Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Grapefruit

My friends know that I attend the Freiburg Writers' Group although not too regularly. There I meet young aspiring writing hopefuls, some of them keen to read their latest oeuvres during our meetings.

Yes, I am the oldest guy by some 30 plus years but I like the ambiance and to do those writing exercises our American master of ceremony, holder of a doctorate in literature and head of Carl-Schurz-Haus's library, imposes unto his disciples.

©Wikipedia (Evan-Amos)
When last year I mentioned to him that I am just a humble blogger and not a writer he looked at me and demanded, "You write a blog about the grapefruit", a snappy reaction that rightly punished my cheeky remark.

Here I am, sitting in front of my iPad racking my brain about the grapefruit not having any relation to the fruit whatsoever. I like its taste but still not too much to buy me a grapefruit.


When I opened my e-mail browser yesterday morning looking into the news I suddenly became all excited reading the word Grapefruit-Fahrt (grapefruit trip) in the context of Butterfahrt and Kaffeefahrt. Deus ex machina, I am saved!

In my young days before the common European market came into being butter trips to Denmark were extremely popular in northern Germany. Whole families from grandma to the newborn baby mounted a bus in Hamburg, crossed the Danish border at Flensburg, bought one kilogram of butter per person duty-free, and, counting the fare, still made a benefit of a couple of Deutsche marks.

Times have changed. Nowadays crooked guys organize coffee trips instead. With a cheap fare, they lure older people to spend a few hours in the company on a bus, offering either a “free” lunch or even better the sacrosanct German Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) in a godforsaken village somewhere out in the wilderness. In the end, these hawkers sell overprized vacation trips or trashy blankets and household goods at more than a fair value to their passengers. When sales are going bad it happens that suddenly all the restrooms are locked until due to urgent necessities (watery coffee is offered in big quantities to seniors) wallets open in despair. This lately happened in Nottuln, a village south of M√ľnster, where Red Baron's grandparents once had a farm.

The author closes his article with an advice, "We should rather call those trips grapefruit trips for grapefruits are bitter, and you can squeeze them." I find his proposal rather funny peculiar than funny haha!

There goes my grapefruit anchor.

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