Friday, February 29, 2008


I'm finally getting around to writing a bit about our trip to Boston. I have always loved this city, and it's easily one of my favorites in the US. It has a lot of charm with old cobbled streets, large parks, and old buildings that signify permanence and attention to detail. The history of the city is really interesting too. If we move back to the US, this would be the perfect meld between Europe and the US.

We stayed in Beacon Hill, a beautiful neighborhood with hilly streets and brick clad Federal style row houses. That is enough to make me fall in love with the city once again. Being tourists we did all of the touristy things that continued to solidify my admiration - visiting Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, Boston Commons, the Public Garden ducks, Fenway, Chinatown, Harvard and the North End.

We also did plenty of shopping. I was so happy to visit Paper Source, a fine stationery shop, with letterpress cards. I also found a small suitcase there to hold the leaf dishes I purchased. The tadpole park and frog pond in the Boston Commons is also very sweet. We watched the ice skaters and reminisced about how Stefan and I had visited 5 years earlier as our first trip together. Boston makes me remember falling in love both with the city and with Stefan.

It's also impressive to me how Boston exudes a warmth and friendliness. Perhaps that's just part of being back in the US and in a large pedestrian friendly city, but several people passing on the streets said hi to me. Maybe I looked like someone they knew or perhaps they are readers of my blog, but they brought a smile to my face.

Although I've been to Boston several times, I had never made it to Fenway Park. The entire neighborhood exudes so much energy and I can't recall another city that I've been to with so much fan support. The fire trucks, dumpsters, and any other supporter or sponsor of the Red Sox has their emblem on the side.

It's no secret that I love pastries. I've even considered the idea of becoming a pastry chef. During my first trip to Boston I was visiting a friend who went to Boston College. She introduced me to Mike's Pastry - a simple but delicious pastry shop in the North End (the Italian area of town). We ate our pastries on the curb of a side street as the little Italian men shuffled by and asked for us to share with them. Mike's specializes in canolis and other high calorie confections. I've yet to have something that wasn't absolutely delicious from them.

Chinatown in any city is always fascinating to me. We didn't get accosted to buy knockoff handbags, like New York's Chinatown, but there was still the feeling that someone who spoke Chinese could live in this small neighborhood without ever learning English. There were various meats and live chickens in shops, as well as authentic Chinese restaurants and a lot of business men bustling past on their lunch breaks. We tried a matcha green bubble tea and admired all of the Chinese characters on the signs.

We ventured to Cambridge and visited Harvard and their great book stores. I was particularly happy to find the Globe Corner Books. Stefan tested his luck by rubbing John Harvard's shoe, and we wandered across the Charles River for a nice view of the city.

Hopefully it's not another 5 years before we are able to visit again. We had a wonderful time, once again.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Subways of the World

Experiencing something new is typically exciting. It's also easy to take seemingly basic things for granted and not appreciate small things that impact my life so much. Subways are one of these areas. During my art history studies some of the things I've been interested in are trade routes, artifacts, semiotics, and urban planning through time, so naturally subways hold loads of information for me.

The more I travel, the more I appreciate the subways of Munich. They are fast, efficient, clean, have wide platforms, plenty of space and the network is intelligently designed (the stops are almost comical how close they are to each other). Granted, they were built in 1972, as Munich was gearing up for the Olympics, but that's also an area that I think they excelled in. Not only did they build their olympic village to later house students, but they spent money on lasting infrastructure. Boston on the other hand has an excuse for their lack luster appearance - they opened on September 1, 1897.

Boston has the first subway of America and it had been 5 years since I was last there to experience the 'T'. Their subway runs more smoothly than New York's or Chicago's, but it's still not as aesthetically pleasing inside. They are doing a lot of refurbishments, which is nice that they are putting money towards something that is ecologically friendly and encouraging commuters to use the system.

Other differences that I notice are the heavy presence of police officers and public safety units as well as more automated ticketing systems, similar to those in Paris, where you have to scan your ticket to gain entry. I once had tourists tell me that 'you didn't really have to buy tickets in Munich', since it's based on the honor system. I don't get stopped by ticket checkers too often, but who wants to be faced with being in a foreign country and having a 40€ fine in addition to the embarrassment?

Besides, in Munich a weekly ticket to the inner two rings costs a mere 11€. In Boston a weekly ticket costs $15, which is very affordable, especially when gas prices are taken into consideration. Right now, we're in Maine and gas is around $3.30 / gallon, a bargain to anyone in Europe that is purchasing by the litre, particularly with the all time low of the dollar, which occurred yet again today (1€ = $1.506).

Which brings me to shopping... we did the whole city walk, since Stefan had only visited once before, and my sister had never been to Boston. I was reminded how that city so much and would love to eventually call it home. I purchased many books, including my quintessential children's book 'Boston A to Z'. I was also very happy to find a book called Transit Maps of the World and a signed edition of Unlikely Destinations the lonely planet story at Globe Corner Books, near Harvard.

If you're interested in subways, like I am, there are several fascinating websites that have photos of abandoned subway tunnels and also the web urbanist, with plenty of interesting city specimens.

I will write a separate entry about all of the other great things we bought there and the delicious foods. Right now we have snowy Maine awaiting us.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Food envy

Stefan and I had a food heavy weekend - after all we are leaving for the Northeast this coming week and there will be a lot of new things to sample, so we had to pack in all that we could. We're really not typically this gluttonous.

Despite a massive snow and ice storm we made our way to Panera, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Dewey's Pizza, and Graeters ice cream. Besides, it might be really cold up North, so we should pack on some more winter hibernation weight - right?

If you are from the US living abroad, this may make you homesick and it would be well advised to advert your eyes or you will have major food envy. If you're not from the US, please take this as an education of the things that you will miss once you try them. And if you are able to eat these foods any time you'd like, do not take them for granted- you can think of me every time you're chowing down.

Panera was delightful as usual. It was originally the St. Louis bread company, and is one of the only places in the US that has really great bread. I still cannot for the life of me understand how this concept or franchise hasn't made it's way to Europe. Not only does it have great bread, but great soups and sandwiches. My favorite is always the 'pick two' which is a combination of a soup, salad, and sandwich. You can also get your soup in a bread bowl - ingenious. The food also appears to be reasonably healthy.

Buffalo Wild Wings changed it's name from BW3's while I was in college, but it's still BW3's to me. It also has a special place in my heart because it's where my date from senior prom introduced me to Stefan. It's a standard chicken wing bar food restaurant with a lot of sports and always a few local stragglers. Their sauce is delicious, and since they have yet to discover what real barbeque sauce is in Germany, we always have to bring it back with us. Another reason I love this place is due the memories. In college, Stefan + I even tried the Blazin' sauce (the hottest sauce they have), and I still laugh thinking about it. I'm a big fan of spicy food, however this was borderline crazy. My favorite sauces are Caribbean Jerk and Spicy Garlic.

Chipotle is also standard college fare. Their burritos and tacos are extremely filling and quite basic, although wonderful and fresh. The make your burrito, tacos, or salad in front of your eyes with their open kitchen. I'm also a big fan of their chips, which have sea salt and limey zing. As a side note, don't order more than one burrito. They are massive. One of the Germans that Stefan studied with didn't realize they were so large and ordered two - he ate both for his pride. He did live to tell about it, however I am sure he was in pain.

Dewey's Pizza is a Cincinnati invention. They have some of the best pizza's I have ever had. The menu has a lot of variety with great salads and calzones too. The house salad has goat cheese, pine nuts, dried cranberries, and a honey balsamic vinaigrette. It's the perfect place for a date or a get together with friends. While it may not photograph well, I promise you won't be disappointed if you try it. Other pizza places I'd suggest are Adriatico's at Ohio State and Pomodori's near the University of Cincinnati. Unfortunately I'm not certain we'll have time for them this trip. Too much food and too little time, but I love American pizza.

Lastly, is Graeter's ice cream, another Cincinnati creation. It's also one of Oprah's favorite things. According to the website the man who began Graeter's emigrated from Bavaria in the 1800's - is it me or does everyone have an Ohio or German connection? Black Raspberry Chip is their famed flavor, however I was most impressed by the pretzel cones, which are made by Snyder's of Hanover. I couldn't find them on the website though, or they would be brought back to Germany as well. The inventor of this pretzel cone is near genius in my book. It has a rounded bottom and is thick enough to not get soggy, and the salty pretzel mix is wonderfully paired with anything chocolate. I'll be going back simply to have a pretzel cone ice cream.
*Please note my favorite Ben + Jerry's ice cream is Chubby Hubby, which has chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels in it. I love sweet and salty.

