Buying German food products for the “yuks”…

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That’s right. “Yuks”. As in, laughing your ass off. I think we could all could use some more “yuks”, right?

Yesterday, while I was binge watching murder porn on Snapped, Bill came into our bedroom with a shelf stable container of oat milk. He likes to use animal free products sometimes because he’s a healthier person than I am on many levels. He said he bought the oat milk because of the label. Behold…

Bill and I have both noticed that while Germany has rules against “Beleidigung, that is, insulting people (especially people in authority like cops and politicians), they have no compunction about using English swear words in everyday language. For instance, one can be listening to an American pop song on the radio and if there are f bombs in it, you will hear them in all of their profane glory. Same thing with announcers on the radio, who regularly refer to “shitstorms”.

Personally, I’m alright with the profanity. I’m not a big believer in “bad words”, anyway. I really don’t think there is such a thing. Every word, in my opinion, is neutral. It’s the intent behind them that makes saying them good or bad. For instance, as a former English major at Longwood University, I took courses in African-American literature and Women’s literature. Both courses included slave narratives in which a certain taboo racist epithet was used repeatedly.

Was I offended? No, not really. That word was part of the lexicon at the time and the books would have lost their power without them. I was offended by the brutality of the way slaves were treated in those stories and the fact that their true stories are a shameful part of history. But the use of the n-word in those books is necessary. Same as it’s necessary in certain musical pieces, like Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City”, and even in certain 70s and 80s era sitcoms, in which racism was a topic that was tackled. The word is used to convey the extent of the contempt and racism of those times. Taking it out would lessen the impact of the pieces.

Because of that– and because I love language and all its quirks– I don’t believe in “bad words”. I don’t think they should be used as weapons. I think people should be judicious in how they use their language. But I’m not a fan of “banning” any specific words… and, as we can see from the above label, even “bad” words can mean different things to different people. I know many Americans who would blush seven shades of red at simply reading that label. They sure as hell wouldn’t have bought the product! But my husband bought it because of the words “fucking” and “bullshit”. He knew that I would get a big kick out of them.

The words “fucking” and “bullshit” don’t have the same impact in Germany as they do in America, just like the words “cunt” and “fag” don’t mean the same to Brits as they do to us Yanks. Hell, until very recently, there was an old village in Austria called Fucking. I should know, because Bill and I visited. We also visited Fuckersberg, Austria, because we’re nerds like that. Fucking recently changed its name after hundreds of years of being known as “Fucking”. Why? Because Americans kept stealing their road signs and doing things like having sex under the the signs. What a shame. Typical Americans ruining things for everybody.

Sigh… I really miss traveling. I look forward to the day when I can write a post on my travel blog that is actually about travel. But, for now, I will continue to get a big kick out of “fucking good Oatmilk” that makes “sexy Milchkaffee”. Except I don’t think I could bring myself to try oat milk… so maybe not. Bill is calling me to breakfast, so off I pop. Have a great Valentine’s Day!

Beer and Fucking Tour… Welcome to Austria, land of profane place names!

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After lunch, we sped down A8 toward Munich, then headed toward Salzburg as I fiddled with the sound system in my car.  The weather was beautiful and I was tempted to put the top down.  Bill was afraid something would fly out of the backseat, so I refrained.  I had noticed on the map of the area near Franking, there was a place called “Fucking”.  I thought that was funny and looked it up on Google.  Sure enough, people had visited and taken pictures… and yes, there had been quite a few folks who decided to steal the sign.

As it turned out, we didn’t have to go out of our way to visit Fucking.  It was on the way to Franking and we drove right through the village.

And yes, I got a picture…  

I had been afraid that someone would harass me, but there was no one in sight when I took this photo.  In fact, the whole village of Fucking consists of maybe five or six houses.  We went through it so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to photograph the exit sign.  But anyway, yes, this is a real place and it’s pretty charming.  If you visit the Moorhof, you can cruise through Fucking too…  Also, you can read more about Fucking in earlier posts on this blog.

Anyway, after Fucking, we were soon close to our destination.  My amusement over unusual place names turned to awe as I noticed just how pretty the country is around the Moorhof.  Indeed, it reminded me a little of Sanford, North Carolina, which is a country town in the middle of North Carolina where Bill and I lived for two years.  Of course, near Franking, you can see the mighty Alps in the distance.

Approaching the Moorhof…

When we got to the rurally situated inn, we entered the lobby, which appeared to be deserted.  A kind woman answered when Bill finally hit the bell summoning her.  She spoke little English, but between Bill’s sucky German and her somewhat better English, we determined that we were assigned room 28.  We had booked the beer spa package, which included a partial (back) massage, a beer bath, the oat straw bed, and a four course beer inspired dinner on Saturday, which was the day of our treatment.

The entrance to the inn…

Looking around the hotel, I got a distinct 80s vibe.  It was quaint and cute, but a little old fashioned.  However, the staff was very kind and the prices were reasonable.  Because it was close to dinner time when we arrived, we opted to eat at the inn.  We had a choice of rotbarsch (ocean perch) or pork cutlets.  I had the fish and Bill had the pork.  This meal came with four courses and was priced at the bargain low sum of just 15 euros.

