Home > General > Living With Huns 3: Germany Is Not a Civilised Country

Living With Huns 3: Germany Is Not a Civilised Country

Germany is not a civilised country. Disregard the arguments many make to the contrary. Germany is, again, not to be considered a civilised country. Germany cannot be considered a civilised country because it is lacking in the three key requirements for being considered a civilised country: aged cheddar cheese, proper tea and a functional postal service.

The importance of the first requirement cannot be overstated. How does one survive without a steady supply of aged cheddar? I simply do not know. Recently, in my Hun-induced reduced living conditions, circumstances have obliged me to become more frugal in culinary habits. As the weather grows chiller I have started making more soups. Herb and dumpling soup, yeast soup, pumpkin and courgette soup, etc. One soup I have not been able to make is the humble, honest Cheshire soup. Potatoes, carrots and aged cheddar are the three primary ingredients. On more than one occasion I have embarked on a perilous journey in the search of the Holy Cheddar only to return as successfully as I did from my Measuring Spoon Saga.

Of course, I was able to find two cheddar-like cheeses. The first is a sage-infused cheese from Derbyshire. Similar in texture to cheddar, it lacks the zest and depth. The average Hun consumer unable to discern the difference between cheddar-like cheeses, much less the difference between a proper Sage Derby and this tasteless clone, is simply content to eat a cheese that is green, yet not quite expired. The other cheddar-like cheese available in Hunistan is young, orangey Irish cheddar. The taste is similar to stale-cheese flavoured cardboard with a texture similar to a poorly-stored candle original to Miss Havisham’s wedding banquet. I may have to resort to buying several pounds of cheddar in England.

The lack of proper tea in Germany is a human rights violation that should be submitted to the European Union, NATO, United Nations, the NSA and Mi6. Of course, there are some “teas” for sale and when asked, Huns will advise on where to find their favourite “teas”. Usually these “teas” are infusions. Of course, if one is in the mood for an infusion they are acceptable. Still, they are not “teas”. When pressed, they will inform on the location of their actual teas. For the most part these teas only share the names of actual teas – Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, etc. When prepared they taste like the stale bath water of a tea plantation employee. During my period of asylum at or noble wolf’s cave I was able to find P&G Tips. Subsequently after returning to my blessed and beloved natal country, which has grown almost as high in my estimation as the much-esteemed USA, I have found a regular supply of P&G Tips at the Thai, Chinese and African grocers. My mum, upon returning to Hunland later this week, will bring me a box of Yorkshire Gold to help hold me over until November when I can buy a few stone of tea in England. This point is lost on my Hunnish compatriots entirely.

Germany also lacks a functioning postal service. While most Huns are sceptical about my previous two complaints, every Hun who has yet had the honour and pleasure of my companionship has agreed that Germany does, in fact, lack a proper postal service. Of course there is an organisation that pretends it is a postal service. These charlatans who name themselves “Deutsche Post” have all the efficiency of Indian officials, all the competence of an Italian mechanic and all the integrity of a high-ranking Zimbabwean government official. Rumours circulate that somewhere in the misty depths of Hunland’s ancient history there was an organisation named “Deutsche Bundespost” that was actually efficient, fast and competent but few under 50 have any real memories of it. I am fully convinced than a crippled, half-senile kangaroo would do a better job of it. In just over two months “Deutsche Post” have either returned or lost eight letters and/or packages. Making both Royal Mail and the United States Postal Service look competent and the embodiments of efficiency, these charlatans should hang their heads in shame for the mendacity of trying to hoodwink the population into believing that they are a postal service.

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Categories: General
  1. September 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    A tour de force! Thank you!

  2. christinaosborne
    September 22, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Love it, absolutely love it.

    Now then, I presume your mama is coming from the USA with relief supplies of Yorkshire Gold? If I am correct not all is to be despised this side of the pond!!! I find quite a good supply of Yorkshire Gold locally, at a price, an eye watering, fainting sort of price of nearly $17 for 80 tea bags!!! We have to admit sneaking over the border to an English shop in S. Vancouver last week where the aforesaid Gold may be had at UNDER HALF THAT PRICE! By the time I had cleared the shelf, purchased Atora suet in industrial quantities, a North Sea full of kippers and smoked mackerel and various other total necessities of life the bill was $150.00 The cashier nearly fainted at this seemingly vast amount. We crept home South of the border very carefully and mendaciously!

