you are reading this blog. No doubt you’ve read a thousand blogs by every friend who has ever gone overseas, and if you’re anything like me, there is only one thing you really want to hear about. No, not the wholesome excursions to churches and museums. Nor the sudden realisation of what travel really means. It’s the food. The delicious, succulent meals that you would never eat back home, but while you are away, you say ‘why not’ and dig in.
From the moment I landed in Munich, Germany, my low-carb diet went out the window. In my defense, it was cold, it was snowing and all the restaurants seemed to serve potato and sausage only. Once I had started down that path, there was to be no return.
Let me tell you about the dish called ‘pork knuckle’. To all the vegetarians reading this, I suggest you skip to the next section. Pork knuckle is pure, succulent, dripping meat, accompanied by a potato dumpling. What is a potato dumpling, you ask? The easiest way to describe it is ten potatoes compressed into one and fried. The heartburn soon ensues, but it is worth it.
Pretzels were 29 cents in Berlin. 29 cents. What a bargain! Yes, the miser within me cannot resist a good deal, and so every morning I would detour past the supermarket to get my 58 cents worth of salty bread.
Much to the delight of myself and my fellow travelers, doner kebabs were everywhere and they were cheap. Not to mention these doner shops were run with pride, every kebab a work of art.
The other great food of Germany was the pizza. Italian immigrants over the years have established authentic Italian restaurants all over Germany. The one weird thing, however, was they never cut the pizza into slices! It mystified me the first few times, initially thinking that they had forgotten. I mean, it’s not exactly asking much, is it? Despite this, the pizza was fantastic.
I did have two pet peeves during my time in Munich and Berlin. One- water was never free. Gone were the days where you walk into a restaurant and are greeted with a chilled glass of tap water- on the house of course. Oh no, even the hard labour of filling a jug from the tap had to be rewarded to the tune of three or four euro.
Following on from this was the lack of public bathrooms. Every bathroom had to be paid for and there was no ducking into Maccas if you were bursting! I was outraged. Isn’t access to toilets an international human right?
All jokes aside, I had an amazing time while overseas. I thoroughly enjoyed my course at Humboldt University in Berlin and would 100000% do it again. I loved meeting new people, and yes, I do have a soft spot for museums and art galleries so I was in paradise. It is an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.