Whenever I travel, I tend to relate the sights I see in foreign lands to the things I remember from back home.
In Wurzburg, Germany, I was on a tour of the town when we came upon the Rathhaus, the town hall that's usually found in the center many German cities. What struck me was a small scale model near the entrance that enabled the blind to feel with their hands the contours of the larger structure and get a sense of the space. There was also a braille description of the building. What a great idea, I thought, and one that we'd do well to implement in our village. With such touch-friendly models, the hard of seeing would be able to get a sense of the structures that contribute so greatly to the personality and historical significance of Oak Park.
Then I came across something that I could not relate to. Having drinks with a group of people in Dresden, a young woman in our group ordered a drink and I told the server, with uncharacteristic flip, "I'll have the same." I shoulda known better. What I got was a Cola-Weizen, sometimes called "Diesel," a mixture of Coca-Cola and weizen, a top-fermented wheat beer. I enjoy the slight bitterness of wheat beers. But I guess there are enough people who don't like that bitterness, so adding coke sweetens the brew and makes it more palatable for them.
To me, adding coke kind of wrecks the beer, but I was intrigued by this and other mixtures, including "Radler," which is Sprite and beer and "Alster," which is Fanta and beer. Certainly, it would be easy to prepare such beverages at home, but I rather doubt I will.
So when I travel, I come across some great ideas…and some that, to me at least, not so great ones.
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