When we arrived in Dresden, I saw what I thought was curry soup at a beer garden called Katy’s Garage. I bumbled the order, and we got kurbis suppen mit curry. It was actually pumpkin curry soup. Later, a young man named Karl explained that pumpkins here are Hokaido pumpkins. They’re named that because the German import them from Japan.
When I was getting my soup, the chef was very kind. I asked for another spoon for my bowl of soup, as I was sharing with Selma. He had only given me a small bun, but then cut up a whole bread basket for us. We noticed Katy’s Garage advertised they had dancing and live music. I wanted to come back later in the evening. Which we did, but we only had a beer. I give Katy’s Garage a 5/5 for their unique atmosphere and comfort food.
The next day… We met a young woman named Clare when we were having breakfast. Selma and I loved having long, relaxing breakfasts. Clare is from the UK and she is so funny! Over our cheese (Bonifaz Waldpilz and Ziegen-Frischkase) we talked about our lives. From work to the state of the economies from where we’re from, jokes and uncertainties, we related. This is the benefit from hostelling – you meet like minded people, around your age, who are going through similar things. The fact that people share experiences like your own, is the best self-help advice if you feel alone about something. We only think alone.
Old Town Tea, Vegan Currywurst and Hostel Dinner!
We went to the old town and had tea at this strange Antique coffee shop, Trodelkaffe. Selma had amaretto kaffe and I had a cappuccino. I got to scoop up my foam and talk to Selma about life, the future and disappointment. A constant topic was finding a job or finding something we love doing. It’s a time of uncertainty for everyone. So many young people are forced to do internships, or take jobs they don’t care about or not be employed at all. It isn’t so much that there is an abundance of poorly trained people (they do exist though) – it’s just in Vancouver, there’s so many people who are just “good” at their jobs and it must be difficult for employers to pick between them. It is an easy choice between someone who’s wonderfully talented or someone who sucks, but the pool of good people – sometimes I feel people cave into nepotism and hiring “friends” because that processing between people can be perceived as a gamble.
Selma later wanted to hurry home, as Lollis – our hostel – offered free dinner. Lollis is an amazing hostel – they’re very accommodating, there were people our age, they had events – they had a free German lesson for example – and local beer on sale! My favorite was this organic beer. It was called Bio Neustadt Hell. http://www.obergaerig.de/ Apparently you can learn to brew with them!
Before we got back, I noticed a little joint called Curry and Co / Currywurst & Pommes. They were filming inside. I saw they had vegan currywurst! I promptly ordered it with fries and pineapple curry sauce. So good! I used to be a vegetarian and I remember fast food hardly had options for me. But this was great! It filled me up and I had the guilty pleasure of having greasy food – but it was vegan and not to harsh for my stomach. I give them a big 5/5!
We had crepes for free dinner. I was full from my currywurst. I met Karl and Margherita and some others. Clare popped up too! Karl explained the pumpkins, the radler, the German law system. He broke off and explained all the different types of cigarettes to me, and some phrases I could use at the store. I popped out my little notebook and he slowed down to help me write. Karl also trolled me at one point. I didn’t know what Bonifaz Waldpilz was (our cheese), and he said Waldpilz meant forest pills. I took that seriously until he shook his head, with a grin. I am such a damn tourist. Clare sat down with me and we started talking about bros. Clare worked at a pub in the UK and shared her experiences working the bar. One story she told is when guys will address her by names she dislikes – like “Hey Princess”. She explained to the gent she wasn’t feeling the name, and apparently he was genuinely convinced girls liked being called Princess. I’m impressed that she’s so humorous about it, I’dve punched a boy.
Cheap, Cheap Gelato and Cheap, Cheap Pommes
I love how gelato is 1 euro. I just had strawberry and chocolate at Dreissig, but I knew I’d be having more gelato in the future if it was this price.
We went out with Margherita and Clare. In between pub crawling, we had some fries and mayo. We went to this jazz joint, the Blue Note. You couldn’t speak if a band was playing. We ended up other places, our last stop being a punky, alternative bar. Margherita and Selma talked a lot of politics. Canada’s problems may just seem like bureaucratic loop holes and generally incompetency on both the government and voters’ end. I don’t mean to say one problem is more important than the other, but Germany has had a rugged past, likewise so has Italy where Margherita comes from. On a lighter note, Margherita is trying to learn English and noted that Clare’s accent (UK) is what is considered professional. I guess I never realized how lame American sounds, compared to a British accent. I know English but now I’m trying to gather an accent.
Dresden and the Stollen
Selma and I tried the Dresden stollen, which is like a fruit cake… It had soft, bready dough with dry fruit inside. There’s a stollen festival every year in Dresden. In the past, bakers could only use oil during the advent season. The bakers of Dresden actually appealed to popes, asking to use butter again. Wth oil, the consistency wasn’t correct, the original stollen was much more tasteless. With a piece of legislation called the butter letter, the stollen developed into its fruity marzipan self.
For our last meal in Dresden, Selma and I noticed this cute, multicoloured building across our hostel as soon as we arrived. We promised if we made dinner, saved money, we’d dine here for our last night. I had a nice little diet of peppercinis, olives and cheese going on.
We ended up inviting everyone out, to say bye to our friends we made.
I realized ordering steak, you just order the steak. Karl gave me some of his salad. Margherita gave me some fries – she had a huuuge American burger! I guess their perception of American cuisine is a tiny wheel sized bun and patty.
Selma had kurbis suppen again – she really enjoyed the previous soup we had. Clare got the same thing. Me and Karl got steak!!
Margherita, Selma, Clare and I had just done our free German lesson the night before. We tried practicing our ordering skills. The teacher made us take different names, two of us were dudes so we could practice the masculine. My name was Manfried, and I sadly can’t remember Clare’s male name (Manfried might have been Clare’s actually) nor Margherita’s female name. Selma was Gisela (GEE-SEL-AH). Clare tried to recall the word for “pea” for pea soup, a soup Selma and I later would search for again.
Afterwards, we went back to the hostel. I bought another indie beer from reception. We all continued to talk. When Margherita had to study, we did separate things. Selma researched our trip. Clare wrote for her blog. Karl and I played the Walking Dead on my iphone – he’s read the books, so he knew what was going on. He’s super smart, too – he kept pointing out the absurdity of the show. He wondered why they never bother to fortify the houses for the days the zombies don’t attack them, and when they do, half of them wind up dying or getting hurt. We made poor, poor decisions in game, which resulted in me constantly exclaiming to us both that we are probably going to die.
I miss Dresden so much.