Baddie and the bread cages
At Mr. Baddie’s request, I must share what he termed “a rather good way you have of picking up guys” with all you out there … especially if you are *cough* single *cough* .
I call it the “bread cage method” and of course it’s not something I do on purpose, but the beauty of it is YOU CAN. Here is the lowdown:
Come to Germany. Enter any self-service bakery/ Backfactory / supermarket that has a fresh bread self-service corner. And believe me, there are gazillions of them. Decide which bread you want, and make sure you choose the furthest away from you, wedged tightly among a lego-like mount of other loaves or buns. Better yet, if you find yourself in the company of a friend / relative /some elusive voice inside your head, ask her or him to choose, and then
stupidly allow them to walk away. They will inevitably choose the hardest bread to get.
Now let’s backtrack a bit. Do you know what these bread self-service points look like in Germany? Well? do you? Nothing like the innocent, hamless rows of open boxes you get in the UK. No, these are literally labyrinthian cages, and it takes an IQ of 200 and the manual skills of a dentist performing root canal surgery to extricate a bun. There are two sorts: the “easy” type, found in bakeries, where the buns / bread are stored in these clear plastic containers with little doors. You use one hand to open the little trap door, a second hand to hold the pincers which you are required to use for grabbing the bread*, and your third hand to hold the bag you want to drop it in. You begin to see the problem?
The “advanced” type, however, is a truly marvelous contraption. An architectural feat of engineering, this large cage is made of metal and plastic and has several compartments. In the back, different sorts of bread huddle together, a bit like rabbits in a warren. On the outside, there’s you, eyeing them greedily. Between you and that back compartment there is: a corridor, a trap door, a smaller compartment next to you with an opening. No, this is not the shop or Frankenstein’s lab I am describing. We are still talking about the inside of this cage. You as a customer are provided with a long type of tool with a triangular end which falls at a perpendicular angle to the handle. It is meant to dislodge the bread and bring it towards you along its inexhaustible path. That’s the theory. The practice, meanwhile, is a tad different.
Can you then understand why I have recently been defeated by the “easy” system in a bakery? yet after a few minutes of fiddling, miraculously, a third hand did appear and opened the trap door for me! It was a (normal looking, 30-something) guy who having noticed what I was doing – or rather not doing – came to my rescue!
But this is nothing compared to my long battle to get a loaf from inside the “advanced” system! trust me, after 5 minutes, you get really, really frantic; you try to poke ALL the bread inside with the long instrument – well, yes, I admit, a certain murderous intent did cross my mind. At the same time, I couldn’t help thinking I might be rather good at fencing. Throughout my martial display, from the corner of my eye, I could see a guy (30-something, decent looking) a few meters to my left, watching me. During a brief moment of respite, he comes closer and pleasantly enquires if he can help. I hand over the long tool, grateful beyond words. He attacks the bread above, not the one at the bottom I was uselessly trying to get
because I have half a brain. He gets the bread! I smile, relieved and the guy leaves. Without getting any bread for himself. Wait a minute…
PS I will not despair. My sister-in-law promised I can have her bread-maker!
*otherwise you will get hunted down and kicked out of the country. This is Germany, after all.
Edit: and here are some pictures I’ve taken today: