Thursday, February 14, 2013

It Wasn't the Jetlag ...

It took us a week, but we finally figured our why we were feeling sluggish. Turns out the instant coffee packets we bought and drank several mornings (look, you can only buy so many espressos) were decaffeinated. I was expecting to see the word ohne (without) somewhere on the package, but the word for decaffeinated is actually entkoffeiniert. Then again, I had trouble remembering the German word for "yes" yesterday, this despite passing a PhD foreign language exam in German (more than a decade ago ...), so it's not like I have any German instincts. But really Jeanine, in my defense, the dense history article I had to translate for the exam about socialists in New York in 1920 didn't contain dialogue with the word "yes" ... Our his and her language sessions start next week.

We never would have discovered our error if the (otherwise delicious) Gastst├Ątte Loretto, where we were eating with Betty and Ella and Eric and Jessica (whose apartment we are taking over), had not hilariously and proudly included the decaf packet along with its so-called "decaf cappuccino." Even Betty's German hit the wall trying to convey the idea of an actual decaf espresso shot.

In any event, I've been making up for the caffeine deficiency via the Dream Machine 2000 in Eric's lab. I thought 90 Euro cents was a good deal, but here the espressos are as strong as you can make them and 25 cents! And given that it's a computer science lab, of course they rigged up an IPad and wrote an app that tallies each addict's tab. If you look close enough you can see the two columns with little icons for espresso and latte:

So life is good. We were able to seamlessly transfer Eric and Jessica's internet (we think), we've found the requisite good Turkish fast food, and we finally pulled the trigger on a gym. (Clever Fit was decidedly less clever with fees when we brought along a German speaker.) And Joe and Betty continue to educate us on Swabian food. Last night it was Maultaschen--giant meat-filled dumplings--made by Ella's genuine German grandparents:

Ella's seen Maultaschen many times but still seemed surprised (well ok every time she sees the camera her smile fades ...):

Ok back to talking Croatia with our new Croatian friend Matt in the communal kitchen (love the dorm living). Then back to our The Killing marathon.

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