Since Munich and Cincinnati are sister cities, I think I should start some kind of petition that these Cincinnati chains start branching out, and Munich would be a great place to begin. Share some love Cincinnati- I would be more than happy help out!

I still need to make it out for some margaritas and Indian food. I can only eat so much in one weekend.

Happy food day dreams!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Benevolent Creator

Today I took the Personal DNA test to discover I'm a Benevolent Creator. You can find out your personal DNA without giving any personal information by clicking on the link above and answering some questions. I don't know that I discovered any life changing information - I'm independent, into aesthetics, creative, and enjoy getting into random situations. I'm benevolent because I care about other people's feelings and worry about people I've never even met. These tests always seem to paint things in a nice light. For some reason I doubt they have masochistic sociopath as a category.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Semiotics + Cultures

Last night we had Chinese for dinner. I should call it American Chinese. Before moving to Germany I don't know if I assumed Chinese was the same around the world or if all countries even had Chinese restaurants. I don't think it really crossed my mind. I simply enjoyed my spring rolls, crab rangoon, and assorted dishes and that was that.

Something that struck me as odd when I moved to Germany was that they had ethnic restaurants and to see people of various ethnicities speaking German. I know it sounds really naïve and even ethnocentric, but I appreciate being able to challenge beliefs that I didn't even realize I had. I was also surprised when Chinese or Indian in Germany didn't taste the same as it does in the US. That should come as no surprise, considering milk doesn't even taste the same, but everything I'd known as one thing now was supposed to encompass the things I knew before, as well as the new varieties. These are small things I never considered. During my art history studies, semiotics was one of my favorite areas - which is probably why I'm writing an entire post about this.

In the US I always assumed since it's a melting pot culture, there was a need for a large variety of restaurants. And since it's a country of immigrants, hearing people speak native tongues wasn't out of the ordinary. I've always known that Germany is not entirely German people, but it's something that was strange to observe and not to have thought about before. Did I think Germany was that mundane and boring that they only had German and Italian restaurants (simply because it's close to Italy), or that they wouldn't have Chinese restaurants because the Chinese population isn't as large as it is in the US?

I've come to understand in Europe, it's not uncommon to hear someone speak several languages nor is it seen as a big deal. If anything it's pretty standard. A part of me even wondered how other people were able to speak multiple languages and I wasn't. As if it was as simple as opening my mouth and making it happen. I know that these people had to learn the language for one reason or another, but I spent much of my life surrounded by classmates that spoke English and occasionally a second language at home, so that was the norm. Moving to Europe, and particularly a country with a different language, is an easy way to feel unintelligent and a bit delayed - like the kid that has to leave the group to go to tutoring. Fortunately I'm able to counter that and begin learning another language, even if I have a 20 year gap to play catch up. It still doesn't make it easy to feel like everyone else knows what's going on and to feel like an outsider.

For Stefan it's odd that Americans claim their heritage and have a lot of pride for countries they may not have even visited, simply because their great grandparents immigrated to the US. To him, if you're from America you're an American and not Irish, German, Native American and all of the other ethnicities that make up an American.

It's sad to me that the US is so ethnocentric to not encourage more foreign languages. I believe it's also due to a fear of losing it's 'Americanness'. With so many opposing views, religions, backgrounds, ethnicities, and ideas, there is a commonality in English and the freedom that America preaches. There is also an underlying fear of the unknown or not being able to understand one another. It's strange to see how much knowledge wasn't passed on in terms of languages, so my ancestors could conform to this new life that they fought so hard for.

I appreciate the confidence of the Scandinavian countries because they have television in English and subtitle their own language, in effect making their residents learn English, which furthers English as a universal second language. This doesn't help Americans or English speakers in having a superiority complex as they travel the world and think the other people are unintelligent if they cannot communicate in English, regardless of the other languages they speak.

I love languages and wish I was able to speak more, if anything to more clearly understand the people and places I travel, and to not be a tourist that expects everyone to cater to my needs in my language. It's a unique feeling to understand what's going on but to feel vulnerable. It's a challenge I believe all people should face at some point. It personally helps me understand others and also realize how a child would feel.

Viewing the US as an outsider is very enriching and I love attempting to see why it fascinates so many people. It's definitely a place of hope, as so many foreigners have come and created successful lives. It's also a place of overabundance. I notice this when I come home and the consumer in me takes hold. Things are inexpensive, well made, and there are plenty of options, sales, and new exciting things.

