Tag Archives: Beer

Expat Life in Germany: Taking Day Trips to Hamburg


“Danish beer at the Hamburg Harbor? Clearly we are going to hell.”

Last weekend, my German wife and I took another one of our day trips to Hamburg, Germany. Like a big boy, I boarded the Metronom train all on my own in Hannover, switched trains in Uelzen, then met The Wife in Lüneburg. (And I didn’t get lost once!) Lüneburg is a super cute town, so we strolled around and ate lunch before continuing on to Hamburg. What follows is a 2.5 minute video of the journey, including lots of beer, rain, and one terribly deformed homeless person.

*** WARNING ***
Video contains a lot of swearing. You might want to cover your delicate little baby ears.

If you would like to check out another one of our posts about Hamburg, check out: American Man Speaks with Prostitute in Hamburg, Germany

Visiting Portland, Oregon: An American Expat and His German Wife Return to the States for Spring Break


Welcome to Portland: City of beer, beards and reefer buds.

My wife is a smokin’ hot, full-blooded German woman with a killer smile and a wildly unpredictable sense of humor. I am an American expat built from the lesser parts of cyborg nerds and dragon jockeys. Together, we live in Hannover, Germany, and this blog is an ongoing account of our shared misadventures.

Now, we hadn’t visited my hometown of Portland, Oregon, since late 2013, so it was a pretty big deal for us to see our friends and family members this year. What follows is a picture gallery depicting our trip from beginning to end, complete with an epic pub crawl, a visit to the very site where I asked my wife to marry me, and everything else which makes me proud to call myself a Portlander. Or a Portlandite. Portlandian? Portlandonian! I COME FROM THE LAND OF PORTS.

 Click one of the thumbnails below to start the slideshow and read the captions:



If you would like to read another post regarding my hometown, check this one out: My German Wife’s First Encounter with ‘Kitchen Kaboodle’ in Portland, Oregon

My German Wife Promises Beer, Then Crushes All My Hopes


“Hold me back! I can hear the Sirens calling!”

Back in 2013, my wife was finishing a big paper during her time as a Referendariat teacher. She was working very hard, so we made sure to balance things out with a little fun. And by fun, I mean big-ass beers.

One Sunday in May, she suggested we both work all day long and then go to Bavarium at 7:00 pm. Bavarium is one of our favorite places to go here in Hannover; it’s a Bavarian-themed restaurant and beer garden, but of most importance is the fact that they serve Maß (1 liter) beers. I love these gigantic brew-doggies, though I hate that they are traditionally poured so 1/3 of their volume is foam. (I don’t like having to carve through a layer of bubbles with my stupid American nose before reaching the sweet, golden nectar below.)

Anyway, 7:00 pm rolls around and my wife announces she is “too hungry” to go to Bavarium, and that we should just stay home and make tomato soup instead. In a weird way, I was actually sort of okay with this. I’d been looking forward to Bavarium all day, so that Sunday — which normally would have been one long, depressing death march toward Monday morning — was actually pretty decent. I had a great attitude, and I related this fact to my wife, to which she replied:

“We tricked your insides.”

If you would like to read another Denglish post, check this one out: My German Wife Tells the Worst Inside Joke of All-Time



Tips from an American Expat: Everyday Products You’ll Miss after Moving to Germany

Survey conducted by Dan, blogger and owner of Live Work Travel USA. He’s my opposite — a German expat living in America — like my evil mirror image from a parallel universe. Or am I the evil one? (Clearly one of us has to be destroyed.) But first, Dan asked me…


“Welcome to America.” — Photo Credit: Ruth Hartnup (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthanddave/) — Image subject to CC 2.0 Generic license

What food items do you miss most from America?

Mexican Food
Now, I realize I just named a type of food that comes from an entirely different country than my own, but hell — Mexico is right there. We’re like passive-aggressive neighbors; all smiling and waving to each other from across the street, then talking massive amounts of shit as soon as we close the front door. “Oh. My. God. Gladys, did you hear what Mexico did today? That slut.” So, I don’t miss that, but I do miss burritos. Big, sloppy, disgusting burritos the size of a newborn baby. Hell yes. And real guacamole. And tortilla chips that aren’t powdered with artificial flavoring, like some weird, evil German’s idea of what nachos should taste like. (Hint: nachos should taste like salt, not Satan’s jockstrap.)

