It would seem Summer has come to an end here in Hannover, Germany. There’s a chill in the air. Winds are blowing from the north and rain is falling with ever increasing frequency. Alas, I can no longer wear shorts and flip-flops and saunter around town like the cocksure American I am.
Soon will come Fall — or “Autumn,” if you want to romanticize the death of Summer and the obliteration of all things warm and good in the world. Fall in Germany does bring a few half-decent things with it though, like Oktoberfest, colorful tree leaves and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Of all the German vegetables, the only one I cannot remember is harvested in Fall. No matter how hard I try to cram the name into my brain, “Kürbis” just won’t stick. Kürbis means “pumpkin” in English, and as we all know, pumpkins are perhaps the most useless of all vegetables on earth. Oh sure, in America we eviscerate them, carve horrifying shapes into their sides and then illuminate our handiwork with candles for Halloween, but they don’t really do that here in Germany. You can bake pumpkin slices and eat them if you want, but I promise you won’t like them unless they’re drowned in butter. Now, pumpkin seeds are pretty good all by themselves, but they’re a bitch to clean and dry. And pumpkin pie absolutely rules, but so would cat shit pie if you threw enough sugar at it.
Anyway, my German wife and I were walking along a street in the Linden-Nord district of Hannover when we happened by a Turkish produce stand. They had these massive pumpkins on display, and I pointed them out to my wife, amazed by their size and unusual shape. My wife, however, kept right on walking and said:
“Pumpkins look creepy to me. That one looks like a spider butt.“