My mother in law has a poster in her house geared towards 'Ausländerfeindlichkeit' (xenophobia) that states:
Dein Christus ein Jude (Your Christ was Jewish)
Dein Auto ein Japaner (Your car Japanese)
Deine Pizza italienisch (Your pizza Italian)
Deine Demokratie griechisch (Your democracy Greek)
Dein Kaffee brasilianisch (Your coffee Brazilian)
Dein Urlaub tuerkisch (Your vacation Turkish)
Deine Zahlen arabisch (Your numbers Arabic)
Deine Schrift lateinisch (Your script Latin)
Und Dein Nachbar 'nur' ein Auslaender. (and your neighbor 'just' a foreigner?)

Another one says:
Wenn Du geboren wirst, bist Du Rosa. (When you were born you are pink)
Wenn Du aufwächst, bist Du Weiß. (When you grow up you are white)
Wenn Du in die Sonne gehst, bist Du Rot. (When you go in the sun you are red)
Wenn Du frierst, bist Du Blau. (When you freeze you are blue)
Wenn Dir schlecht ist, bist Du Grün. (When you are about to vomit you are green)
Wenn Du krank bist, bist Du Gelb. (When you are sick you are yellow)
Wenn Du stirbst, bist Du Grau. (When you die you are gray)
Und Du wagst es, mich einen Farbigen zu nennen? (and you dare to call me a colored person?)

I also read a sarcastic text that stated the following:
"Please give us your opinion on the lack of food in the rest of the world". No result was achieved, since the following problems were faced during the survey's implementation:
- In Africa no one knew what is "food"
- In Western Europe no one knew what is "lack"
- In Eastern Europe no one knew what is "opinion"
- In South America no one knew what is "Please"
- In the USA no one knew what is "the rest of the world"

Just some things to think about.

While I'm home I will be enjoying my American style ethnic dishes - particularly the fact that Mexican food does not entail corn, carrots, yogurt sauce, or marinara salsa.

A book I'd also like to buy while I'm here is called World in a City: Traveling the Globe Through the Neighborhoods of the New New York by Joseph Berger.

Things like that make me appreciate the diversity in America, however I hope not to be one of the Americans that don't know 'the rest of the world'.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Snow Day

Since we are able to enjoy winter here, I thought I would share some happiness, which is a warm puppy playing in the snow...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

happy anniversary + a half

Stefan and I have been married for a year and half today. It's crazy how quickly the time passes and I have a feeling it's only going to continue flying by as we grow older. I've taken the warnings about how around the second anniversary the itch for a baby may come, however I think we had our fix this past weekend.

Tonight we'll celebrate with dinner at the restaurant where our reception was held. It will be nice to have an excuse to put on nice clothes and spend more time ogling each other. I'm sure we'll get nostalgic and talk about all of the great things our future holds, as well as how much we've accomplished since being married- thanks of course, to each other's support. We'll recall all of the fun we had at our wedding and how nice it was that we were able to buy a piece of art work from our reception to always admire. We'll talk about the wedding day chaos and all of the mishaps that made things memorable and uniquely ours, and what a great day we had celebrating with our closest friends and family.

We'll also reminisce about our trip to Paris + Reims for our first anniversary, and how it seems like just yesterday we were admiring the romance of Paris from the Trocadéro and getting giggly from the champagne in front of the Notre Dame.

If the first year and a half is an indication of anything, we have many adventures and excitement ahead of us. Times like these always make me appreciate life and how incredible things are when you're able to share time and experiences with someone you love so much.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Today we decided to have a little touch of home by taking my family to the Hofbräuhaus, which is the first one in the US, across the river from Cincinnati. While no self respecting Münchener goes to the Hofbräuhaus, unless they have visitors who beg to go, we thought it would be a good preparation for their upcoming trip. They will at least see the influx of tourists when we head to Schuhbeck's eis salon, which is also in the Platz'l.

I ordered a radler and noticed that it was quite a bit sweeter than the radlers in Munich. If you're not sure what a radler is, it's a mix between beer and a lemony soda - they definitely taste better than they sound, especially in the summer.

We also had a Münchener Holzbrett - a variety of salmon + chive breads, pretzels with bier cheese, tomato + mozzarella, and various German meats and cheeses. The guys ordered their meat feasts, while the ladies stuck to potato based dishes.