Real Hot Sauce
Tapatio. Sriracha. Dave’s Insanity Sauce. Blair’s After Death Sauce. Mad Dog 44 Magnum Pepper Extract. (Why are these names so violent?) Now, most of these anus-burners can be ordered online, but not all of them. Real hot sauce is hard to find in Germany. Oh sure, they’ve got Tabasco in almost every store, but I said hot sauce, not red vinegar for complete pantywaists. My wife suggested I look in some local Indian and Asian food stores, and she was right! I found my precious Sriracha sauce. Problem is, the bottles are tiny, so they’re the same price if I ordered the big daddies and paid for the shipping, but still! Victory, I say!

Out of Season Fruits and Vegetables
I understand all of the reasons why eating locally-grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables is a good idea. It’s good for the economy. Good for the environment. Good for your Mom (zing!). But I’m American; we simply cannot understand the idea of not getting whatever we want, whenever the hell we want it. “Mangos in December. Strawberries in January. No, I have no idea where they’re coming from. What’s the problem, hippy?” So I guess I don’t really care about any one fruit or vegetable in particular; what I care about is that I’m being forced into becoming a better person. When it comes to self improvement, I want it to be according to my schedule — ideally while on a comfy psychiatrist’s couch or readily available in pill form.

Real Ketchup and Mayonnaise
When you order French fries here in Germany, you will typically be asked whether or not you would like them to be, “red and white.” This means half your fries will be drowned in mayonnaise, and the other half in ketchup. Since every American on earth knows dipping your French fries in mayonnaise is black magic communist devil worship (with herpes), I’ll skip over the concept itself. But dude, there is something deeply, terribly wrong with German mayonnaise. It tastes sweet, like Miracle Whip. I hate it, so I basically just avoid anything in this country that has a chance of filling my mouth with thick, white, porno goo. And then there’s the ketchup. Now, I’ve seen Heinz ketchup in the grocery store, but that’s not what you’ll get on the “red” side of your fries — you’re gonna get a weird, thin mutation of ketchup which tastes, inexplicably, like salsa. It’s like the retarded younger brother of ketchup, and nobody knows who the father is.


“What… what in God’s name is THAT?” — Photo Credit: mike germany (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bestgermanfood/) — Image subject to CC 2.0 Generic license

Which German foods do you like, that you wish you could get in America?

Real Liverwurst
Lots of Americans think they know what real liverwurst tastes like, but they don’t. And they hate it. This is because major supermarket chains in the States sell pink, mass-produced paste called liverwurst, but it tastes like salty foreskin. It wasn’t until I moved to Germany that I saw the full spectrum of liverwurst — every brand, flavor and texture — like a horrifying pâté rainbow in the sky. Yet even after sampling the real deal, I still wasn’t sure about it. My gag reflex remained on high alert: “Hey boy, what do you think you’re trying to sneak past us here? Didn’t we already talk about this back when you were 12 years old, when you smeared this shit on a cracker at that Christmas party? You spit it out into a napkin right in front of the host. Guess this is one lesson we’re gonna have to teach you twice.” What I’m saying is, it took me about 6 months to really make friends with liverwurst, but after I did, I loved it. I also enjoy the fact that so much of it is made from young pig and veal livers, because their youthful energy reinvigorates my own liver and repairs all the damage I’ve done over the years.

You know Weißwurst: those white sausages served in a steaming ceramic bowl with a lid on top? They’re short, thick and perfectly smooth — like zombie dicks. I think they do sell them in some German restaurants in the States, but I’d never really noticed them before. Now I love these things! I don’t even cut the peel off, like I’ve seen the Germans do; I leave it on because I like the way it pops in my mouth. It reminds me I’m eating an animal which has literally been stuffed up its own ass, and that just seems so right.

