There really are a number of reasons I enjoy living in Germany/Europe.
In fact it is probably time to write about all the ways I can think of. However, that unfortunately requires a bit more time and consideration than I have at the moment, so until then, here is an excellent reason:
There is this Großeltern (grandparent’s) cafe/ Conditorei that my girlfriend and I just love. That is what we call it, our ‘Großeltern Cafe’. It is a sort of pet nickname if you will; a term of endearment-at least the way we use it. The staff is super friendly, and they have excellent memories-they treat us like regulars even though we go to this cafe maybe once a month, if that. I personally would probably go there more, but my wallet and waistline wouldn’t much like that in the end. They make all the treats they serve in house, and they serve great coffee. I even discovered recently that they also make their own bread and serve a breakfast, a variety of soups and a featured lunch plate/special. Learning that, I fell in love with this place that much more! All of their awesomeness is made in house, which is worth repeating!
As I am writing this and mulling it all over, I’m trying to fight the urge to go back there today. I mean, fresh bread made in-house along with all of these amazing treats that add a few kilos or lbs just by looking at them!
Just FYI, a pound is equal to .545 kilos, so when I talk about kilos and things, perhaps you can take note – especially since The USA is one of the only countries in the world NOT on th the metric system ( that works in tens, btw. Here is a video on YouTube to explain how beautifully simple it is, if you’ve forgotten from high school math or science class.
This sounds (and looks) perfect to me!
Per the German tradition, you can come into this cafe and spend an entire rainy afternoon just drinking cup after cup of coffee-although I dare you to not try one of their desserts if you attempt this. I do fully appreciate this aspect of German society.
When I first came to Europe, I had a layover at Coppenhagen international airport. While there I sat at a cafe and had breakfast and coffee, which I may have talked about before (if so, I apologize for repeating myself). Yet, my layover was SO LONG (like 6-8 hours) that I tried to sit at this cafe and write for as long as possible – and I just kept ordering coffee, which the staff just kept taking away when the cup/glass was empty.
WARNING: Tangent Ahead:
I know now and will share with you, Dear Reader, that if you ever happen to have a layover longer than 3-4 hours in one part of Europe and you are going to a nearby or neighboring country – check the local train schedules. I could have saved myself some time by potentially taking the train from Copenhagen to Kobkenz. It would probably cost the same as the hour long flight from Copenhagen to Luxembourg and either taken as much or even potentially less time than the layover AND flight. I would have been much more comfortable on a moving train seeing the German country-side for the first time than stuck inside an airport that is not friendly to people with small wallets and long layovers.
Okay, tangent over. At least we can all say we’ve learned something.
Back at the cafe in the Copenhagen International Airport, it had been roughly an hour since I had purchased my last coffee, give or take – in American, an abomination – however, Europe, so I’d read, normal – but a staff member came up to tell me to either get a drink or get out because nothing is free here. The staff member might have well added “Cheap Student Asshat” to the end of their statement because what they said and how they said it was so surprising and offensive. WHAT?! I’ve already bought copious amounts of caffeinated beverage, but maybe because of a shift change nobody informed you of this minute fact, and you are honestly choosing to be an asshole to me, really?! (deep, deep sigh) Okay, then.
This is not a good first impression of Europe!!
They all but asked me to leave after that conversation I was really like, “what?! Eff you !” Only to discover that the Coppenhagen airport is an interesting place, especially reserved for people of means who may which to spend those means at the airport on an impulse Bulgari or Louise Vitton purchase – which is not me, unfortunately.
Back to my original point that inspired this post:
Why I might consider doing this (sitting for hours, which is normal per German culture) is because the waitstaff is amazing. Here, at my ‘Großeltern Cafe’, the staff does not forget about the customer and it is rare that as a customer, you have to track down the server to order or pay (however, this seems to be the norm, at least in German dining culture -you pay when you leave, not before and the waitstaff allows you room to digest your meal, finish your drinks and relax, which is not the standard in America.
My favorite server at this cafe speaks (at least) English, German and French and, it seems, can switch between the three at the drop of a hat. That is not the norm in America. You are lucky to honestly find an average American that speaks a second language, luckily I do know this is changing – for the better!
It seems many of our friends don’t prefer the place though, perhaps because it isn’t necessarily ‘hip’. If given the choice they would rather go somewhere else. I’m not sure exactly why, especially after the points mentioned. Perhaps the decorations and setting are a bit dated. The cafe is impeccably clean however, but it does look like it was redecorated sometime in the 1990’s. Yet, because the cafe is impeccably clean and well maintained, why update the place further? If it works, right? It seems to do just fine.
Upon reflection, I think this cafe fits with what, in my mind and personal experience anyway, could be potentially considered a standard ‘German’ Conditorei setting. Perhaps the point is that the setting evokes memories of your Oma and Opa’s place because that, traditionally, is who gives you the dangerously delectable and amazing sweet treats that are on offer here. At least my best girlfriend and I are in agreement about this cafe!
Or perhaps it is that most of the cafés’ patrons seem over the age of 30, at least. It does have a pretty stained glass window inside the cafe toward the back of the cafe. I like to think that it is a secret treat for those patrons that must sit inside on a rainy day or when the front of the cafe’s seating area is full.
Their food and service is so good though, that I really don’t care about the latter points. In my book, the place is amazing.
If you are planning to come to Germany, please be open to the Oma-looking Conditorei’s and stop in to have an afternoon German-brewed coffee and nice treat. In my experience, with an open-mind, you won’t be sorry and will be treated very well.