Bill and I, along with a family of five– grandparents, parents, and an adorable little girl, were the only ones around on Friday night.

Bill waits for dinner to start.

Super quaint dining room…

A little bar in the dining area.  They also have a very cozy Stuble on the other side of the hotel.

 

We start with a simple salad.

I pause to take a picture of the fireplace and mantle, circa 1986.  That explains a lot, actually.

Next was soup.  This was some kind of beef terrine served in a broth.  It was good.

My pumpkin seed encrusted rotbarsch with parsley potatoes and tartar sauce.

Bill’s pork cutlet with krauterbutter, vegetables and potato wedges.

The first of many beers.

Plum cake for dessert!

The local dark beer was a winner!

One thing I did that Bill didn’t do (and regretted) was pack my own pillow.  I have found that in a lot of traditional hotels, pillows are small and in short supply.  I like a couple of pillows when I sleep.  It turned out to be a good thing I brought my pillow because both places we stayed only offered one wimpy pillow per customer.

Also, I made a new discovery when I spotted this on the nightstand…

Just so you know… this is used to repel insects…  Plug it in and supposedly it keeps the beasties away.

 

At first, I wondered if it was a thin piece of chocolate.  Nope.

 

Bugs weren’t a huge problem in our room, but we did end up plugging that thing in on the second night after Bill left the balcony door open awhile.  It did seem to help and didn’t smell bad.

The bed was comfortable, aside from not having enough pillows, and the shower was surprisingly good.  It was a rainfall shower and was just heavenly.  The bathroom was the old style WC in a separate room and there was a hokey fake rock sticker on the cabinet.  But the shower made up for the room being a bit dated.  It was pretty awesome.

Quick and dirty review of Fucking Hell beer…

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Fucking Hell beer…  Pardon the cone of shame in the background…

 

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that Bill and I have been planning a trip to Austria next month.  One of the places I’m hoping to see is the tiny town of Fucking, Austria.  Yes, it’s immature for me to want to go there simply to take a photo of the sign.  I just can’t resist the urge, though, because I have no shame or children to worry about.

While I was researching a visit to Fucking, I was made aware of a German beer called Fucking Hell.  Obviously, this beer was so named because its creators are marketing “geniuses” who are hoping to cash in on all the foul mouthed English speakers who live in Germany.  I am a foul mouthed English speaker and I do plan to visit Fucking, where I expect to get harassed when I try to take a photo of one of the signs.

This beer was supposedly named after Fucking, though the town does not actually have a brewery.  So I knew I had to try it, especially when I read about the controversy caused when brand owners Florian Krause and Stefan Fellenberg first tried to register their product.

If you think about it, the name Fucking Hell is only potentially offensive to English speakers.  Fucking is not a German epithet and hell refers to a light German lager.  In German speaking countries, it should be perfectly fine…  although obviously, most German speakers probably know that the f word is a dirty swear.  Anyway, on with the review…

My order of Fucking Hell arrived yesterday via the very kind German mail carrier who serves my neighborhood.  I had also ordered a Fucking Hell hoodie, but I guess it’s backordered because it wasn’t in the box.  I put a few brews in the fridge to give them a chance to cool down.

I checked out reviews of Fucking Hell on the Untappd app before I tried it.  I also checked Rate Beer.  The ratings weren’t exactly preparing me for a mind blowing beer.  I think it barely rated three stars on a five star scale or came very close to three stars.  Still, this beer is made by the Hartmannsdorf Brauhaus in accordance with the German beer purity laws.  In fact, you can check out the label, written in English and German, and see where it expressly states what it in the beer and that it’s made the way the Germans think it ought to be made.  And that tells me the beer is going to be perfectly drinkable, but pretty boring.

After the beer had a chance to cool down a bit, I got myself a glass and poured the brew.   It had a somewhat foamy head composed of medium sized bubbles, lots of lacing, and the color was sort of a dark, almost amber looking hue.  I gave the beer a chance to settle somewhat, then tasted it.  It had a slightly skunky aroma, somewhat reminiscent of Heineken, though not quite as skunky as Heineken is.  To me, the flavor was slightly nutty, though not strongly so.  At 4.9% ABV, it’s not a really strong beer and it goes down fine on a hot summer day.  It’s not offensive, but it’s also not exciting or interesting.

Yes, it’s kind of hokey that this beer was named after an Austrian town that doesn’t actually have a brewery and is located nowhere near Berlin.  But there’s truth in advertising.  This beer is definitely a hell… and though it’s not exactly hell to drink it, it won’t blow your mind or burn your butt.  I doubt I will buy more of Fucking Hell, though it’s fun to drink it now and I’ll certainly be able to finish the case I purchased.

