The time had arrived. I had to either put up or shut up. I had successfully traveled across the Atlantic, had a few hours sleep, and my feet were not-so-firmly planted on German soil. What next: time to find me some schnitzel, whatever the heck that was.
I had heard all kinds of horror stories about strange foods in foreign lands and how people all over the world eat just about anything. That didn’t help my vivid imagination or my sleep cycle.
Night after night, I awoke out of a nightmare – not the one where I am barefoot in a sewer, a different one – where I was handed plate after plate of creepy-crawly-squirmy-gross things to eat. And I had to eat them or else be responsible for an international incident that led to World War III (from this point on to be known as “Joe’s War.”) I was trapped in the quagmire of diplomatic politeness.
I had no choice but to pack my pockets with all forms of antacids and nausea-suppressing medications, with a spare barf bag thrown in for good measure. I had made a pledge to my readers to find schnitzel, and I was going to live up to that pledge if it killed me, which it just might. As we set off in search of a place to eat, I made the feeble request,”Can we please find a place that has schnitzel?”
My hosts looked at me and smiled that sinister smile, you know, the kind where someone knows you are headed for trouble but don’t want to tell you because they are going to enjoy seeing you squirm.
“Sure thing,” they replied, and we were off on our quest. Around an hour later, we had found a quaint outdoor restaurant with tables in the shade. It overlooked the town square, where people passed by and gawked at the newbies trying schnitzel for the first time. I placed my order, gulped down a fistful of antacid pills and awaited my fate.
To my amazement, this is what I got (see picture of schnitzel on the right – photo by me).
This is schnitzel. (The fries were a side dish.) It is a breaded-and-fried piece of tender pork, that tastes a lot like a pork chop. It wasn’t bugs or intestines or mystery meat at all. In fact, it was yummy!
No need for all the worrying, the sleepless nights or the antacid pills. Schnitzel was delicious!
My only problem now is that I crave it all the time and don’t know where to get it around here. I am going to have to Google “how to make schnitzel” as soon as possible, because I have a serious case of “schnitzel withdrawal.” Somebody help me!
All I can say is: it’s a good thing I didn’t try the beer.
Next up: A brief “tour” of Germany, and then my tips on how to stifle your anxiety.