Okay, now these sausages are the long, thin, dark red ones you see at German festivals. And since I apparently can’t stop talking about dicks today, I’m gonna go ahead and say they look like really long dog dicks. Like a full yard of the proudest Doberman ever. And there’s something saltier and tastier about Schinkengriller than the other sausages. They’re my favorite. I just don’t understand the tiny rolls and slices of white bread they’re served with. If you’re gonna jam your meat into a piece of bread, at least use a hotdog bun or something long enough to make the whole thing feel welcome.

And of course, in America, I wish I could more easily find 1-liter glasses of beer for sale. Hell, with the exception of local festivals and events, there are only a few pubs here in Hannover that sell them at all. This is probably due to the fact that Maß beers are really more of a Bavarian thing. (And Bavarians regard the rest of Germany the way Texans regard the other 49 states of America — with a playful sense of entitlement masking the fuck off attitude underneath.)


“He must work out.” — Photo Credit: Alex-501 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/60705975@N08/) — Image subject to CC 2.0 Generic license

Other than food, what products do you miss from America, that you wish you could get here in Germany?

Cheap Clothing
Seriously. Buying clothes in Germany is a painfully expensive ordeal. Especially when it comes to jeans. You can go to some ethically dubious chain and find yourself some cheap blue jeans, but there’s a decent chance some sweatshop child will have sewn a message into the tag: MEN’S JEANS, SIZE: LARGE, MACHINE WASH GENTLE, OH MY GOD PLEASE GET US OUT OF HERE.

Stain Sticks
Stain sticks and sprays are laundry products you can apply to stains immediately after they occur, and then sit on your lazy ass for up to a week before doing the laundry. Stains come right out. Maybe they do sell them here in Germany — or something like them — but I can’t find them anywhere. One time, I spilled red wine on my blue thermal sweatshirt, so my wife applied laundry detergent directly to the stain. Just got the spot wet and rubbed that shit right on in there. Ran it through the washing machine and BOOM; my sweatshirt was covered in these massive, hideous white blotches — like I’d just lost a fistfight with a bottle of chlorine.

Standard Shower heads
Not handheld shower heads. I’ve talked about this before — how Germans love their handheld shower heads — but they’re not for me; I want the hot water to rain down on my head and shoulders like I’m standing beneath a waterfall. It’s soothing. Holding on to the source of the water keeps you from relaxing, and it’s not like the water won’t eventually reach your anus. Jesus. You don’t have to blast the poor thing with a jet of water like you’re suppressing a riot.

Standard Toilets
To be honest, most of the toilets in Germany seem to be standard, as opposed to low-flow. I haven’t encountered too many low-flow toilets here, but when I did, it sucked miserably. Your stinking loaf drops onto a dry shelf, where it remains until you flush. Then it streaks its way into a tiny cup of water before (hopefully) disappearing. You might be surprised just how effective a generous pool of water can be at stifling the true potency of your stink nuggets. Chances are, if you’re American, you’ve been taking standard toilets for granted your entire life. I sure as hell did.

Nighttime Mouth Guards (dental guards for sleeping)
Seriously, why can’t I buy these things in Germany? I clench my jaw at night so hard I am literally cracking my own teeth. Every dentist who has ever looked into my mouth has said, “Wow, your teeth are so straight… and you’ve really never had braces? But jeez, what’s with the nighttime grinding? Here, let me fit you for a €300 euro dental guard — one which your insurance may or may not cover — I have no idea…” And then I get to explain I use $10 dollar night guards from the States, and then the dentist acts like he or she has absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. (Oh, but they do, those sons of bitches.)

Over-the-Counter Medicine
NyQuil, DayQuil, Advil (Ibuprofen), Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Zicam, Excedrin, Claritin, Dimetapp, Neosporin (topical antibacterial) — you know, the basics. You can buy some of these things in Germany, but you’ll have to make an extra trip to the pharmacy (Apotheke) to do it. Oh, and you’ll have to speak to a pharmacist about them too, describing all of your disgusting symptoms in detail before they’ll hand over the goods. “Hi, I have a runny nose. Yes, snot is coming out of it. No, the snot is not brown or yellow. What? Did you just ask if my snot is thick? Look, can I just please have the nasal spray so I can breathe again, god damn you?”

