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A Travelling Cook: Everyday Australian products you'll miss in Deutschland.

Everyday Australian products you'll miss in Deutschland.

Don't get me wrong, I love living in Deutschland. It's been six months now, 6 wonderful months but also six months of strangeness and challenges that extend beyond the obvious language barrier. Inspired by Oh God my wife is German, I've been thinking about things in Australia I really miss and what I would miss if I left Deutschland. 

I miss: 

Decent pillows.

I'm talking pillows that are firm not floppy. Spongy rather than feathery. Where your head sinks on the pillow, not in the pillow. German pillows are traditionally the square 'European' Pillow variety. I had some in Australia from Target,  but they were firm not floppy! In case you're thinking, oh you're just stingy, surely you can pay a bit more for a decent one? Well we've looked, you can get higher quality pillows at a higher price, but they are still floppy dammit! You spent a lot of time asleep so a decent pillow is so very important. 

Top sheets.

Top sheet picture 

It's just a bit of fabric, but I really miss having a top sheet. I know duvets, doonas and comforters are all the range but it's great for when it's too hot for a doona or a bit cold without. I like layers on my bed and this is a layer. 

Queen size beds. 


German bed picture 

Here, we sleep together in a double bed. Most people who own queen size beds have two single beds pushed together with two single doonas on top. Nope. Not the same as a real queen size bed. To get even close to the size of a queen size bed that I am used to, I would need to buy a king size bed. You can see the bed size comparisions on this chart. I can see the merits of the single doonas though. No one hogs the doona then. 

Dumplings.


Dumplings pictures from here

I've been seriously craving Asian dumplings since I left Melbourne. I really miss ShanDon Mama and  of course Camy Shanghai Dumpling House! There's a couple of places where I can buy frozen ones here in Leipzig and of course I make my own dumplings and pierogies but it's not the same as a huge bamboo basket of steaming dumplings served with chilli oil, soy sauce and vinegar and a plate of garlic Chinese broccoli! (Eat them fast while the rest are coming and drink your weight in Jasmine tea).  South east asian food here generally is sold from a restaurant which sells a mishmash of Chinese,Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and pizza, most of which contains pork. There's one Vietnamese place we really like but it doesn't do dumplings, probably a good thing. 

Plentiful medical supplies without prescription.
I am a huge fan of pharmaceuticals, they have kept me alive many times. I get migraines and I like to have a plentiful supply of codeine, asprin and muscle relaxants which enable me to treat a migraine straight away and thus prevent a three day headache. I used to buy such treatments at the supermarket and chemist (over the counter) in Australia. In Deutschland you can't even buy paracetamol at the supermarket. And i am constantly confused by all the homeopathic treatments, considering they are derided in much of the developed world as little more than placebos without scientific merit. 

Cheap nuts, dried fruit and spices
So expensive here, besides the spice lady i buy my spices from at the outdoor market. I really don't know why. Apparently this is the case for much of Europe. 

Blocks of Cheddar cheese
Cheese here is generally quite mild. I like a nice big block of vintage tasty. Not so easy to find. 

I would miss

German bakeries.


They are plentiful, smell amazing, cheap and have the most delectable cakes and pastries. The bread is great also. 

Cheap booze.
So cheap compared to Australia! I'd also add the liberal drinking culture where if you want to drink a bottle of wine in public that you've bought with you from Netto, no problem. 

Quark
Quark is a bit like cream cheese and is often sweetened and can be bought in big tubs or in pastries. So good. 

1.5 litre bottles of mineral water
Good idea.

Central heating
Yes it is warmer most of the time in Australia for longer periods and higher temperatures but the houses are poorly insulated. I've met hardy souls from London who have been reduced to tears from working at home in the Melbourne winter. Being able to sit inside in winter without two jumpers, two pairs of socks, a beanie and fingerless gloves is bliss. 

Great public transport
It's more expensive than Melbourne (which is a surprise considering almost everything is half the cost of Melbourne prices) but it is reliable, plentiful and goes late. I can't afford to use it that often but i like that it's there. 

Safe places to bike ride (not a product but a sentiment I guess)
When I learnt to ride a bike again as an adult back in Melbourne, I was advised, "ride like that car drivers are trying to kill you". Helmets are compulsory in Australia. Fear and the hills (and I'm lazy) meant that I didn't ride a bike very often. Here I ride a bike most days, usually in a bike lane, without a helmet. 

In some respects, I can't wait to go back to Melbourne to see if things change but i would be sad to leave here. 

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A Travelling Cook: Everyday Australian products you'll miss in Deutschland.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Everyday Australian products you'll miss in Deutschland.

Don't get me wrong, I love living in Deutschland. It's been six months now, 6 wonderful months but also six months of strangeness and challenges that extend beyond the obvious language barrier. Inspired by Oh God my wife is German, I've been thinking about things in Australia I really miss and what I would miss if I left Deutschland. 

