I am not proud of this, but I’m really just a one trick pony in the language department. Sure, after four years of high school French and the shortest exchange program ever, I can get by in Paris and because of this, can occasionally make sense of written Italian or Spanish, but Czech? German? I couldn’t be further from makings heads or tails of it.
As you might expect, as Alex and I luckily found ourselves at some untouristy eateries in Vienna–without a waitstaff that catered to the language-deficient or menus reprinted in 16 world languages–quite a bit of Hilarity Ensued. After many hours of walking on a hot day, Alex and I were beat, so we flopped down at a cafe and mindlessly asked for “iced coffees” completely forgetting that “ice” equals “eis” equals “ice cream” in German, and ended up with a big cup filled with coffee, cream, whipped cream and a scoop of vanilla gelato. I wish all mistakes were this tasty!
Looking to offset the heavy dishes Central Europe, I also ordered something that I guessed was going to be a light, healthy vegetable strudel, something I’d imagined dreamily warm with crispy, flaky edges and something I was certainly going to want to repeat at home. Unfortunately, I received a brick of rice with a few flecks of carrots and parnsips, wrapped in phyllo and smothered in a creamy herb sauce. It all went very well with my eis Kaffee!