Best Burger in the World

I’m pretty excited as this weekend our local fall fest kicks off here in our home town. What excites me isn’t the rides but the single best burger I have ever eaten returns.

Let me tell you a story.

A few years ago we moved to Moosburg. My wife started working with the local midwife and on some evenings gave classes to pregnant women. We had a habit of eating a little something after the  boys were in bed. So we could have a little us time. On one particular evening we had a snow storm. Nothing serious but not something you really want to be out in for long. I had noticed my wife was running a little late but I figured it was the snow that was slowing her down. She arrived about 15 minutes later than normal and she had a bag with her. “I brought us some burgers from the place in town.”   She announced.  “What place in town?” I asked “This place called the “Moosburger InBiss”,  she added, “you must have seen it.” Naturally my memory went to crap at that point and I said no I hadn’t seen it. “Well Evie (her colleague) said we should try it.” Ok, I figured, it can’t be that  bad to try. So we sat down on the couch and she reaches into the bag and pulls out a salad bowl that was upside down with a burger filling it. Seriously this was plastic salad bowl for a decent salad (not a side order salad), completely filled with a burger. I was mildly shocked to see a burger this size. Let me try to describe this burger. It’s as I said big enough to fill a salad bowl. It has a meat patty that covers the entire bread. They have copiously spread a mustard/mayo sauce and a little chili paste. Lettuce and for those who like it a bit of onion, and that’s about it. It doesn’t seem like they do much but it tastes so good. Of course for a bit more money you can have a slice of cheese as well (which I always do). The burger runs you about 6 Euros and it is worth every penny. One of the big selling points is that all the ingredients were all locally sourced. The bun was from a local bakery, the meat came from the local butcher. The vegetables are also purchased from the local farmers’ markets. The burger was so good that I went out into the snow storm to buy two more. I immediately designated this as the best burger in the world (at least that is not made at home).

Sadly the restaurant couldn’t stay above water, but usually twice a year during the spring and fall fests they return with all their burgery goodness. I’m such a good customer that they know me the moment I walk up to the stand with a “Hello Mr. Reed we were wondering when you would arrive!”.



I Love Munich and Let Me Tell You Why!

Bavarians have the wrap for being a grumpy bunch, especially those from Munich. I won’t lie to you, for many people they are so and they are proud of it so get over it. What many people don’t realize though Bavarians are some of the most welcoming, friendly, and warm hearted people I’ve ever met. I’m being serious. If you don’t believe me you should take a peek of the reports of the outpouring of support for the refugees from Syria as they have arrived at Munich’s main train station in the last couple of weeks. The first bunch of refugees kicked off the locals to deliver so much food, clothes, water, toys, etc. that the train station was filled, and had to turn away donors, telling them to take their donations to the refugee agencies that need it.

Just today, while I was visiting Munich with my family, the first of approximately 10,000 refugees arrived. When they arrived they didn’t hear the boos, and hisses that have greeted the German Chancellor when visiting an Eastern German city last week. No they heard applause, and greetings, and their children were given sweets.

So no matter what you think about Germans and Bavarians in particular, you have to know that when it comes to compassion, and humanity, then they have it in abundance here, and this is one of the reasons I will always love Munich.

— JR

German Government Sets Time Based Protection for E-Book Sales

The German government has apparently decided it is too easy for children to purchase e-books online that have adult or sexual themes. To prevent this instead of, oh I don’t know requiring that an age check is provided to prevent the book being sold to minors, have instead chosen to enact rules that such books may only be sold between the times of 22:00 (10pm for you civilians) and 06:00 according to this article I read on the BBC. Like that is going to prevent children from finding the book?

The problem isn’t that the book sellers are marketing the book for minors. The problem is that there are too many parents out there who don’t pay attention and monitor what their children are doing on line. So long as parents ignore the advice given by the German government about the dangers of sexually explicit reading material on the gentle minds of their children, forcing book companies to bend over backwards to fix something that really isn’t their problem just doesn’t make sense. I mean really, an online shop is open 24 hours, what keeps a kid from accessing the site within the given time frame? You know most kids that have an interest in something like this book also have this nifty device called a “Smart Phone” and they can use them to access the internet? So does that now mean that mobile internet providers need to know if their user is a minor and prevent them from accessing the internet during the hours of 22:00 and 06:00? According to your logic with the book sellers they should even though IT IS NOT THEIR PROBLEM?

