World of Wonders

When one travels around by train – not that I would do much of this, I just “commute” between Franconia, Suebia, and now the bookmines for some time, so at least I can speak with the air of the regional trains’ seasoned user – when one uses trains, one uses a whole lot of infrastructure that is built around the ferrovia too, a word I use here simply because I like it, “eiserner Weg” or “eiserne Straße” in German, “iron road” perhaps ?
Of course there are the station buildings, some in the state of semi ruins, a long way since their start as “Cathedrals of Progress”. Even the most humble building on the countryside was planned and part of a larger attitude of self-representation, and (I may be wrong) I think these buildings were the first standardised houses used throughout the whole of Germany after 1871, and even before the unification of said year at least the Bavarians had developed some standard solutions for train stations and necessary outbuildings. No need to speak of Prussia, they surely had enough experience from building barracks, what else.
In the early times a station was graced by the “Bahnhofsbuffet”, where travelers were served even at ungodly hours, when other civilised taverns, pubs and watering holes were closed. Often these buffets were run by experienced innkeepers who went for quality in their kitchen. But, sadly, these days are gone.
Through the everything (at least in Europe) overthrowing Twentieth century the “Buffet” became the “Bahnhofskneipe” ; if it still exists, it is usually a dimly lit last refuge for beer drinking smokers, who start their daily grind (12 Pils, zwei Päckchen Maulbohro) early, and take their work seriously. It is not advisable to order something to eat in there, regardless if the final product is bought, just heated, and comes in its original wrapping, or “prepared freshly” in the sacred halls of said establishment. If you want to leave on your own legs …
So the hungry traveler better uses something else, and the friendly Bahnmanagement took care of these needs too by renting out the empty spaces to some chains that run supermarkets or snack dingalings. If you enter the hall of Würzburg station there are at least three different food stores plus a Macdonnels competing for your hard earned cash.
They usually offer more or less the same assortement of sandwiches and “baked” goods – they all have the hot air oven in the back where they heat prefabricated doughlings – the German technical expression is in fact “Teigling”.
But now and then someone becomes bored and/or creative with the endless standard products, and creates something new. I saw, and tried, interesting playful cross-breads involving Bretzel, Salami, and very much cheese. Also exist “pizza” variations, usually under a thick layer of cheese ; I usually meet these with suspicion, it is an all too easily tempting way to get rid of various leftovers, similar to the “Gulasch” of older times (or if need be, it was called “Pfefferfleisch”, pepper disinfects (and covers) anything, just boil the cra* through …).
But this week I found something that was really new to me :
The Currywurstpizza.
Everybody knows the poor people’s of Napoli food that conquered the world like organised crime, so there is no need to talk about pizza.
The Currywurst has its own history that starts sometime somewhere in post WWII Germany. As I remember there is a discussion if the creation was firstly served in Berlin or somewhere in the Rhineland / Ruhrgebiet. I do not know, and frankly I do not care. The trick is that one slices a sausage, drowns it in Schaschliksauce, and adds curry powder. Of course there are tons of variations, but this is the basic receipt. I always wonder who was in possession of curry powder in post WWII Germany ?
But as you see, it is a sliced sausage in a sauce, so it is served in a small paper bowl – how can you combine this with pizza ?
You use a really thick piece of dough, splatter the sausage over with something that may resemble the vague idea of sauce, and cover it with – of course You guessed it – cheese. Put it in the hot air oven until the cheese covers everything, voila there it is, 2,50 € please. I tried it, and can assure you that it is worth not one single copper penny.

I returned from the bookmines, simply because there was nothing more to do – waiting for the shelves, they’ll call me next week when the material is delivered. On the upside I found time to sort through the archival materials, and group related papers, so that the authorised person from the active administration can look at the stuff easily. I am sure that 75 % is not “archivwürdig” and can go directly into the shredder, while the rest needs to be archived, but stored at another location in the central building. This is already discussed with the man in charge, and if it all works out I can finish this whole thing next week.
But in the world of Currywurstpizza anything is possible.

5 thoughts on “World of Wonders

  1. Train travel from the deep and distant past has a whiff of romanticism and old leather suitcases.
    I sometimes wonder if I am the only person in the world that can’t bear more than one small slice of pizza in one sitting?
    I don’t think I could bear even a nibble of the Currywurstpizza, sounds like the wurstpizza ever.

  2. The deep & distant past also saw the “Holzklasse” where the poor and the parsimonious sat on wood benches. And where you better avoided to open a window and lean out, because the smoke of the idyllic tschuff-tschuff-locomobile carried mean smouldering parts from the wooden fire that would easily burn nasty patches into your clothes. What I like most are traveling gloves, Reisehandschuhe, the urbane person slipped over ones manicured hands. I am not quite sure from what material they were made, possibly cheap textile, to be thrown away after arrival.

    As magic has it, I just returned from shopping – and I bought a dirt cheap pizza “Diavolo”. It will go in one sitting.
    The inventor of the Currywurstpizza will be held accountable for his crime one day. Sadly it is not possible to reach out to the expertise at the Deutsche Currywurst Museum, it’s gone the way of all flesh. The world is a grim place.

  3. Gotinhimmel! (And my spelling is probably wrong) But that currywurstpizza is more wrong!
    I make my own pizza (with LX watching over my shoulder) and curry does NOT feature.
    But you are right on the target about trains having slipped down the scale of glamour and comfort.

  4. Yes, Currywurstpizza is an extraordinary kitchen crime, Dinahmow.
    Interestingly, now, in the holidyys, the trains are clean with air con & heating working, all doors working, even acceptable loos – at least those I use here in Franconia. They are simply not that crowded with all the pupils and students who use them on a daily basis – in September it will be back to the old grime ‘n slime.

    It’s people, Mrpeenee, it’s PEOPLE !

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