Prescription Drugs
Germany and America have different regulations for prescription-strength medicines, so you can’t always find the drug you need here. This sucks pretty hard for expats like me. I’m American. I’m accustomed to blasting what ails me with the chemical equivalent of a howitzer. If I’ve got a headache, I don’t want to just get rid of it; I want to smash it out of my skull with a hammer. if I can’t sleep, I won’t politely ask insomnia to leave me alone for the night; I’ll stab that bitch right in the windpipe. And when seasonal allergies come around, I’m not going to gently usher them out the door; I’m going to give them two rounds to the chest and sprinkle cocaine on their bodies for the cops to find.


“Too many shoes. Getting nervous.” — Photo Credit: Travis Sanders (https://www.flickr.com/photos/travis_sanders/) — Image subject to CC 2.0 Generic license

Are there any German products you wish you could get in America?

House Shoes
Oh sure, we’ve got shoes we choose to wear indoors. They’re called slippers. What I mean are the kind of dedicated footwear every German owns — super comfy, donned the moment you set foot in your home — and typically stored in an orderly fashion in the entryway. I don’t mean like at a party hosted by some asshole who makes you take your shoes off and throw them in a haphazard pile in the corner so you can worry about them being lost or stolen all night long. I’m talking about house shoes; they make you feel at home, peaceful and relaxed, because they’re yours. Kind of like that scene in Full Metal Jacket: “These are my German house shoes! There are many like them, but these ones are mine!”

Scratchy Towels
Thin, scratchy towels are the norm here in Germany. This may sound like a negative, but it isn’t; I used to hate scratchy towels, but have come to love how easily they wick the water from your body. Hell, they downright suck the water off, and they exfoliate your skin at the same time. Like sandpaper that’s juuuust soft enough not to scratch off your fun bits.

Dynamo Lights
Dynamos are lights for your bike which run off the power generated by the rotation of your tires. I’d never seen one before moving to Germany, and I was immediately impressed. Who wants to slap a pair of batteries into a plastic case and then replace them every couple months? I love the idea of generating my own light — like Gandalf saving everyone’s ass at the end of The Two Towers: “At dawn, look to the East!”

Tilt and Turn Windows
These things are yet another example of genius German engineering; a tilt and turn window can tilt inward at the top or open inward completely from the side. Germans invented them, and they rule. (Which is why the rest of the European countries totally ripped off the design.) In America, most everybody has windows the slide up or to the side, and I don’t know about you, but I am constantly breaking these things. Also, I am the clumsiest man alive.

Predial Numbers
I don’t know how they work, but in Germany, you can call America for less than a cent per minute using something called ‘predial’ numbers. They’re usually just 5 or 6 digits dialed before the country code, but only certain service providers allow them. Also, the caller has to be using a land line. But still, awesome! Predial numbers — in addition to Skype, WhatsApp, Instant Messenger, email, letters and postcards — were vital during the time my wife and I were in a long distance relationship. We talked every single day, for an hour during my lunch break Monday through Friday, and then 4-5 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. Christ. Just thinking about all those months of heartache makes me want to cry all over again. I’m crying right now, in fact. Like a little bitch.

Effective Public Transportation
U-Bahn, S-Bahn, Bus, Fernbus, Metronom, Regionalbahn, IC, ICE — just about every German city provides access to all of these options. In the States, only a handful of cities even have a subway, and at this moment I’m having trouble remembering any of them except New York. NYC is lousy with subway trains, but I come from Portland, Oregon; we have the bus and a light rail train called The MAX (Metropolitan Area Express). Oh sure, you can hop on a train up to Seattle or something, but it sucks. Takes forever. We need high-speed trains, man!


Until I received this survey from Dan, I never really thought much about foods or products I missed from the States. And I definitely hadn’t thought about things from Germany I might miss back home. I just didn’t care. What can you do about it anyway? Forgo clean undies by stuffing your suitcase full of hot sauce and prescription drugs? Shit, I’d rather get caught smuggling dildos.

The availability of American foods and products in Germany is actually quite impressive. In fact, I have to award Germany 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds for its effort:


But the truth is, if you want to live in a foreign country, you have to adapt. That’s what every good expat does. In fact, the only thing I truly miss from home is the luxury of not having a language barrier. I miss my ability to handle minor tasks and solve problems without applying a bunch of time and effort. I am terribly lazy, you see, so I have to preserve what small amount of vital energy I have left. If I don’t, my wife will find me passed out on the floor because I tried to read a German baking recipe. “Salz, Zucker… that’s ‘salt’ and ‘sugar,’ probably… oh my God, what is Schlagsahne? Some kind of cream, right? Hitting cream? Aw Jesus…” BOOM! — I’m on the floor.

Thank you, Dan, for asking me these questions and prompting this blog post. And thank you, Reader, for reading it. If you’d like to see another one, check out: InterNations: An American Expat Answers Questions About Living in Germany

Thinking of moving to the US? Ever wondered what life is like for expats on the other side of the pond? For information on life as a German expat in the United States, visit Dan’s site:


Live Work Travel USA



German-American Couple Falls in Love with the City of Bremen, Germany


Remember that pointy bra Madonna used to wear?

At the beginning of November, my wife and I took the train from Hannover to Bremen, Germany. It was just a day trip, and I honestly wasn’t expecting much. The things I knew about Bremen could be counted on a high school shop teacher’s hand (because they’re always shy a couple digits):

  1. Bremen is where Beck’s beer comes from.
  2. Bremen is a city-state, like Hamburg and Berlin.
  3. Bremen is somewhere up north, like Winterfell.

That’s it! Nothing else! So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered Bremen absolutely rules. Here’s why…


Imagine a giant person stepping on that thing. Prolly hurt worse than a Lego.

Unlike Hamburg or Berlin, the Allied Powers didn’t bomb the everloving shit out of Bremen during World War II. (And by this, I mean they did mess it up real good, but they didn’t flatten it completely.) The result is a massive medieval market square still intact today! There’s a beautiful town hall and an enormous cathedral, and you can hardly take a step without bumping into one famous sculpture or another. (Like the Bremen Town Musicians, named after the Brothers Grimm folktale involving a donkey, dog, cat and rooster, who stand on each others backs in order to scare the holy piss out of a bunch of felons during a home invasion.)



The very oldest part of Bremen is called the Schnoorviertel, and it’s the neighborhood where all the medieval sailors and merchants used to live. I swear to Christ, I felt like I’d stumbled into Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series. Of course, instead of Ollivanders, the Leaky Cauldron and Gringotts Wizarding Bank, the Schnoorviertel of medieval times was probably more like a river of human waste and merkin-sporting prostitutes dying of The Consumption.


“Bring out your dead!”

Much like OMSI in Portland, Oregon, Bremen has a kick-ass science museum called the Universum. My wife and I were there for its Universum bei Nacht event, where adults can enjoy the permanent exhibit with live music in their ears, cold brew-doggies in their hands and absolutely no screaming kids biting at their ankles. We also got to place little stickers on our favorite exhibit pieces, effectively voting for which ones would remain, and which would be replaced. My favorite was the shadow room, which featured a phosphorescent wall and a flashbulb. You hold a funny position against the wall until the flash goes off, then step back and laugh at your perfectly captured silhouette. (You can imagine how quickly this innocent little bit of scientific education descended into a porno horror show.)


“Hang on a second, honey. I’m tripping balls.”

I can’t really do justice to the awesomeness that is Bremen, so I’ve put this little video together to summarize our trip. It’s only 95 seconds long, and it features videos my wife recorded herself! Check it out:

And as always, here’s the complete picture gallery with snarky captions. Please click one of the images below to begin the slideshow:

Thank you for reading our blog and have a wonderful day!