The American take on German food is only slightly more tolerable (sorry, I don't love Bavarian food). American Hofbräuhaus is dead on in offering tomato + mozzarella, which is often my lunch in Munich - and it wasn't 'string cheese' style mozzarella.

For only $100 / year, you can also join the 'Stein Meister Klub', which gives the members a stein of their own that is housed under lock and key, happy hour prices any time, two free dinners, and if you attend all 12 of the monthly beer tapings you are able to be a judge in the pretzel girl competition.

We looked for the 'Stammtisch', or regular's table, however we didn't see one. It's usually decorated with a table cloth, sign, and bell, as well as the occasional old man. The few times I have been in Munich, I love seeing tourists sitting there when it's empty. It is to remain empty so the regulars are able to have their table whenever they arrive, so the tourists inadvertently stand out - but let's be serious... everyone there is a tourist anyway.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Babies Man

Stefan and I had a fun filled weekend visiting friends and family. Whenever he comes to town, my cousins come out of the wood work wanting to hang out and spend time with us. My Grandma made an entire cake to celebrate us coming to town, and we had a house full of family to visit with, including my cousin's two week old baby.

I was surprised to see how eager Stefan was to get involved with all things children, especially tiny babies. My family is rather large, which is a contrast from his. There is always a lot of noise and constant motion, which can take some getting used to - even for me.

Stefan was was petting a dog and then asked if he needed to wash his hands before holding the newest addition - then he held him until we had to leave for a basketball game. Most men who aren't used to being around children aren't usually so antsy to hold them, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how much the kids love him.

At the basketball game we met up with my old roommate, her husband, and 9 month old. I was surprised to see how Claire wanted to be held by Stefan after just meeting him. She also enjoyed giving him kisses.

All of the babies were so well behaved that I think Stefan now has a skewed idea as to how easy they are to deal with. I guess he has that special touch. It's especially sweet to see my husband in a new light and have another reason to adore him. I think every woman melts seeing her husband have an interest and ease of interacting with little ones.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One sweet Valentine

I'm easy to impress and a simple card is plenty for me. Leave it to Stefan to be full of surprises. He sent some beautiful flowers, despite the fact he's an ocean away. I really lucked out having such a thoughtful and romantic husband. Last year he made me a great breakfast, complete with chocolate and a very sweet card. He always keeps me on my toes and finds inventive ways to keep life unpredictable and exciting.

I cannot wait to pick him up at the airport - just over 24 hours. Times like these remind me of the months that we were apart while we were dating and how great it is to see each other again. Even if it's only been a few days, I never get used to it. We have a love hate relationship with airports, where we have shed many tears over the years... both for joy and out of sadness. Thankfully months apart are a thing of the past and now we just sit in wonder and amazement of all we've been through as well as all of the happiness ahead.

Food from Home

Yesterday when we went to the grocery store, I could vaguely feel how a foreigner would entering the immense sea of variety. The cereal aisle alone is so consuming with so many choices. I also have to get accustomed to not going to the store nearly every single day or to a separate bakery. It sounds so mundane, but it's really fascinating to have a bit of reverse culture shock. I lived in the US my entire life, until a year and half ago. I was last home in October, yet these small things still strike me. That is one of the joys of living abroad - having something to compare with and grow accustomed to and then suddenly something that was familiar for so long seems new.

Thankfully I'm not entirely foreign to this culture, and I know what I like and what brands I'm loyal to. Plus, I always have some great family recipes to come back to that can only be made at home.

My Grandma makes an amazing baklava at Christmas and she keeps the recipe top secret. Fortunately she always freezes some, so I can enjoy it when I come home. We aren't even Greek, but people often tell her it's the best baklava they've ever had.

Since today is Valentine's Day, my Mom makes her delicious chocolate Kahlúa cheesecake into tiny bite sized hearts. It is a great consolation if I must spend Valentine's day apart from Stefan. I'm already looking forward to picking him up at the airport tomorrow night. I'm also looking forward to hearing what his food requests are. He always tends to have a huge list of restaurants and grocery items.

I definitely notice how much more of a consumer society the US is and how infectious it is. Especially with the exchange rate in our favor, it will be difficult not to come home with a new wardrobe.

Happy Valentine's Day!

