Sunday, 6 November 2011

Why are the Cocktails so Expensive? And where is the Hot Water?

While I did not study abroad, Matt did, and I am fortunate to meet new friends and participate in these events with him. Matt’s Bamberg friends came to N├╝rnberg this weekend to reunite. It was full of good times, amazing people, lots of beer and too much Polish Vodka.

One of the most important phrases you can learn in German is how to ask politely for a Beer. Seriously. This is not a bad phrase. Anyone doing a European exchange, should be the age of majority when you arrive. If you don’t like Beer, you should probably learn to like it soon because it’s the cheapest thing on the menu. €2 or 3 or less if you’re lucky for a 0.5l glass...and yes that’s more than you get in Canada. You’re looking at €3-4 for a glass of bottled water, Coke, Fanta, or the two mixed together. If you want tap water, you can get that for free, but you better specify tap or else you’re getting bottled and you’re paying for it. Oh and no, you aren’t getting free refills for that price.

While I do enjoy beer, I enjoy the girly cocktails on some nights as well. Unfortunately, that’s a very limited or expensive option here. I feel as though some of the places I’ve been so far have a limited selection of Cocktails, Sex on the Beach is delicious, it’s everywhere, but it’s not always made the same and sometimes you want something different. I decided I wanted a change and went to the bar with a big cocktail menu. How much did I pay for the Swimming Pool and Chococoloda (both Pina Colada type drinks)??? €7 and 8!!! The current exchange rate is 1.4 so in Canada, those cocktails would cost…$10-11!! Looks like I’m not in Waterloo or Ottawa anymore… I read over the entire menu and there wasn’t a cheaper cocktail. I guess I got a bargain when I paid €6.50 for a Pina Colada at another bar.

On another note, don’t expect when you enter the bathroom in a bar or even just a restaurant or public washroom to be able to wash your hands with hot water or even warm water. If you’re reading this from Canada, consider yourselves privileged. Apparently hot water is expensive so you will often just find a tap labeled cold water. Letting it run longer will not make it turn warm. Apparently, hand soap is even a bit of a luxury? I was surprised when I went into the bathroom at the Munich train station that the bathroom didn’t even have a soap dispenser. At least that’s less common. So be prepared. Expect the water in the bathroom sink will always be cold and if it happens to have warm water, you will be pleasantly surprised. It may also be a good idea to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times. 

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