Monday, February 28, 2011

Butter Brez'n

I'm sitting at a high table near the eastern wall of Cafe Max-Weber-Platz, waiting for the clock to turn 9, so I can use the U-bahn. My month pass allows me to travel only after 9Uhr, at a substantial saving. While I am certainly thankful for the smaller impact on my wallet, this setup means that when I stay over at Allegra's, I have to bide my time before I can get to work. A slow coffee is the best way, especially since Cafe Max-Weber-Platz has (slow, but steady) WiFi access.

The City is already buzzing on this side of the river, which makes me realize how much of humanity I miss by rolling lazily out of bed at 9 in the morning. The woman at the Cafe is dealing with a steady stream of coffee-thirsty clients, requests made in German, the drawer of the cash machine registering each sale, wax paper crumpling while orders are packed. This could really happen anywhere, but what makes it Bavaria is not the food or the appearance of the people entering the shop, but the occasional calls of "Butter Brez'n" from the woman in the front to her compatriot at back. This inexpensive Brotzeitschmankerl is simple enough - a large salt pretzel with butter. It is quite popular here in the City and, apparently, the stock up front here in the Cafe is quickly expended. Hence the frequent calls to the back of the shop. While pretzels with butter can be found anywhere in Germany, really, it is the way the words are pronounced here that make them uniquely Bavarian. The Pretzel is called a Brez'n here, with a hard extended 'r'. The word Butter is pronounced more like 'Buthe'. The combination of strongly accented words just calls out Bavarian and grabs my ear every time it is uttered. Like just now, just as I was writing the last sentence :)

Ah, M√ľnchen! Your words can make my day!

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