Bachelor Week: American Man in Germany Left to His Own Devices for 7 Days


Recently, my German wife went on a field trip with one of her Gymnasium classes to Poland. This allowed me a full week in which to eat, sleep, work and relax in exactly the manner I wished. No opinions. No objections. What followed were 7 days of ‘Me Time,’ and shit got weird fast.

Day 1

Woke up. Left the bed unmade and felt like a badass about it. (But still a little guilty.)

Tried to open the blinds and accidentally broke one.


Went to the gym, worked out and showered. Decided not to shave my chin whiskers all week as a kind of repulsive welcome home gift for my wife. (The last time I did this, she stated flatly, “You look like a goat.”

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all ritualistically drowned in Sriracha hot sauce.


Day 2

Woke up. Made half of the bed, because… fuck it, right?

Took a picture of myself with my wife’s pink panties on my head and my eyes peering out through the leg holes… kind of like the world’s fruitiest ninja. I then emailed the picture to her and decided I am the funniest man alive.

Ate all of my meals with a near-lethal dose of Tapatio hot sauce.


Finally returned that gigantic container full of empty beer bottles (Bierkasten) to Edeka. A clerk showed me how to slide the whole thing into the recycling machine, which felt uncomfortably like hand-feeding Optimus Prime.

Walked home and dropped a spicy deuce in the main bathroom downstairs with the window completely open, giving myself a panoramic view of our entire back yard. The old couple living in the house to my left — and the kindergarten full of children to my right — should have (theoretically) only been able to see my smiling face.

Day 3

Woke up. Drank coffee mixed with tea. (I call this “Super Tea.”)


Talked to myself for an hour and a half. My monologue ended abruptly when the mailman rang the bell, scaring me so badly I spilled Super Tea all down my front.

Examined my facial hair in the mirror. I’d been hoping for the “rugged cowboy” look, but things were headed more toward “dandy Englishman.”

Went to the store, bought supplies and made the largest, spiciest batch of chili ever. (The seasoning mix was courtesy of one of my favorite blog readers, whom I’ve actually met and befriended in real life. I call him, “Texas Hagrid.”) I wore my trusty onion goggles as I cut the onions, because if I don’t, my eyes sting and water uncontrollably. (Because I’m a huge pussy, you see.) Cooked the chili and then tasted it — still boiling hot — and seared the sweet holy Jesus out of my mouth.

D-L-Jardins-authentic-texas-chili-fixins making-chili-in-germany-home-made blanching-tomatoes-for-texas-chili-in-germany onion-goggles-tear-free chili-bowl-with-beans-non-texas

Watched the same 3 Best of Vine videos for the 10,000th time each and laughed merrily:

1: Baby Sitting Caucasian Kids
2: The moment I finally catch that mosquito, I feel like a NINJA!
3: Beautiful NBA Basketball Game Song (AKA: Best vine ever)

Day 4

Woke up in a terrible mood. The whole world could really just kiss my lumpy white ass, you know? I think it was due to the fact that I went to sleep pissed off because my internet connection would not allow me to Skype with my wife the night before. We tried everything, and it was terribly frustrating. Obviously this gave me license to be a complete cock to every single person I encountered, overreacting to every petty annoyance with volcanic rage:

Old person walking in the middle of the bike lane so I can’t pass him? “STEP ASIDE, SHORT-TIMER.”

Bike pedal slowly coming unscrewed and I know I don’t have the right wrench at home to tighten it? “I KNEW YOU’D FAIL ME, YOU SECOND-HAND PIECE OF DOG SHIT.”

Bike store closed from 1pm until 3pm, like this is some kind of siesta culture? “OH FUCK YOU, DIETER. I HOPE YOUR SLEEP APNEA PLAYS HELL WITH YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE.”

Day 5

Woke up, went to the gym, showered and then sent the following text message to my wife: “I just finished washing my pink nutsack and I am thinking of you!”