    Last summer whilst in the UK I cheerfully paid about 100. sterling excess baggage for an extra suitcase, which went empty, full of such necessitous goodies! I’m damned if I’m living here without the staff of life!
    Never had Hunland as a place of unavailability of such, but guess I never stayed there long enough to find out, one doesn’t unless marooned.

    Perhaps you had better come home? Can’t see such supplies available in the Far East either?
    I do hope your measuring spoons were not lost by the senile kangaroo, that would constitute a major calamity of the first water. On second thoughts why don’t you just move to rUK and you will have a sufficiency thereunto. I share your qualms about the nature of Irish Cheddar, highly suspect, I think it doubles as C4 for the IRA, tastes like it!

    PS For those of you shaking your heads over Atora suet, try making mincemeat with out it! I refuse to eat the commercial sweet non alcoholic slop in jars, looks more like Vietnamese diarrhea! I refuse to eat it without real suet, cherries and brandy in quantity. My union says I reserve the right to consume large quantities of pear and mincemeat tart, otherwise I am on strike, permanently. If one has to voyage perilously into foreign parts for supplies, so be it!.

    Poor christopher, my heart genuinely feels for you, the thought of a fresh Melton Mowbray pie is just to much to bear. One must not think such thoughts. Oh and real roast Welsh lamb, Oh God!

  3. September 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    PS Don’t go to Fortnum’s for your Cheddar – Waitrose have a good selection.

  4. September 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Christopher: I suppose Double Gloucester is out of the question?

    Mrs. O. Atora suet (also vital for Christmas pudding), Yorkshire Gold tea, Tate and Lyle golden syrup, Hayward’s Piccalili and Paxo Sage and Onion all available from Amazon.com …..(at a price).

  5. September 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    CO: I have applied to a number of positions in the UK although I have not yet received a positive response for any of them. If my moving “home” you mean moving to the USA, it is simply out of the question. There are too many bad memories for me to return, although there are many people — and a few things — that I miss. I didn’t move to Hunland because I was overly fond of the place. A rude and barbarous republic at best it was considering the circumstances the only viable option for the short-term. In a way, the UK and Australia are more home for me than the USA ever was or Germany ever was or could be.
    Germany is a land of limited options and narrow horizons. Of course, Germany cannot be faulted for its coffees and cakes. German coffee is infinitely better than the bog water that passes as coffee in the UK. German cakes are also often superb, although my family were quite please when I introduced them to the joy of the Victoria Sandwich. In East Asia all things are possible. I have found stores in China, Hong Kong and Japan that sell British products at reasonable prices. If that fails, I can simply put in a bulk order from an online UK grocer and make it worth the high cost of postage and packing. Because of my proximity to Luxembourg I can easily catch cheap flights to the UK on the civilised Luxembourg Airlines and will, throughout my sentence in Hunland, make not infrequent trips to restock. Until then, I can content myself in the knowledge that my dear mother will bring me Yorkshire Gold to prevent my withdrawals form becoming even more debilitating. The measuring spoons were delivered, although it took over a week to travel 70 miles. As I said, a half-crippled, senile kangaroo could do a better job.

    Janus: thank you for the advice. I am presently saving up money to ensure that I do not get left marooned again.

    LW: most Huns do not know what Gloucester is, much less anything about Double Gloucester. It makes one marginally homicidal, but their ignorance can be forgiven to an extent. They simply do not know better.

    And all of you, do not bring up things such as Lyle’s Golden Syrup! Huns do not know what Golden Syrup is! At the moment I am having to make due with agave syrup. I beseech you not to mention the lack of lemon curd. It cannot be mentioned! Reading a menu for high tea in Bath today brought tears to the eyes!

  6. September 22, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Good evening Christopher.

    If your putative visit to Jockland in Januar (cauld and snell) is going to be bearable for you, it is clear that I am going to have to plan ahead.

    Tea is not a problem although I never touch the stuff myself, Mrs M is, however, a serial consumer of industrial strength tea but can, I am assured, get it right for all tastes.

