One of my favorite things to eat is grilled cheese with tomato and tomato soup. My mom offered to make it earlier in the week, but it has been a little too warm for that kind of meal. Yesterday, however, was a little cooler, and rainy, so she offered again, and I accepted. We had purchased everything we needed, except for bread — the bread here has so few preservatives that it won’t last more than a day or so.
So, after getting Benjamin down for a nap, and giving up on getting one for Liam, I left my mom to supervise the kids and I went down to the bakery to purchase some bread. This isn’t as easy as it was at home. I don’t know what kind of bread I want, there are a dozen or so options, and they’re all back behind the counter, so I can’t get a really good look or squeeze or smell them — and even if I could, I struggle with pronouncing the names. I contemplated the options for a moment, and then gave up and decided to try my luck with English. It actually worked out — the guy behind the counter spoke excellent English and was kind enough to use it, and to make a recommendation on “something dark and good for sandwiches”. He thoughtfully chose a loaf for me, and I nodded gratefully, and then asked, with accompanying pantomime, if he would be able to slice it for me. (I may not learn a lot of German while I’m here, but I will be great at charades by the time I go home.)
He turned around, sliced the bread and told me the amount, I paid, got the bread and went to leave. But my bag felt a little light . . . and on second thought, shouldn’t it have been more expensive? Upon examining the contents of my bag, I realized that he hadn’t sliced the bread — he had cut the loaf in half. Bummer. Now I didn’t have enough for grilled cheese sandwiches. What to do? Should I interrupt the customer after me (now placing their order) to correct my mistake? Wait in the line of about 12 people (I swear, I’ve never seen so many people in this bakery, ever before) to fix it?
Nope. I’m neither that brave or that humble. I walked down to the next bakery and bought another whole loaf of bread. Afraid to make the same mistake twice, I didn’t even ask them to slice it.
And that’s the story of how I ended up with a loaf and a half of bread for sandwiches yesterday.