Worked all day, getting up from my desk only to use the bathroom or peer suspiciously out the window at the slightest noise from the outside world. My neighbor closed the door of his car and I was certain I’d heard a gunshot. The joyous laughter of the children in school next door hit my ears like nails on a chalkboard. I felt like everyone in the neighborhood was watching me, judging me for watching them, so I left all the lights off and stroked my chin hairs in the dark. Time to start writing my manifesto condemning industrial society!

Ate 5 scrambled eggs for dinner, cooked with a big slab of pig fat. What? I just greased the pan with the fat — I didn’t actually eat it. Okay, so I did. Then I washed it all down with a full liter of tap water and felt sick to my stomach. You’re not better than me.


Day 6

Woke up to find all of my upper body muscles so sore from the gym I could hardly move (though I managed to hit the snooze button on my alarm 3 times.)

Came home and — like every day since my wife’s departure — ate all of my meals drenched in hot sauce. This culminated in an intense burning sensation within every organ south of my nipples. Obviously I chose to ignore this warning sign and go about my day. At one point, I got up to urinate and, thinking I needed to pass some innocent gas, flexed a little. It was not gas. There was an incendiary round in the chamber, and it had gone off right in my undies. I jumped in the shower, put on a fresh set of clothing and accepted the fact that I am the most disgusting man on the planet.


Purchased a mini keg of beer. Oh yes! Five whole liters of sweet golden honey all to myself! And no one around to tell me, “You’ve had enough, Dear,” “It’s time to go home,” or, “Your right eye is starting to wander again.”


Wound up going to a party with my friend and took the mini keg with me as the greatest party gift ever. Everyone loved it, except the birthday girl, whom I accidentally sprayed across the tits because I had no idea how to open the keg properly.)

Day 7

Today… The Wife came home. Oh. Shit.

The house was a mess. All of the bathrooms qualified as biohazards and the kitchen should have been quarantined. This is exactly what happened the last time my wife went out of town! Why do I do this to myself!?

I swept the stairs with a brush and dustpan, wiped a sponge around the toilet seats and ran around the house with a broom like I was herding dust bunnies. I jammed all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and punched the ON button, grabbed the trash and tossed it into the bins outside, then sprinted with all of the empty glass bottles to the recycling bins down the street and Hulk-smashed the shit out of them. Ran back home, folded the laundry, threw the bed together and fluffed the pillows on the couch. If she didn’t look too closely, my wife might have been fooled by this facade into thinking the house was in order. Nope. She saw right through it. And you know what she said when I met her at the train station?

THE WIFE: “You grew out your beard! You’re my little wolfman, aren’t you…”

ME: *Blushing like a girl and trying to hide my smile* “… Yes ...”


When we got home, my wife presented me with several bottles of Polish beer to try. She is so awesome I could just cry. And I am, in fact, crying right now as I type this. (Which is probably due to the fact that the party last night left me deeply, profoundly, level 10, Red Alert hungover.)

I love you honey! *sniff* Please don’t ever leave me alone again!

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American Man Accidentally Buys 10 Liters of Beer in Germany


This is a “Bierkasten,” which translates to “beer box,” or “giant container full of wonderful things.”

My wife is a Gymnasium teacher here in Hannover, Germany, which means she gets 6 weeks off work each summer. So, to celebrate the beginning of her summer break this year — and also our recent move from a horrible apartment in the city into a wonderful new house in the suburbs — my German wife decided to host a small BBQ in our back yard. She invited 4 or 5 of her co-workers and promptly sent me to the local Edeka supermarket to buy beer.

She asked me to bring home exactly “3 six-packs of Ratskrone pilsner,” and she asked me to do this because one can buy Ratskrone (like most German beers) in half liter bottles. But unlike most German beers, you can score a sixer of this shit for like 2 euros. That’s cheap as balls, even by American standards. So I grabbed one of the trolley suitcases we use to carry groceries and shagged ass to the store.


“I’m coming for you, my little golden children!”

Once there, I grabbed a shopping cart and beelined it for the hooch aisle. Of course there was only 1 six pack of Ratskrone left. How could a simple errand in Germany ever go wrong? Luckily, the clerk — a friendly young man wearing a beer-stained apron — was stocking the shelves nearby, so I approached and did my best to speak German with him:

ME: “Excuse me please. Do you have more of these things? These large… six bottles of Ratskrone beer?”