For me, Valentine's is a day to do something for loved ones and an excuse to eat a lot of chocolates. I am going to be taking Mieka on an extra long walk, especially since she will probably only enjoy her squeaky 'pupcake' for about 5 minutes. Hopefully I'll also be able to find some dendrobium orchids for my Mom.

Stefan and I don't really exchange gifts, which is OK with me, I'd much rather the time with him (even if I have to wait until tomorrow night). I did however find some cute chocolate covered fortune cookies to surprise him with and the brand is 'Emily's', which is quite fitting.

I hope everyone does something special for a loved one or for yourself today! Everyone needs another excuse to eat chocolates.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Illustrated Life

Beauty in a book is all that I can say about 'An Illustrated Life' by Charley Harper (and arranged by Todd Oldham). The prints are simply stunning. Mr. Harper studied at Ohio's own Art Academy of Cincinnati and met his wife Edie on the first day of class (how sweet is that?).

I'm a big fan of modernist works, or 'minimal realism' as he called it, and I appreciate the vintage feel that his images have.

You can look at the book in its entirety here . Be prepared to feel an appreciation for the beauty of the world, his art, and perhaps to fight the urge to decorate a children's room.

(images Ammo books)

Chicken is a chicken?

Last Friday while we were enjoying our Salvator at the Paulaner am Nockerberg an interesting conversation took place that really got me thinking.

Let me preface this by saying during our Nürnberg trip, Manuel, Brock, and I were discussing the dynamics of language (while this may seem boring it's fitting).

Between the three of us there are 4 languages spoken. There were plenty of pigeons around Nürnberg, which reminded me of a German class I had where we got into a discussion over differences or semantics of language. Pigeon, for example is a pest of a bird that is gray and sometimes has a metallic patch of color, which is it's only redeeming quality in my eyes. A dove on the other hand is a white bird of peace that is more dignified and regal. Enter German, Spanish, and French. They say a pigeon is a dove.

After more Salvator's than I care to admit, the conversation was flowing and low and behold chicken came up. I recalled having a meal at my in-law's house and it was chicken - on a bone, with skin, and not 'white meat'. When I brought up 'white meat' to Stefan he laughed as if his family eats 'dark meat'... um, yes they do and he does too (to each their own).

I typically ask what is included in the meal, because I'm not much of a meat eater and chicken is my limit only if I must. Germans are sometimes sneaky with their meat and nearly every meal has meat. I don't think this is culturally unique to Germany, but since I live there and since they have meat heavy cuisine I really notice it.

During another visit it was another kind of bird that was 'larger than a chicken but smaller than a turkey'. My father in-law pulled out his trusty dictionary and told me it was a 'hen'. To me a hen is merely a female chicken that lays eggs (if there are any farmers reading this feel free to correct me). I know a cornish hen, but it is one of the few named poultry that English speakers have. Whenever we eat there is a dictionary close by.

So back to last Friday. Brock and I were in agreement that while 'white meat' and 'dark meat' is a distinction in English, for once we don't have a word labeling from which bird, gender, or size the meat comes from.

(Please note: This is one of the reasons I don't eat much meat- if any, when I can avoid it... we had a huge döner kebab scandal in Germany where they were using old meat and repackaging, coloring, and altering it for profit. Some of this meat was seriously 4 years old. I believe if people can screw things up, especially for a monetary gain, they will. Meat in my eyes is an area where it's easy to process and reprocess to form things like 'meat bears', which are available for purchase in Germany. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of that, but I will try to smuggle my camera into the grocery for devoted readers. It looks something like the photo above to give you an idea. And below a where döner meat comes from, so you can see how easily it could be tampered with.)

Brock and I were horrified to think that as Americans we really don't know where our meat is coming from - Tyson, Butterball, Hillshire Farm... but from whom does this meat come from? All we knew is that every single chicken McNuggets is shaped like a circle or an 'L' shape - hello processed foods. In English, chicken is simply chicken.

For once English is less specific than German (the second language I'm most familiar with). This may also be attributed to English words not having genders as so many others do.

I was also reminded by Caitlin, that Germany is also passing a law that will give foods that have not been genetically modified a seal to signify you are getting what you always thought you had been buying (shouldn't it be the other way around?). Fortunately we also have Basic, my favorite grocery which is 'bio' or organic.

Hopefully you didn't just read this before lunch, or eat a döner kebab (the scandal was in 2006, so you should be safe if you did).

(image: Peter Carpenter)