August Break: How Germans Get Their Drink On

I’m on an August Break from my regular blogging schedule. Here’s today’s pictures.

Drinks in Germany are kind of segregated.  Many offices and even some private homes use a drink delivery service, so it’s not uncommon to see trucks like this on the street:


In larger grocery stores, drinks take up an entire very large section all their own.  There are even special drink stores, called Getränkemarkts.  You can buy entire cases of beer, or individual bottles.


There are many types of water available.  Many Germans prefer their water with carbonation.  I don’t care for it that way.


Despite the tremendous amount of beverages available, there aren’t usually that many kinds of soda around, at least not in the stores I frequent.   Coke is always on hand, though.


One of my favorite parts of the drink market experience is the bottle return machines, or, as I call them, the ‘Crunch Crunch Crunch’ machines.  I’ve spoken before on this blog about the concept of Pfand, which functions as a bottle deposit in this environment.  Basically, you keep your empty bottles and return them to the machine.  The machine has a tiny conveyer belt inside-  it scans the appropriate bar codes on the bottle, then whisks them away to be satisfyingly crunched.  You get a receipt for the bottles you’ve returned and you take that to the cash register.


Do you have any favorite specialty types of stores?


August Break: Dult Time Again

I’m on an August Break from my regular blogging schedule. Here’s today’s picture.

It’s Dult time again in Regensburg. I previously posted about Dult here.  It’s a twice a year beer festival that happens here in Regensburg, once in May and once around August.    There are rides.


…and inexplicable American flags.


Tasty food.




Friendly beer tent staff.


Hen parties.  Americans would call these bachelorette parties.  I saw no less than six separate hen parties this weekend.  They’re kind of hard to miss.  Often, they wear matching t-shirts.


…and this photograph includes my favorite part of Dult. 

No, not the ferris wheel.

No, not the cute girls in Dirndls.

Look to the right… see the Mini-Pfannkuchen stand?


Yeah.  These.


In butter and powdered sugar.  So, SO delicious.


Have you ever had mini-Pfannkuchen?  What’s your favorite part of a beer festival?

August Break: License Plates

I’m on an August Break from my regular blogging schedule. Here’s today’s picture.

License plates in Europe are kind of fascinating to me.  Within the European Union, modern plates (issued after 1994) typically look like the one pictured below, but with a few key differences.  They all have the circle of stars that represents the EU, but there’s a letter underneath which represents the source country.  This plate is D for Deutschland, naturally.  There’s also F for France, A for Austria, I for Italy, and so forth.  Plates from Switzerland look different because they aren’t actually EU members; they go their own way.


Here in Germany, the first letter (or grouping of letters) represents the city where the plate was issued.  Bigger cities tend to have single character codes, such as B for Berlin, L for Leipzig, M for Munich, and so forth.  The R below is for Regensburg.  Smaller cities have multi-letter codes.  Nearby Schwandorf gets the amusing license code SAD, which leads to all kinds of “sad” plates making me giggle on a daily basis.  Immediately after the city code, there are safety inspection and registration stickers, and then some other letters and numbers that are unique to each vehicle.


Do you think I’m a little nuts for being this fascinated by something as mundane as license plate configurations?

August Break: It’s A Crutch

I’m on an August Break from my regular blogging schedule. Here’s today’s picture.

When I grew up, people who needed crutches always had the vaguely triangular under-the-armpit model with the rubber pad at the top.  Here in Germany, I’ve never seen that style, though.  When someone is on crutches here, it’s always this version. I actually think these are better designed, and I find them kind of interesting.


Have you ever had to use this style of crutches?

August Break: Schulranzen

I’m on an August Break from my regular blogging schedule. Here’s today’s picture.

School-children here all wear these giant jetpack-shaped backpacks called Schulranzen, which basically just means “satchels.”  They’re enormous and typically sort of hardshell, and they look like they hold just about the entire world.  They’ve got all kinds of designs, and they’re colorful with racing cars and ninjas and princesses and unicorns and seahorses and so forth.  When an entire class gets on a bus at once, the sea of colorful backpacks is nothing short of brilliant.

We only had bland one-color Jansport bags.  I’m a little jealous.

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schulranzen01 schulranzen02

Would you have liked these when you were a kid?