I used to say that the worst thing in the world was getting some kind of baked good that appeared to contain chocolate chips but then finding, after biting into it, that the dark specks in the treat were actually raisins. I like raisins, but they are nothing- NOTHING- compared to chocolate. Especially in baked goods, when the raisins generally lose all of their sweet plumpness and turn into shriveled sheaths of their former selves, hiding in the hollows that their previously robust forms carved out in the pastry.
The main point is that when you have great expectations for a snack and reality falls short, it can be far worse than never having had the snack at all! And today I had an experience even WORSE than the one described above (which, for the record, is also unfortunately drawn from personal experience).
Today I went to the grocery store, list in hand, prepared to stock my fridge and shelves for the week's meals. It was my first time going to the store alone in Germany. I patiently walked through all of the aisles, sometimes twice or three times if I didn't find what I needed. I planned to make a tasty looking quinoa salad similar to one I had at an honorary lunch earlier this summer, and managed to remember a number of things that weren't on my list, such as laundry detergent and tissues. I made sure that I scrutinized everything that was boxed or bottled to make sure I knew what I was buying (I learned it's pretty difficult to determine if a bottle of soap is laundry detergent or dish soap, and then I realized that I wasn't sure if I was sure that this was detergent and not fabric softener!). I was excited that I was able to find some things that were more tricky to purchase in the US, such as licorice tea (it's SO good but stores don't stock it because no one thinks so but me). I even grabbed an extra large basket to help me with my little bike problem (I HATE RIDING A BIKE TO WORK) and was feeling pretty proud of myself, not to mention tired and hungry, when I reached the cashier.
Who then informed me that Kaufland won't take Visa.
Really? REALLY, Kaufland? What do you take, friggin seashells?
I didn't have any cash, and as I expected the ringer looked at my checkbook like it was some kind of poisonous-looking mushroom. I sadly recalled the 30 minute section on taking cashiers check during my training at Filenes and my disdain for anyone lame enough not to have a working credit card. Oh, woe was me.
This story has a bittersweet ending. I'm cooking thick-sliced bacon and hashbrowns for the third night in a row, which at any other time would be a treat. But oh, I did so want that quinoa salad.