If you’re curious and don’t want to buy a whole case of this brew, you can get six or twelve packs.  The online store also offers a number of fun accessories including t-shirts and glassware.  I think it would be great if this company went to a place where there are no purity laws so they could really make this beer something interesting.  As it stands now, I think Fucking Hell is perfectly average and tastes like a lot of other mass produced beers… though it’s somewhat better than the watery likes of Budweiser or Michelob.

This is a video review of Fucking Hell.  The reviewer gets it wrong when he says it was brewed in Fucking, Austria.  It was not brewed there.  I don’t think it tastes awful, as the reviewer says, but it’s not a very interesting beer.  On the other hand, if it really tasted awful, maybe it would really live up to the name as it’s understood in English…    

The beer and Fucking tour…

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That’s what I’m calling our next planned trip.  And no, it’s not because we’re planning to do a lot of boots knocking during our travels.

Since we’ve been back in Germany, Bill and I have been determined to try to see more.  The last time we lived here, we didn’t travel very much during the first year of our stay.  We thought we were going to get the standard three years.  We ended up with just barely two years.  Since Bill is now a contractor, we have decided not to take living in Germany for granted.  It’s entirely possible that we’ll have to move again a year from now.

Bill has been wanting to visit Gruyeres, Switzerland since we lived here last time.  We meant to go in 2008, but circumstances did not line up for us to make it to the land of chocolate, cheese, and weird museums.  On Sunday afternoon, I was trying to come up with a plan for a weekend in Switzerland next month.  Once again, the cards of fate seemed stacked against me.  I had a hard time figuring out exactly where we should go.  Then my attention shifted to Austria.

There is a hotel in a small town about twenty miles from Salzburg that offers a beer spa.  I have been wanting to go to that hotel since our last long term stay in Europe.  During our five years living in the States after our first Germany tour, I thought about how we could get there so I could take another beer bath.  I wondered how I’d justify visiting Franking, Austria when we’d have to travel thousands of miles to get to Europe and there were so many other, bigger, more exciting cities we hadn’t yet seen.  Salzburg itself is a great town and Bill and I were only there for a day back in 2012.

Anyway, I was looking at the hotel in Franking and noticed on the map that close to Franking, there is another town called Fucking (pronounced Fooking).  Naturally, that tickled me, since I have a filthy sense of humor.  I looked it up and discovered that this tiny little town has become the subject of much mockery from English speakers.  Town officials have had to put up theft proof signs and closed circuit television in order to discourage tourists from stealing the signs and/or having intercourse in front of them.  The town has been so rattled by tourists disturbing them that they even tried to get the name changed.  It was not allowed.

Well, that piqued my interest.  I told Bill about it and he agreed, Fucking is a town we need to visit, if only so I can get a photo of the theft proof signs.  Maybe we’ll just drive through.  Maybe we’ll stop for lunch.  And it’s not far from Franking, where we can take beer baths and relax in a country atmosphere.

Then I started thinking about Austria’s famed Starkenberger beer pools.  They are located at the Starkenberger brewery in Tarrenz, Austria.  Looking around the Web site, I see that Tarrenz is a very picturesque area.  Though a dip in the beer pool will be very costly, it’s the kind of thing that is often on a beer lover’s bucket list.  Having already enjoyed a weekend at Chodovar’s beer wellness land in the Czech Republic, this is just the kind of activity for people like Bill and me.  And it definitely fits in with the beer baths we hope to enjoy in Franking.

I started looking for lodging in Tarrenz and found there were slim pickings there.  However, the area is well saturated with lodging in other towns.  I chose a hotel in Lermoos that looks pretty damn awesome.  Lermoos is about ten miles from Tarrenz.  Better yet, because it’s not ski season time, the hotels are reasonably priced.

We have been to the Tyrol area of Austria, but in the past, we’ve always stayed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the Edelweiss Lodge.  Garmisch-Partenkirchen, as we all know, is in Germany, and the Edelweiss Lodge is not exactly authentically European style accommodation.  The only reason we went down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen was because Bill had conferences at the Edelweiss Lodge.  I’d go with him and take day tours with other bored housewives.  Now that Bill doesn’t go down there for work, it’s time we visited the area as tourists and checked it out more thoroughly.  It will be nice to stay in Austria instead of Germany, too.

I have to admit, my first impressions of Austria back in 1997 were not all that positive.  I thought it was a very pretty country with little soul.  I was wrong about Austria.  Every time I’ve been back, I’ve found more to like about it.

As for Switzerland, we are still planning a trip.  I think maybe we’ll try to go to Gruyeres in October.  Or maybe we’ll finally get to Ireland, which is another place we’ve been wanting to visit.  These plans are, of course, not in line with our usual champagne bucket method of choosing places to go.  The champagne bucket method should really be used in times when you can’t decide where to travel.  This time, we know we want beer and Fucking, so there’s no need to involve fate.

Hopefully, this beer and Fucking tour will turn out beautifully.  I look forward to blogging about it.  Incidentally, I have also written about this on my main blog, but that post was composed before we made up our mind to actually visit this fabled part of Austria.