Tootling Around on Reddit — Shashlik in Hand
Memories of Christmas Markets, Our Landlord, and Living in Germany
I like to tootle around on Reddit. This morning, I discovered the sub-Reddit r/Germany, which sounded interesting. It started off with a shish kabob at the Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt, which is the Christmas market. The person asking the question had added a picture, so there was something to talk about, and asked what it was. They’d had this food six years previously and could not remember what it was called for the life of them. It’s shashlik in German.
What was interesting about this whole post was all the people on Reddit who almost got into fisticuffs about exactly what this food was. The dispute was between Shashlik and currywurst. I was reminded, much as I loved our time in Germany and pretty much all of the Germans I knew, that a saying used to bounce around, “All Germans were traffic cops.”
I had to laugh because that was what seemed to happen in this innocent enough post. I went on to read a few other posts in the subreddit, just in case the responses in the Shashlik post were an anomaly. Still, it kept cropping up whether someone was talking about missed train connections to which towns would be the most open-minded about foreigners.
I just had to laugh. It didn’t seem that they were aware of how they sounded. They were right, and this was wrong — two polar sides. We are right, and you are wrong.
We lived in Munich (where they make BMWs) and later in Stuttgart (where they make Porsches and Mercedes). These are different regions in Germany, a country about the size of Montana. Anyway, the folk in Southern Germany, where Munich is, are traditionally seen as laid back, off-hand, sometimes lazy, and friendlier than folks up north. The folk in Munich considered people living in Stuttgart to be industrious money grubbers and not as friendly as themselves. It was nothing anybody took too seriously. It’s just that they poked fun at each other.
There was a little rhyme Dennis, and our landlord would say to each other when Dennis would leave the…