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Asterix…. These Australians are Crazy

Because of the Christmas party- which went until the wee hours of Friday morning (for those with more partyskillzzz than myself), the Friday workday began at 11 am with the Hangover Brunch.

I think it’s pretty good incentive to get in on the Friday morning after a hard night. There was a massive spread- everyone brought one or two things, and we ended up with breads and cheeses, cold meats, eggs, fruit and nuts and cookies and specialty foods from home countries. 
For some reason, German ‘traditional’ hangover food is some sort of pickled fish. This seems to me to be the most practical way to INDUCE vomiting in already poorly feeling people, but my airing of this opinion to my supervisor only resulted in him placing a large roll of the fish on my plate.
In an attempt to be accepted by the natives, I tried that fish. 
It was not good.
Also it’s disgusting fishy vinegary juices oozed all over my plate and contaminated my other food.
I’m holding on to the belief that one time in the future, Mie Goreng will be introduced to this glorious nation, and they’ll all forget the fish ever existed.
One thing you should notice in the picture is the little metal instrument that is being reached for. It’s specifically designed for making a ring around the top of an egg (you put the cap on the egg, lift the metal ball and then let it fall), which can then be used to neatly excise the top part of shell. Let the dunking begin! 
(Fact number 83 about Germany- there is a machine/kitchen implement/utensil for every use)
The day before there had been a small discussion because one of my German colleagues was worried that there would not be enough bread:

 I think it turned out ok….

It was all very pretty and nice and relaxed and tasty! Recommend!

That arvo Lauren arrived:
(incidentally- fun game to play with Germans- guess what the word ‘arvo’ means- seriously, Australians are the most linguistically lazy peoples in the world).

And we hurried towards the Christmas markets to eat more food.

I also managed to convince her to go on the ‘CRAZY OUTBACK’ ride/house of horrors that they have there. I had been biding my time, waiting for a fellow Aussie with whom I could share outrage at the German interpretation of Aussiness.
I’m pretty sure that Germans are obsessed with kangaroos- I have seen pictures of them EVERYWHERE (there are way less kangaroos back home), and there is even a Kanguruh Apotheke near the Waschbar in Potsdam. There is also a perverted fascination with the fact that we eat our own national animal.
Anyway, this house of horrors wasn’t starting well. It had lots of kangaroos, koalas, a weird cutout of an Aboriginal man, and a dunny out the front that opened occasionally and some puppet sitting on it farted and said something in German. 
It also had orangutans, many racoons, and the interior was split into three sections: one that was a carwash, one that was an obstacle course, and one that was a creepy hall of mirrors.
At least we got to see Steve:

The hall of mirrors part was… odd. And while I expect this is one of those ‘Ah Tegan, how you attract the crazy people’ stories, I’m going to assume it’s par for the ‘Crazy Outback’ course.

The hall of mirrors was not entirely mirrors but all these glass panes at angles, so that it was difficult to find out where the path through was, and many times you would walk forward only to hit your face on a pane of glass.

If you go in there, they will pump large amounts of dry ice in there (and I refrain here from making jokes about Germans and gassing), so that it’s all smoked up and you can’t find your way out.

The man in charge will laugh at you from outside the glass cage, bang on the glass, tell you to go this way and that, and then take photos of you looking lost and confused.. and then demand that you come back so that he can take more photos and laugh at you some more.

It was getting a little odd at this point.

I’m not sure if this is German sense of humor, or it is a German interpretation of Australian hilarity.

Anyway, we finally escaped, and decided to reward ourselves with much hot chocolate:

The next morning we went into Berlin, because Lauren had to catch a train to visit her host sister in the north.
We managed to stumble upon Milka Santa (who is almost definitely the Real Santa), and filled our mouths and pockets with free chocolate.

Lauren also won a Christmas mug. Check her out being all smug:

On the way home I stumbled through the Trodelmarkt (I think at Charlottenburg station), which contained lots of things, but was more of an ‘I’m an actual business selling ‘retro’ stuff’ place than an ‘I’m just cleaning out my crap and please take it off my hands’ place. The latter is more for me. 

I saw a really nice decorative knot of wood, but the guy wanted 25 euros or something, and I have not yet learnt the German for ‘you have got to be kidding’.

Finally- on the topic of Obsession with kangaroos, here are some tiny crackers that I bought for the IMPRS Christmas party:

Several people were surprised we didn’t have ‘Jumpys’ in Australia, which led into the conversation topic of us being too busy eating real kangaroos to bother with tiny crackers.

Here is Ina, dolling out the Gluwein:

Merry Nearly Christmas everyone!

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  1. Best post by far – zis iz vat I like!

    You lost me for awhile with that stuff about your lab etc, but food and lost-in-translation miscommunication I get!

  2. Ash.lee I think you've lost your title of Queen of Food Porn. This post has kicked FwW far into the lead.

    Sounds like you need to introduce them to some proper Aussie cuisine.

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