    Extra mature Cheddar is definitely not a problem. We had the best in the world last year, apparently.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scotlands-isle-arran-creamery-cheese-2913099

    I’ll get some right now and start ageing it, in anticipation.

    Moving on, CO is not wrong about Atora suet. We do a lot of that in Caledonia.

  7. sheona
    September 22, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Dear Christopher, do not torture yourselmf trying to make a Cheshire soup when you can’t get the correct ingredients. Return to your family’s roots and try Gulaschsuppe or a spicy Wurstsuppe. I know these will only be methadone-type substitutes, but they may tide you over. Isn’t North Germany the place for tea? Though I believe they put cream in it. Be brave.

  8. September 22, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Oh dear, Christopher. you really do not sound very happy.

    I’d better not mention my rather civilised afternoon tea in Windsor the Saturday before last! But it wasn’t all good, the whole town was packed with tourists and it was a nightmare to park.

  9. September 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    JM: so long as my finances hold out, which they likely will, I will be in Scotland on the dates previously threatened. Once I book my flight tickets I will let you know. So far it looks like I will fly with Strikehansa, so long as they don’t cause German air traffic to grind to a halt for a .15pc increase in wages.

    Sheona: that is very dangerous ground. If I, even a little, relax my opposition to eating any and all German foods my grandmother will force-feed me. Her “meals” are a balance of her three prime food groups: salt, oil and cream with the occasional garnish of meat or water. The last time I could not escape her clutches I had to drink several gallons of water. The grocer had to threaten to bar me from buying more water there if I ever consumed that much in a single go again.

  10. September 22, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Araminta: thank you for your restraint. I shall likewise decline to tell you about the hike I took to the top of one of Trier’s higher peaks followed by a cappuccino and gooseberry cake with views of the Moselle River Valley.

    Some music to lighten the mood:

  11. September 22, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Oh no, not views and gooseberry cake. 😉 How could you!

  12. September 23, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Aaarh! Pork pies! Branson and extra mature cheddar! This is torture!

  13. September 23, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Aaaarh! Genuine pork pie, extra mature Cheddar and Branston! Sheer torture!

  14. September 23, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Now look what you’ve made me do! 😦

  15. September 23, 2014 at 8:03 am

    In defence of German civilisation I offer an ex-BAOR soldier’s view of it’s vital culinary contribution to the defence of ‘Western’ civilisation as a whole: beer, bratties and pommes mit mayo. In a supporting role you could add currywurst, frikadellen and rollmops. To underline the importance of this contribution I offer the example of Herr Wolfgang Meyer. Wolfgang and his bratty-wagon served BAOR soldiers training on the Soltau training area for 40 -odd years and, as BAOR drew down after the end of the Cold War, was awarded an honorary MBE after a campaign supported by tens of thousands of serving soldiers and veterans.

  16. September 23, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Bravo: one could also add the noble Mohrenkopf, Black Forest Cherry Gateau, herbal creations and the Semmelknoedel. Currywurst, however, is something that Germany should be ashamed of. Before really trying it, I grew accustomed to British curries so eating a Currywurst was a fall. Over the years, I am realising, I’ve largely lost my taste for traditional German foods as I spent more and more time in parts of the former Empire, the Latin American borderlands and East Asia. One of my cousins nearly fell off his chair laughing when he saw me eat cake with chopsticks. His mum put me up to it.

  17. O Zangado
    September 23, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Christopher. You may not be aware as I took pity on an errant Hun, but The Cave has two locks on the front door. One is activated by the insertion of a Bury black pudding, links of small, linked blood sausages that look like the No.2s of a very large dog that has also eaten a ball of string, but which taste divine. The main lock, as my family knows to its baggage allowance, reacts favourably to a proper Lancashire black pudding, an item of more than one foot in length and two inches in diameter. The Great Wolves turfed up at Faro airport last week with two pair of shreddies and a toothbrush between them, but with a suitcase packed full of aforementioned delicacies. They were well received.

    Having said that I pine for the genuine Northwestern Hunnish schweinhaxe too, but I can boil and roast a decent facsimile of those here.