I’m a parent, I live in Germany (I’m not German and sometimes I’m happy for that), and my wife (who is German) do everything we can to protect our children, but it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that our children do not access inappropriate material online. It is not the job of the companies that provide the technically legal material. Stop wasting money for the sake of trying to look like you are doing something, otherwise you look like the US Government and we all really don’t want that.

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Mother’s Day! Father’s Day? What?

So Mother’s day is basically upon us this weekend (which reminds me that I need to think of something the boys can do for their mom on Sunday). Apparently, as far as I’ve seen, Mother’s day is pretty much international. All mothers in the world will have their day at the same time (I wonder who actually was able to organize that?) What I failed to realize until a couple of years ago is that Father’s day is not an international celebration (gasp!) In fact here in Germany there is no official Father’s day. What does tend to happen is this. There is a religious holiday called “Christihimmelfahrt” or as we who like easier words (i.e. we English speakers) say “Ascension day”. If you are still confused, it is the day that Christ was suppose to return to heaven (thus the German word which translates directly as “Christ heaven goes” and not “Christ farts in heaven” which gets me the Bavarian Stink Eye™ from my wife). Any way the men in Germany (apparently it doesn’t matter if they are fathers or not) use this day to get together and drink beer and watch sports calling it “Vaterstag”.

Now I’m not a religious guy, but to me this is distasteful. If German men want a special day that they can get together and drink beer and watch sports they shouldn’t just take someone else’s holiday (oh yes that day is officially a day off the work for most Germans regardless of gender) they should have a specific Sunday for this (just like we do in America more on that later).

In school and kindergarten my children are told that they should make something for papa for Vaterstag, and honestly I really wish they wouldn’t encourage people this way. It’s not that I’m a religious person, but it just seems wrong to choose a day that is originally set aside for a religious holiday because you are too lazy to lobby for a proper recognition day. To me what they are doing is just stepping on other peoples toes and being pretty tacky about it.

In the United States we have Father’s day as the third Sunday in June, and that’s something I can support. It is a Sunday (so basically the same day as Mother’s day) and not a religious holiday (other than what Sunday is usually). I’ve even gone so far as to tell my children that they should keep the gift they made in school or kindergarten until the American Father’s day happens. I even encourage them to explain it to their teachers. I will keep spreading the word of a proper Father’s day until, well at least until something else catches my attention. Let’s be honest I’ve got the attention span of a gnat.

On that note I’m going to leave I may have enough time to get the boys to draw some pictures for the mother for tomorrow.

— Jason

Similarities Between Germany and the United States: Weather

When meeting a new person here in Germany for the first time and I mention that I’m an American they are usually at first surprised, and say “I thought you were British.” Or they ask me “Are you British?” Inevitably once we have established that yes I am a strange character being an American living outside the United States the next question they ask is “Where in the United States are you from?” to which I answer “I’m from Ohio originally.” After finally establishing that Ohio is “somewhere in the middle” one of the things I’m asked is “what’s the weather like in Ohio this time of the year.”

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Enjoying a Pause on 1st of May.

Actually I think it is we Americans that tend to call 1st of May “May Day” and usually that brings to our minds (at least those of us who grew up during the cold war) of Soviet military parades and reminders that even though we weren’t shooting we were still at war. I know that even after so many years living in Europe I still haven’t quite got the grasp of the 1st of May.

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The Surprises You Find When Customs Investigates

A couple of weeks ago we sent my mother a package containing some pictures of our kids, and a couple of photo books. To fill out the package we filled it with all kinds of different German sweets, some small packages of tissue, and some napkins, and finally a couple of pictures my children drew for her. My mom confirmed she got the package last week, but apparently some things were added to the package.

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