“Mit oder ohne?” (with or without?) is a question I had to quickly get used to when making my order at restaurants in Germany. “With or without what?” I would ask myself after ordering water with my meal. Would you also be confused?
Drinking Water in Germany
There are two instances of culture shock here:
1) I hadn’t considered that when ordering water in a country where it is perfectly safe to drink the tap water, they would automatically bring me bottled water (which I have to pay for).
2) Drinking sparkling water in the UK is not as common as it is in Germany. And whilst ‘sparkling water’ translates as ‘Sprudelwasser’, you can also just refer to water as being ‘with or without gas’.
…and the penny drops!
So at first, I was like “Ew, no. Why would I drink sparkling water, it’s so unnecessary.” But of course, you then start going to people’s houses, and are given ‘Sprudelwasser’ without a second thought – you just sip politely whilst wondering why this is even a thing. Not only that, but Germans love a spritzer (or Schorle). Whether it be with white wine, apple juice or blackcurrant juice, a bit of fizz in your drink seems to make all the difference in Germany!
And naturally, I adapted. I have particularly taken a liking to apple juice spritzer (Apfelschorle). So much so, that when I go home to London for a few days, I have to adapt to the lack of sparkling water, and look forward to the ease of access when I return to Germany. Ha!
To put things into perspective, Germans are so into ‘Sprudelwasser’ that it is even common to own an entire appliance dedicated to fizzing up your water. Depending on how fancy you go, the ‘Wassersprudeler’ (water sparkler) tends to sell from between €100 – €200!! Would you believe it!?
Never in my life did I imagine writing about sparkling water, but 4 years of living in Germany, and here I am! Now I’m really starting to wonder if the ‘Wassersprudeler’ is worth the investment🤔
Watch this space 😀