Sunday, 28 January 2018

Germany 2018 - day two

Woke up at 8am to go have hotel breakfast by 8.30. One of the things we noticed was that while they served scrambled eggs they didn't serve bacon with it. Instead they had meatballs. My dad went for the scrambled eggs with meatballs before I did and he discovered that the meatballs were extremely spicy. As if they had dropped the entire pepper container into the mix. I decided to not have meatballs.

Afterwards we went back upstairs for a short while and I tried to make myself look more adultlike. Not sure if I succeeded or if my face still says that I'm 16...

Then we went to the fair. We're in Germany specifically for ISM, which is the biggest fair for sweets and confectionary in the world, and my dad is one of the biggest sweets dealers in Sweden. We weren't exhibiting this year and instead mostly just walked around looking at other people's exhibits, collecting hand-outs and free samples, tying new contacts with people who looked like they might be manufacturing things my dad could sell, and talking to already established contacts getting to taste new flavours and comment on consistency of the sweets and the packaging and labelling. I didn't really do much else but listening, but I did offer up comments here and there and my dad always let me have an input if the contact person asked him a question. Last time I was here it was mostly as an interpreter for my dad's friend who isn't very good at English, but my dad knows English pretty well and I very very rarely have to help him on that front.

We also went to visit the Swedish pavillion. I was surprised at how many people there recognised me. It's been two years since I last saw most of them. It was kind of funny to be there though. It's very common in Sweden to sell sweets in bulk, even in the supermarkets. There's always a wall of containers with bulk candy and you grab a bag and a spade and scoop up whatever you like into the bag and then the price depends on how much the bag weighs at the end. But I've come to realise that that's something very very Swedish. It was packed with people checking it out. Welcome to ISM - where bulk candy for private citizens is exotic!

We had buckwurst for lunch, which is basically a boiled sausage in a bread bun. An actual bread bun, the kind you usually have for breakfast.

The fair closed at 6pm and we went back to the hotel for a quick freshen up and then met back downstairs in the lobby. A couple of minutes walking from the hotel is the pub Dominikaner where we met up with friends from Stockholm and had several beers. We had planned to go to Haxenhaus this night, but one of our Stockholm friends wanted to see the handball game. Sweden was playing against Spain and apparently it was pretty important game in a Cup (don't remember if it was European or World). They had TV screens and a pretty decent menu at the hostel where they were staying so we decided to skip Haxenhaus tonight and instead have dinner at their hostel while watching the handball game. The hostel staff was amazing. They quickly found out that their TV package didn't include the channel which aired the game, but instead they found a stream online and connected a laptop to a TV screen so that we could watch the game. Their menu was also really impressive. My dad and I decided to share a Colognian style tapas plate as a starter and then almost all of us had steak for main course. I was pleasantly surprised and actually impressed that the rare steak I ordered actually came our rare. For some reason it's not uncommon to get medium when I order rare :/
Colognian tapas plate. What looks like spring rolls actually had black pudding in them. What looks like fried sausage slices are actually liver. I liked everything but the liver.

Sweden lost the game (although we were in the lead in the first half) and after dinner and some wine three of us ordered Irish Coffee (except it came back as black coffee with whisky in it and then they had to mix flat cream into it themselves).

With a pleasant buzz we went back to our hotel and now it's really time to sleep.

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