beefjerky, Germany, Light Crap

A Difference of Taste

I still like to write people letters occasionally. And generally, if you receive a letter from me, it will include a clipping from a magazine or the weekly grocery store circular. When I lived in Germany, my favorite clippings were in the weekly Angebote at Rewe or Edeka. Most of the stuff was standard and of little interest, but the pictures of meat were exactly that: meat in the raw.

Big slabs of Kalbsbraten bleeding Schweinenackenbraten, pasty Hähnchenbrustfilets, or flaccid Puteschnitzel. They had it all – and all was presented rather matter of fact. Sure, there’d be the occasional decoration propped nearby, like the slices of pepper next to that floppy chicken breast below, but most of it was blissfully unadorned.

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A Nice Bike and Compliments

I pulled up next to him. A man on an old bicycle, a man in all plaid.

“Nice ride, dude,” I said.

It was a nice bike, maybe from the seventies. A comfortable, but speedy upright riding position, sweeping handlebars, maybe three speeds and a trusty steel frame.

“Thanks man, it gets me around,” he replied.

And then, in the brief moment that followed, I saw him engage in that human tendency where once complimented, you feel an overwhelming desire to comment back. He gave me a cursory glance looking across me and my bike. But there was really nothing there. Just me, after work clothes, a cheap helmet, sunglasses and a nice – but not too nice – bike with homemade milk bottle fenders.

“I like your panniers,” he said.

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