CLERK: “Uh, let me ask.” (He walked into the storage room and yelled a question to his boss, who then yelled something in return.)

CLERK: “Sorry, we’re all out, but we do have these…” (He said, pointing to a big plastic carton full of individual Ratskrone bottles. NOTE: These cartons hold 20 bottles of beer — 10 liters total — and in Germany, everyone knows who buys them: college students about to get obliterated.)

ME: “Oh. Have these bottles the exact same prices?”

At this point, the clerk walked back and forth between the six pack aisle and the carton aisle, explaining to me the price difference in lightspeed German. I nodded as if I’d understood a goddamn thing he said, thanked him for the help and proceeded to calculate the logistics on my own.


Pictured: “beer math.”

The Wife asked me to buy 3 six packs, I thought to myself. That’s 18 half liter bottles no matter how you count them. I’ll just get these loose sons of bitches instead.

So I put the six pack back on the shelf and placed 18 individual bottles in my shopping cart. Then, I remembered you can buy an entire plastic carton full — 20 half liter bottles — and you get a better deal, so I grabbed an extra two bottles to make it an even 20. That’s when I realized, Shit, the chick at the cash register will think I just want 20 loose beers and forget to give me the sweet carton discount, and there is no way in hell I’m going to be able to clarify my intentions in German.

So, I placed all 20 beers back in the carton, lifted the entire carton into my shopping cart, and went to the cash register. The cashier — a kind, nerdy little woman with glasses — scanned one of the beers and rang them all up. What follows is our conversation, if you were to translate everything directly into German:

CASHIER: “That will be 9.59 euros with refund, please.”

ME: “Okay. Must I take this plastic thing with me?” (I asked, pointing to the container.)

CASHIER: “Uh, no, you don’t have to… but you won’t get your carton refund back.”

ME: (Looking very confused.) “May I not, right now, this plastic thing give back?”

CASHIER: “Well, when you return the glass bottles, you will get your refund back on those, but if you don’t bring them back with the container, you will lose the container refund.”

ME: “I am very sorry, but I am, at this very moment, learning German.”

CASHIER: “Oh, no problem,” (she said, continuing to speak German, only now leaning forward and pointing to things on the receipt.) See, here is the bottle refund, and right here is the container refund…”

ME: “Right, but can I not, exactly now, return the container and get money?”

CASHIER: (Thinking for a moment…) “Oh, I understand. Let me ask my manager.”

The cashier hollered some German words over the PA system and then sat there, waiting, while the rest of the people in line glared at me. The manager appeared — a very thick, very bleach blonde woman — and listened as the cashier explained my intentions:

CASHIER: “This customer does not want the plastic container. Can we just ring everything up again and give him the container refund back?”

MANAGER: “No.” (Then, speaking directly to me…) “You must return the container with the bottles in order to receive the container refund.”

ME: “May I do this right now?”

MANAGER & CASHIER: (Speaking in unison–) “No.

ME: “I do not understand correctly. Must I first exit this food store, walk through this food store, and then give back the container?”

MANAGER: “The container must be filled with empty bottles of this exact type of beer. Otherwise, we cannot be sure you bought them here.”

ME: (About ready to cry…) “Should I just have purchased 20 bottles of beer without the container?”

MANAGER: “No no, this way is cheaper.”

Having recognized the word “cheaper,” I nodded my understanding vigorously, apologized to everyone like a repentant criminal, stuffed the receipt in my pocket and took off. Once outside, I placed the bottles inside the luggage trolley and walked home with the empty beer carton swinging in my hand, letting every single one of our new neighbors know my wife and I spend our Tuesday evenings consuming lethal amounts of beer.

“Hey there, Günter! How you doin’? Yep, the Missus and I are about to go on a real hellbender. You’ve still got that ambulance on speed dial, right? Har har! See you in church!”


Score one for America.

To read more of my emotionally scarring adventures in Germany, please check out my other Culture Shock posts.