I miss: 

Decent pillows.

I'm talking pillows that are firm not floppy. Spongy rather than feathery. Where your head sinks on the pillow, not in the pillow. German pillows are traditionally the square 'European' Pillow variety. I had some in Australia from Target,  but they were firm not floppy! In case you're thinking, oh you're just stingy, surely you can pay a bit more for a decent one? Well we've looked, you can get higher quality pillows at a higher price, but they are still floppy dammit! You spent a lot of time asleep so a decent pillow is so very important. 

Top sheets.


It's just a bit of fabric, but I really miss having a top sheet. I know duvets, doonas and comforters are all the range but it's great for when it's too hot for a doona or a bit cold without. I like layers on my bed and this is a layer. 

Queen size beds. 



Here, we sleep together in a double bed. Most people who own queen size beds have two single beds pushed together with two single doonas on top. Nope. Not the same as a real queen size bed. To get even close to the size of a queen size bed that I am used to, I would need to buy a king size bed. You can see the bed size comparisions on this chart. I can see the merits of the single doonas though. No one hogs the doona then. 

Dumplings.


Dumplings pictures from here

I've been seriously craving Asian dumplings since I left Melbourne. I really miss ShanDon Mama and  of course Camy Shanghai Dumpling House! There's a couple of places where I can buy frozen ones here in Leipzig and of course I make my own dumplings and pierogies but it's not the same as a huge bamboo basket of steaming dumplings served with chilli oil, soy sauce and vinegar and a plate of garlic Chinese broccoli! (Eat them fast while the rest are coming and drink your weight in Jasmine tea).  South east asian food here generally is sold from a restaurant which sells a mishmash of Chinese,Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and pizza, most of which contains pork. There's one Vietnamese place we really like but it doesn't do dumplings, probably a good thing. 

Plentiful medical supplies without prescription.
I am a huge fan of pharmaceuticals, they have kept me alive many times. I get migraines and I like to have a plentiful supply of codeine, asprin and muscle relaxants which enable me to treat a migraine straight away and thus prevent a three day headache. I used to buy such treatments at the supermarket and chemist (over the counter) in Australia. In Deutschland you can't even buy paracetamol at the supermarket. And i am constantly confused by all the homeopathic treatments, considering they are derided in much of the developed world as little more than placebos without scientific merit. 

Cheap nuts, dried fruit and spices
So expensive here, besides the spice lady i buy my spices from at the outdoor market. I really don't know why. Apparently this is the case for much of Europe. 

Blocks of Cheddar cheese
Cheese here is generally quite mild. I like a nice big block of vintage tasty. Not so easy to find. 

I would miss

German bakeries.


They are plentiful, smell amazing, cheap and have the most delectable cakes and pastries. The bread is great also. 

Cheap booze.
So cheap compared to Australia! I'd also add the liberal drinking culture where if you want to drink a bottle of wine in public that you've bought with you from Netto, no problem. 

Quark
Quark is a bit like cream cheese and is often sweetened and can be bought in big tubs or in pastries. So good. 

1.5 litre bottles of mineral water
Good idea.

Central heating
Yes it is warmer most of the time in Australia for longer periods and higher temperatures but the houses are poorly insulated. I've met hardy souls from London who have been reduced to tears from working at home in the Melbourne winter. Being able to sit inside in winter without two jumpers, two pairs of socks, a beanie and fingerless gloves is bliss. 

Great public transport
It's more expensive than Melbourne (which is a surprise considering almost everything is half the cost of Melbourne prices) but it is reliable, plentiful and goes late. I can't afford to use it that often but i like that it's there. 

Safe places to bike ride (not a product but a sentiment I guess)
When I learnt to ride a bike again as an adult back in Melbourne, I was advised, "ride like that car drivers are trying to kill you". Helmets are compulsory in Australia. Fear and the hills (and I'm lazy) meant that I didn't ride a bike very often. Here I ride a bike most days, usually in a bike lane, without a helmet. 

In some respects, I can't wait to go back to Melbourne to see if things change but i would be sad to leave here. 

Labels: , , , , , ,

2 Comments:

At December 15, 2014 at 11:33 PM , Blogger elaine said...

oh the German bakeries!

And the mushrooms you get in europe! I hardly ever eat mushrooms anymore because of the watery tasteless varieties that are the mainstay in Australia.

 
At December 16, 2014 at 12:19 AM , Blogger Johanna GGG said...

great list - I have had very little time in germany but was smitten with the bakeries!. Isn't it strange how the bedding is all so different. I love the central heating in the uk (and my scottish partner does find it cold here - I get amazed at how much he seems to need the heater) but there are times they have the central heating on and it just seems wrong. And the cycling sounds great.

 

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