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Wednesday 11 December 2019

Not exactly a culture-fest

Aachen, Part two

It would be nice to pretend we went to Aachen for quasi-spiritual or even pseudo-intellectual reasons. We did pop into the Dom (cathedral) where I took a lousy photo of the stained glass which I am not posting. We also photographed – but did not visit – the 200-year-old theatre emerging from nighttime into roseate dawn.

Alas, our motives were materialistic, if not downright crass, and are better represented by the bun-shop window display. Those on the left are Plunderkranz, or Rubbish-Garland. Their taste remains a mystery.

Because we had the car our shopping could be profligate. VR, who dislikes chocolate (all chocolate, even the expensive sort), spent the equivalent of Gambia’s GDP on kilograms of the brown stuff which will end up as table presents for the family.

I had fun buying vegetables from Jean-Pierre’s wide range. Did he have salsify? I asked. J-P fingered his translating smartphone and, yes, he did have Schwarzwurzel. Even rarer, to me, were miniature red cabbages. Also Jerusalem artichokes; not quite so rare but these were an easy-to-peel variety and have already been consumed as sublime soup. Occasional Speeder was impressed by the amount of money which changed hands.

J-P could thus afford to share my sorrow about Britain’s parochial departure from the EU. Unfortunately my interest in his wares suggested my German was better than it is. I couldn’t follow a story which summarised German attitudes towards the UK, other than the punchline: “The carrots are small; we call them Brexit carrots.”

I thanked J-P for his entertainment and he revealed he was Dutch. “The folk who speak a thousand languages,” I said, and he laughed. That’s ultimately what I was after.

Note to Sabine: I'm aware the Wagnerian reference lacks umlauts.


  1. No Umlaute were abused in te writing of this post.

    As for the Jerusalem artichokes, as much as I like the taste, how do you handle the farts?

  2. Sabine: Cast your eye over the post's label. Yes, I know it isn't strictly part of the post but I wasn't sure that you'd play fair about that. As to farts, I simply emit them; I'm not aware of any other modus operandi. Inflating explosive balloons?

    1. There are farts and then there are FARTS. It's the latter with Jerusalem artichokes, very noisy, frequent and keeping the house awake at night.
      I have no problem with farts as such. Apparently Luther (the 15th century German reformer not the bbc tv detective) said that belching and farting were signs of appreciation of god's harvest and the cook's skills.

  3. The Japanese of old wrote poetry about Samurai farts (there's also the famous painting of the Samurai on horseback with an emission propelling him onward).
    Was there Glühwein at the Aachen Market?

  4. RW (zS): Glühwein there was but it had a valedictory taste.