    OZ

  18. September 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Schweinhaxe! Droo-ool! Sometimes a pack of them escapes over the border and can be found in our shops.

  19. September 23, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Schweinhaxe = eisbein in the North?

  20. September 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Yes, Bravo. Nit Sauerkraut usw.

  21. September 23, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Mit – sod Apple

  22. September 23, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Oz: Huns do produce decent black pudding and a fair selection of it, too. There is a type I like that is smoked. Not quite sure of its name, but it is tasty and holds for longer than the other varieties of it. I can make Eisbein. I will insist on calling it “Eisbein” as to refer to it by its other name in Trier would lead me to complete social ostracism and potential burning at the stake. Having already largely accomplished the first, I do not need to complete the second.

  23. Boadicea
    September 24, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Wonderful series of blogs!

    Isn’t it funny how one misses the tastes of ‘home’ 🙂 Who mentioned Branston Pickle, Paxo stuffing, Real Lemon Curd! Things we pay a fortune for here. I miss bitter marmalade with peel most of all.

  24. September 24, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Boa, yes. Primeval stuff. Smells too. Mum’s kitchen, Dad’s workshop, Grandpa’s pipe, the swimming baths, the butcher’s shop.

  25. O Zangado
    September 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    That comment, Janus, is worthy of a thread of its own. Kitchens smelled of hot laundry and Domestos, workshops of creosote, Granddad of stale nicotine, eye watering chlorine at the baths and sawdust on the floor of the butcher’s shop. Crack on.

    OZ

  26. christinaosborne
    September 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Bo, you have the remedy of two of your list. Make your own lemon curd it is only a custard made of lemons, butter and eggs in a double boiler. Piece of piss! And tastes much better than the commercial stuff.

    Re marmalade I would have thought bitter Seville oranges might grow quite well in your neck of the woods, so plant one, may be have to beat the bushes of the internet to find an Antipodean nursery that stocks the plant though. Other than that you could make a marmalade of the three fruits oranges, lemons and grapefruit, going light on the oranges add a tablespoon of molasses and plenty of whisky in the making which will give you a creditable substitute for Dundee style marmalade.

    I am a great believer in adapting recipes to suit local ingredients, nothing goes to waste round here!
    If you would like some recipes for the above let me know.

    A British friend from the community garden gave me a jar of knock off ‘Branston’ homemade pickle which really did taste like it. If any expats. want the recipe let me know.

    I have to admit to Paxo being a guilty pleasure, part of the intrepid trip for commissariat purposes!

  27. christinaosborne
    September 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Smells of youf? Cow shit! I lived in dairying country.

  28. September 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Getting lifted over the turnstyle at East Fife v Hearts in or about 1956 in the warm fug of whisky and tobacco being given off by my Uncle Bill.,

    Hearts again and the smell from the Tynecastle Brewery behind the Wheatfield Stand when the brew was mashing. The smell of the horses as Grandad Mackie mucked out the Co-operative stables in Buckhaven. The smell that drifted over the parade ground after firearms had been dscharged.

    The sharp scent of vinegar as you put it on your chips and it started to interact with the newspaper.

    Mint, coriander, boiled cabbage. My first Isla Malt (Laphroiag). So many memories.

  29. September 24, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    The first whiff of the sea on holiday. Mum’s mint sauce. Fried herrings for tea. Fresh air in the country. Smog in November.

  30. Boadicea
    September 24, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks Christina! You might be amused to know that I have tried to grow limes and oranges in just about every house we have lived in – as I’ve said before I have black thumbs as far as gardening goes!

    We do, however, have a cumquat bush (planted by the previous owners) which not only has survived, but thrived. It is, at the moment bursting with fruit.

  31. christinaosborne
    September 25, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Ah now, Bo, you should be able to make a marmalade from them. Rough chunked, omit pips from jam but put in a muslin bag to boil in mixture for pectin, bit of molasses and whisky and off you go.

  32. Boadicea
    September 25, 2014 at 11:01 am

    No time, Christina – I’m back to the UK in 10 days time!

  33. September 25, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Tina: could you please tell me roughly how to make lemon curd? That is also not available in Hunland.

  34. christinaosborne
    September 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Yes, will post it in the next couple of days.

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