Ceci n’est pas un Post.

July 13, 2007 at 12:49 pm 9 comments

Ceci n'est pas une pipe

Haha… just kidding. Yes it is. I have just been away for such a long time I reached the point of not knowing how to start a post… Sad.

So I tried to put the blog on hold while I focus more on finishing my thesis, but this seems to work even worse than before. It seems that the more time I don’t write the worse my writer’s block gets. So I guess I am back to blogging, and will try to keep up with more regular posting from now on. Doesn’t it always seem like the more we get done, the more we are able to do? Although, the opposite is usually more noticeable. Whenever I don’t do work, I am not able to do anything else because I feel like I should be doing work. I don’t do work, but I also don’t do other things I have to do, and I especially don’t do things I like doing. But now I am trying to reverse this tendency. Get back on the horse I guess.

Anyway, let’s move on to what I actually wanted to talk about today. I went to Germany last weekend. And yes, the sad part is that I have been meaning to talk about this all week, and only now was I able to overcome the Block.

I have mentioned before that I have a really had time keeping up with my best green intentions when I am out of my element. And so it was once again. I was visiting family for a whole weekend and I my biggest achievement was refusing the bottled water everyone was insistingly offering me. And indeed, I won that battle but lost the war. These Germans really do put up a fight, I didn’t even stand a chance. It wasn’t just the fact that I had meat shoved down my throat 3 times a day. It was more than that. It was experiencing a lifestyle that seems so distant now, and so capitally opposed to everything I stand for. It is hard to face the facts. How can something that means so much to me be so insignificant to everyone else?

But the worst indignity was still to come. Never mind the meat, the overpackaging, the bottled beverages, the fake food, the obliviousness to the our food values. The most frustrating part of the weekend was on the train ride back. That was the last drop. After that I was fuming so much I thought my head was going to explode. But why don’t I tell you about it and you will see what I mean.

There was a restaurant wagon on the train. I brought my own lunch wrapped in my nifty little wrap’n’mat. I had my handy little travel mug. So I thought, ‘why don’t I go over to the restaurant car and fetch myself some cappuccino’. Surely they would have a proper coffee machine, capable of pouring out cappuccinos into peoples mugs! And that’s because the Dutch had me spoiled. Their standard coffee machines are able to produce a half-decent cappuccino. And I was innocent enough to believe that the Germans would live up to their neighbors standards. But no. That’s not how it went.

When I did get to the train bar, I asked for my cappuccino, presented my mug and was very clear to demand that my cappuccino be served in my mug. But before I could realize what was happening and scream “Nein! Nein!”, the guy was opening a little plastic sachet and pouring some powder into a paper cup. At this point, I again indicated to the guy that I wanted my cappuccino in my cup and not a disposable one, with still some hope left that the sachet and the paper cup were destined for someone else. The guy only seemed to ignore me. And then what? And this is the part that left me perplex. I told the guy again that I wanted the cappuccino in MY cup. And to my horror, the guy nodded and then proceeded to fill the paper cup containing the sachet of gross cappuccino powder with boiling water and then pouring it into my cup!!! I was mortified!

It was then I realized that the guy thought it was his duty to measure my cappuccino with the standard paper cup to be absolutely sure that I was going to get the EXACT amount of cappuccino powder and hot water that I am allowed, and not a sip more. But the most revolting part to me is that the guy was only measuring hot water. The powder was already precisely measured because it came out of a sachet. So tell me. How &@#$% square do you have to be to measure HOT WATER???

And now I am going to end this post abruptly because I am so pissed off at Germans that I fear I might say something less politically correct about them. The End.

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Entry filed under: consumption, environment, food, travel. Tags: .

Awol and the Hydra It rubs the lotion on its skin

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. titus2woman  |  July 13, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    I found your blog by clicking on someone’s blogroll, and I LOVE IT! I am learning so much and have now fallen head over heals for that wrap’n’mat! TOO NEAT! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  • 2. greenchick  |  July 13, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    I feel your pain. I am really getting sick of people looking at me like I have 3 eyes when I bring my own bags to the store, or my own cup to the coffee shop. Have these people been living under a rock? And someone please tell me, why would I ever need a plastic bag for a single pack of chewing gum?

  • 3. Chile  |  July 17, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    It’s nice to have you back, Alina! I had an experience yesterday that doesn’t quite measure up to yours but was just loaded with irony. After spending several hours doing waste-reducing errands – dropping a moving friend’s discards off at a thrift store while shopping for a few things there (scored a great weeding tool!), I came home to see a city Environmental Services truck cruising down my street. After I pulled in to my house, I saw that he stopped and looked in my recycling bin at the curb. I walked over and asked what he was doing. He does public outreach and education – a good thing! We talked for about 15 minutes and then he said he’d “bribe me” to keep doing such a good job. The bribe was a re-usable cup with the city’s recycling logo on it. Sounds good, right? Yes, but….it was made in China, wrapped in plastic, and secured in a box. At least the box could be recycled. I accepted the bribe so I have a mug to keep in the car. When I go out, I generally forget to grab mine from the cabinet just in case I stop somewhere. ‘Course, I really need to keep it on the bike since I ride more than drive these days.

    Anyway, I empathize with your frustration. Kudos to you for not starting an international incident!

  • 4. Lori V.  |  July 22, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Some people’s cluelessness just floor me, as well, Alina! I’m sure you’ve read about my hotel horrors, and soon I’ll be posting another recent experience that proved that some people just don’t get it. But, in short, I feel your pain (and outrage).

    Welcome back, BTW!!!

  • 5. Alina  |  July 22, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Yeah, and I know you guys must have it worse where you are. In the Netherlands BYO is not only acceptable but even encouraged. I was just shocked with such extreme squareness. And thanks for the kind words everyone.

  • 6. Emily  |  July 22, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I missed you!!! I find these dilemmas all the time — people insisting on putting my muffin in a paper bag even though I’ll be eating it on my way out the door, etc. Very frustrating.

  • 7. e j e  |  July 31, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Alina, I just saw your blog for the first time and am catching up, so excuse the multiple posts (oh no, what if you don’t see this one??). I just sent you the link to the natural, um, German, shoes.

    It was actually kind of funny to read this post because I come to Germany a lot from the U.S. I get here and think, FINALLY!! IT’S ECO-LAND AGAIN!! NOBODY HERE WILL THINK I’M A FREAK!! I feel comforted every time I go the store and everyone has his/her own bag, and they all bring the glass bottles back for the deposit, etc. Don’t be disheartened about all the bottled water. I know it’s absurd, and I just don’t understand what’s pleasant about having gas in your stomach, but at least in Germany the deposit-bottles are washed and reused. There are other countries (no need to name names) where, IF they’re worth any kind of deposit, they get crushed anyways and all kinds of energy gets used REFORMING them into bottles again! ARGH!

  • 8. Alina  |  August 2, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    e j e, I read all comments. If you notice on my sidebar there is a handy little ‘Been said’ section where you can see who left comments and where 😉 And even though I’m sure Germany is not all bad, especially if compared to the US, but if you want to see some real, clog-wearing greenies, Holland is where it’s at.

  • […] foam. Starbucks thinks its ALL about the milk foam. Literally. No milk. Just foam. And you guys know I take my cappuccinos very seriously. So I developed a routine where after I deliver the stainless mug, I go over to the barista and ask […]

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