My thanks to Nathalie, who invited me for a coffee at a cafe on the Schlossplatz. A pleasant day, though still cold. And Nathalie made some good points:
1. Don't be a baby. Shut up and go buy stuff. (Tommy the Englishman said this, too, to be fair.)
2. Don't try to ask questions, or do something complicated, if there is a long line. Just come back later.
3. Go to cafes, and you will be fine. First, lots of people are happy to practice their English. Second, the waiters, when they hear your American accent, will assume that they will get an actual tip, instead of the back of the hand they expect from German customers or students.
So, okay, I'll try again.
First, though, I went to Kaufland, the... store, I guess you would call it. But it is three different enormous levels. It's a little like a cross between a Whole Foods and a Super WalMart. They....have....everything. I was in there for two hours. Here is what I accomplished.
A. Got all the stuff I needed to fix up the Gbike. Back basket, which fit perfectly. Set of allen wrenches, so I could tighten the handlebars and raise the seat. Much, much better. Bungee cords, so I could keep all the loot in the baskets, fore and aft. The Gbike is now officially as cool as a girl's bike with a 50 year old guy on it could be.
B. Amazing stuff in the store. One thing I remember: they had a kind of ice cream called "Mövenpick." I thought to myself, Tom Gilligan makes ice cream? 'Cause I know that Gilligan must have picked up the copyright on the movin' pick. Nobody does it better.
C. The multi-level grocery store sounds like a bad idea. How are you going to move the big carts around? Answer: escalators. Wait, that can't be right. Oh, yes it can! The escalators flat, like the people movers at airports, but then elevated 20 degrees so they slope up. Won't the carts just roll backwards/forwards? Nope. The wheels have many little slots, and so do the escalators. The wheels lock in very effectively, but then unlock smoothly at the end of the escalator. Just the experience of riding this escalator occupied me for 20 minutes, with my cart.
D. Got excellent bread, cheese, and Franconische senf (spicy sweet mustard). EV Olive oil. Balsamic vinegar. Butter. Marmalade. A little bottle of that German kaffe-milk, to which I have become accustomed for coffee or tea.
E. And, then, the main course: Onions. Potatoes. Sauerkraut. Bockwurst. All in quantities large and cheap.
Then I hurried home with my bounty. Boil the potatoes, cut up small. At the same time, cook the onions in the EVOO, with some spices. (Paprika, salt, pepper). When the onions are good and carmelized. put in the bockwurst. Put the drained potatoes, and then the drained sauerkrat, on top. Let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
I took some ciabatta bread, drizzled it with EVOO, and then broiled it for five minutes. Added some Emmentaler cheese (which is good and melty), and broiled again.
Then....bockwurst with lots of mustard, onions and potatoes in s-kraut juice, the s-kraut itself, and the ciabatta bread with browned Emmentaler. That would have been one of Herb's all time favorites. Happy to represent.