One thing they always tell you to pack before going to live abroad is at least one good book in your own language, one that you love and which can help ward off early signs of homesickness. Of course that doesn’t really help much in my case, as I am constantly speaking English, and rarely venture into fanciful flights of the lingua Germanica.
So last night, craving some good, homey Mexican food, I found myself in front of the only restaurant in Saarbrücken that could provide it. I didn’t feel like staying there to eat, as the place smelled of old cigars, so I asked the waitress if I could have their taco plate to go. They said it was fine, so I went outside to wander the streets till it was ready.
Ten minutes later, I walk back into the restaurant as the waitress heads over carrying a huge foil-wrapped mound in her hands. She apologizes, saying they had no plastic bag to put it in. I look at it rather askance as she sets it down, but pull out my wallet to pay. She walks off as I pause for a moment, wondering if there is any way to stuff it into my backpack, then pick it up.
Lo, and behold, there was my dish served in two of their ceramic plates (one would have been too hot on its own), and the whole thing covered in aluminum. I stared in amazement before flagging down the waitress, to whom I helplessly cried, “but.. but.. I can’t, I can’t take your plates!” To which they only shrugged their shoulders, stating matter-of-factly that they had nothing else to put it in.
To punish myself (there was no way on earth I was going to march through Saint Johanner Markt carrying such a bundle), I sat right down at the nearest table to eat it.
To boot, the waitress asked me if I wanted something to drink, and brought me a glass of sprüdel with lemon when I asked for water. Will I never learn?
Ah, homesickness. You win this time.