There are many fine, bright minds in Germany, so don’t take this essay in an all encompassing light; that said, in the paradox of human experience, the German people are without a doubt, the most uniformly-socially retarded people this investigator has ever encountered…
Breakfast at a Pizzaria
Britz, a southern suburb of Berlin, I had once described as more than dead, actually dead and embalmed. It is the most ‘German’ area I’ve encountered in this city, which is more typically multi-cultural, vibrant and alive.
I had been staying with a friend over the weekend, and on Saturday morning walked to find an out of doors café for early breakfast and coffee. In this large suburban area with few opportunities for culture in any sense, there is a reasonably large shopping center located at the JohannesThalerChausee [Germans run words together like a double mouthful of pasta] underground station, where there are several possibilities for uninteresting food. But only the pizzaria has pleasant out of doors seating .. with a typical German breakfast menu. So my decision had been made for me.
Here in Berlin’s spiritual center for the German ‘I hate my life’ culture, I had an interesting hour’s observation.
The pizzaria’s waitresses obviously have been hired for their sex appeal, and are apparent ‘high maintenance’ personalities who despise working Saturday mornings for any number of possible reasons but the most obvious reason is they’d had a ‘real’ Friday night preceding.
There was one on shift when I’d arrived at opening hour (9 AM) and all of 3 customers to begin the pizzaria’s day. She came and took my order with the forced and pained smile that typifies the mainstream German philosophy: ‘I hate my life.’ Her amazing bum might offset this for some of the customers, perhaps a calculated ploy of management.
Waiting 40 minutes for my food (my coffee arrived in 20) my typically agile mind took in the surroundings.
Berlin’s urban sparrows have adapted to scavenging crumbs from beneath the tables at the out of doors cafés, but have not evolved patience with the slow deployment of possibilities on Saturday mornings. One of them, communicating irritation at my providing no timely sustenance to her growing family, took the opportunity to perch directly above my head and aimed a defecation directly my way. I saw the danger and dodged the bomb.
Then my coffee had arrived and thinking to dispel further danger, I broke the little graham cracker that came with the coffee into bits the size of a match head and flicked them ten or so feet away from me, to preoccupy the sparrows. One of the other customers watched all the while with the typical German look of disapproval, which was supposed to halt my anti-social behavior.
But this was not nearly as important to me as placating the angry birds.
At 30 minutes, the waitress reappeared with a plate, napkin and utensils, as well as senseless salt and pepper, but not my food, and I only was pleasant to her.
Over the ½ hour preceding, two more waitresses had manifest, slowly, as though eternity were about to begin, concluding the previous night’s passion play. These two had arrived consecutively, first to drink a coffee and smoke in their civilian clothes, and suddenly turned out in uniform to work the morning shift. The very pretty and buxom dark haired German was hung-over to a point of near nausea, it was plain to see, while the strikingly beautiful Mediterranean woman who followed with identical ritual caffeine and nicotine prior to morphing into mere hired help, looked out upon her morning world with a despise that was plainly remarkable. Clearly, she’d been the Queen of Sheba in a previous incarnation, and only hours before at that.
The customer base had swelled to five in the meanwhile, an old German couple that epitomize the Britz neighborhoods had wandered in, he wanted only to sit down, she hen-picked and badgered him across the vast seeming several meters distance of the pizzaria patio with obvious superiority of aesthetic taste for seating at identical tables. Sniping [her] and whining [him] for what certainly could not have been five minutes but in reality seemed five eternities, while making this life challenging decision, it sinks in why a recent poll of Germans not surprisingly discovered old people are more a social irritant in this nation than Islamic extremists.
At minute 40 [approximately] my two bread rolls, one slice of cheese, four assorted slices of salami and diced various fruits had arrived, all the while the three waitresses had managed to look incredibly busy but in actuality had been gossiping, using their cell phones, smoking and commiserating, but above all, loving to hate a circumstance of rising from the dead against their will on a Saturday morning.
The sparrows were not in the least interested in a slice of banana I’d inadvertently fumbled and landed on the patio surface where almost certainly a hung-over woman with a beautiful bum would have stepped on it. I thoughtfully retrieved the errant fruit about the time management had arrived. Dressed like a handsome young Don out of a Mafia movie, whether in reality or for stereotype or deliberate image sake, one could only wonder whether he’d stipulated ‘high maintenance’ & ‘I hate my life’ embodied in striking beauty, relating to contracts for employment or if this were purely a subliminal demand.
Having finished my breakfast in a respectable 20 minutes from arrival on my table, not quite wolfing it down, but wanting away from the sparrows now threatening me like Hitchcock’s ‘Birds’, I drew an almost genuine if stuttering, uncertain smile of sincere wishing to express gratitude, when I tipped my waitress one Euro, as though she could not believe ..