Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cheap little bread

It's been 9 months.

You'd think by now I'd have an idea of what goes on in the mind of a German when he/she speaks to me... at least by context, you know? But I still make some mistakes that make me question my language skills.

A few weeks ago, I went on a road trip with Mr. and Mrs. Siedenburg. It was very nice, I got to know a new part of Germany, and we had a fun time in general. At some point during our road trip, I asked if I could eat the banana I had brought. After my operation, I explained, I must eat every 4 hours; I must not feel hungry. Mrs. Siedenburg said it was OK, but that we would be eating cheap little bread in a little while.

"Cheap little bread?", I thought. Well, yes, I know the economy is bad, and I know we should save as much money as possible, and I know I don't have much money... but I can invite - I mean, I can pay for all of us to eat non-cheap, non-little bread. I mean, I don't want to pay 10 Euros for a little bread thingy, but I can pay 1 or 2 Euros, you know? Bread here is rather inexpensive, anyway.

She noticed my concern and reassured me that we would stop quite soon for the cheap little bread. Billiges Brotchen, was what I understood.

So we saw a bakery, parked the car, walked towards the bakery... and I said, I would be honored if I could pay for our meal (I did not say "cheap little bread" because I intended to offer something more than cheap, little, old, hard, yesterday's-bread bread). Both Mr. and Mrs. Siedenburg politely declined my offer.

I was so concerned! How expensive, or how cheap, rather, and how big, or how little, rather, must "cheap little bread" be in order to be considered "cheap little bread"? 50 cents? 20 cents? 10 cents? I looked around and tried my best to read the names and prices of the breads, just to make sure I would order the right thing. To my surprise, Mr. Siedenburg ordered something that cost 5 Euros, and Mrs. Siedenburg ordered something that cost 3. I tried to stay in between, you know, the average and such, so I ordered something that cost 4 Euros.

We ate, we chatted, we gossiped, we had such a lovely time. Then we went back to the car and rode back home. And we all lived happily ever after.

Well, I was watching TV with Honey a couple of nights ago, and we came upon a documentary about bakeries in Germany and what they offer and blah blah blah - we happened to tune in right at the moment when they were beginning to address belegtes Brötchen.

Belegtes. Not billiges. Belegtes means loaded, so belegtes Brötchen means loaded little bread, which is German for "sandwich".

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On a different note, I've started a new Blog! But this one is in German: Ich versuche auf Deutsch zu schreiben. If you're comfortable with your German language skills, please feel free to visit me there. You must, of course, excuse my Grammar... ich bin nur eine Anfängerin!


  1. Hello :) I totally sympathise with the language difficulties!! I told my mother-in-law at some point last year that (in mispronouncing the word for 'desert') I'd been inside a 45˚ sausage. Fail. I also had no idea thats what a belegtes Brötchen was, so thanks for that!

  2. Thx for the story, we laughed a lot! Greetings, Mona