Thanks for introducing me to the wide world.
I looked in the dictionnary for the word “mega-erudite”. Whaaaw!
May I invite you on a pizza-evening?
Never been near the bloody place and don't want to, but I thought that the English-speaking world should not be denied the pleasure of mega-erudite master German wordsmith 6Kraska6's memorable evening, which I attempted to render into English.
This item tastes best uncooked i.e. in German but should be good for a giggle ;-)
Translation of the original german text by: Master-Interpreter Qyper “ChiantiClassico” (Thank you!)
Nicht, daß zu befürchten wäre, diese Pizzeria könnte Weltruf erringen, sodaß man ein internationales Publikum warnen müßte, aber ich find die Übersetzung von ChiantiClassico einfach so chianti-klasse, daß ich sie Euch zeigen möchte:
AN UNINTERESTING AND ENDLESS TALE WITH HIGH CHOLESTEROL CONTENT
How to spend your evening in the provinces.
I’ve heard that 83% of those studying philososphy abandon their course before conclusion. Although I belong to the bizarre remaining 17%, I can actually understand that. Why complete a long and disgustingly expensive university education that isolates you into complete social incompatibility, to still end up after 14 terms only partially understanding everything that Granny always said?
So what did Granny say then? Well: there is ‘no light without shadow’, a ‘good and a bad side to everything’, and all that kind of stuff. When all is said and done, this type of folksy Yin and Yang dialectics provides little help when applied to key issues in life (e.g. why did Pat piss off with the postman, how am I going to finally give up smoking, where the f..k can I still get a drink at this time of night?).
Based upon all of Granny’s reassuring wisdom I could well say: “Okay. Foul, horrendous dives do indeed have a raison d’être. It’s because otherwise, we would not appreciate the true pearls in the gastronomic ocean!
So is that in fact the case? Then for chrissake please tell me just why WE HERE must lurk in the SHADOWS, while the LIGHT solely shines on places like Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg (or - O.K. guys - also in Baden).
It wasn’t even supposed to be anything special yesterday evening, just a normal, thin, crunchy, hearty and 'please go easy on the cheese’ stone-baked pizza. Maybe with an extra portion of anchovies. Elsewhere - and I know this from Qype - the streets of entire neighbourhoods are plastered with them. Whoops, not with anchovies - that would be disgustingly scaly! I mean plastered with crunchy pizza joints. But try and find one in Duisburg.
Indeed, since yesterday, your search will take even longer, because when we want to go to the PIZZA NAPOLI that boasts a fine stone oven, we discover that it has gone and that only cold-blooded building work is on the menu. “Duisburg’s urgently-needed one hundred thousandth mobile phone shop is being erected here.” So NAPOLI is kaputt, pizza is busted, the mafia has moved on: what the hell do I know? You can’t even rely on the demimonde and underworld of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Straße any more.
Unfortunately, my flexibility has its firm limits. When I go out for a pizza, then I have adjusted my mindset to pizza. I cannot suddenly switch to dim sum or sushi, because that’s not my way. I need the joy of anticipation where food is concerned. Apart from that, it would be like spending a whole evening trying to pull a bird for and - when her fellow unexpectedly arrives to pick her up - saying: “Oh sod it, I’m gay anyway.” That would be incredibly flexible and cool, but it ain’t my way. A hint of stubborn grumpy old man already setting in? Could be. Anyway, the pizza plan remained firmly in force.
“DA PEPPINO”. Hrrm… Okay, why not? New owner, friendly lighting, calm and inviting decor, Italian menu. “Right - we are going to try them out!” With these words, I take on the leadership of our team of two and lead the advance. Inside, only three of eight tables are occupied. No reason to suffer from stressed-out waiter syndrome, then? We decide upon a cozy little corner. Unfortunately so much so, that like the Sleeping Beauty, we seem to be in a state of suspended animation. I first have to personally venture over to the waiter and invite him to be so kind as to honour us with the odd visit to our table. And what can I say? He agrees! He’s coming! My military advance achieves no more and no less than the capture of two menus.
I confess that I am actually rather fond of being asked whether I would like a drink and what it should be - even if it’s just to answer in this case: “May we decide that when we have chosen our meal?”
Studying the the menu is a breeze, yet the waiter grants us a few further terms to complete our theses.
Distracted, I observe the performance at the next table so that I can forget my hunger and thirst. A fashionable mother with an untergrad-like daughter is trying to enact the ‘Gilmore Girls’ - albeit without the amusing dialogues - whilst yakking on her mobile in between times (it never ceases to amaze me. People constantly use state-of-the-art telecommunications technology without seeming to have downloaded the information that it was invented for the very reason that you NO LONGER NEED to bellow across to the neighbouring village any more…!). I get to learn a few things this way about complete strangers; knowledge that it would be a slight exaggeration to classify as being of staggering interest.
But now I first have to scuttle off again in search of the waiter.
It proves to be no simple task to jemmy him out of his conversation with a regular guest.
Nevertheless, he manages to find his way back to us and provides a classic answer to my question about any possible wines on offer. “We have da vino rosso and da vino bianco.” Taken aback by such a wide selection, I venture to counter with: “…and no rosé?” Comrade cameriere collapses into a state of brooding. “Si, si…ma…… si, I thinka - yes we got da, err, rosato as well!”, he admits, following a marked delay and with no small degree of inner resistance. Right, wheel some of that over then for starters please!
Our sommelier toddles off to go on search. La recherche du vin perdu. Heavy grubbing around, digging about, clinking of glasses and plopping of corks - a veritable vinological sound show! Subsequently, a turpentine-like decanted rosé (that would seemingly prefer to remain anonymous) is laid before us with grandeur (at a room temperature of approx.24°C) and we sportingly let it go back like a Wimbledon serve and volley. Signore scratches the back of his ear without a trace of embarrassment and retorts: “Ah. I mixa up da wrong vino, innit?” and beats a retreat. In vain. Signore wheeler-dealer then has to dig out and sacrifice the only bottle of cooled and unspoilt rosé in his possession which causes a little grief, because the Gilmore Girls would also like rosé. Possible bottlenecks are anticipated but initially forced aside (“Mamma mia! Stronzo! 'Ow can I know guests come to ristorante middle of da week! Il padrone no tell me about stupid guests, innit!”).
But why be rude - here comes the food!
As early as 40 minutes after our arrival, Madame takes delivery of her salad and I am provided with my stubbornly requested pizza. Hmmm, a “Pizza Colesterino” that is clearly to die for. Two and a half centimetres of thick, bloated and soggy dough, gently blanket-bombed with tinned anchovies and tuna, above which there suppurates three quarters of a pound of fat, oily and stringy industrial cheese that can float upon itself, subtly and ingenious garnished with some three lumps of garlic and a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. The fact that this steaming heap of doom operates under the alias of “Pizza Mafiosa” is hardly a surprise, because whoever were to eat it would certainly get a belly full of lead!
An amusing note: clearly singing from the same libretto, Madame and I simultaneously pipe up in unison: “Would you like to try some of mine?”
Her salad masquerades under the nomenclature of “Campagnola”. It is presented as by far the most spiteful, flaccid, indefinable and frightening mixture of organic material that I have ever seen stacked up since encountering the illegal fly tips in Naples. It seems highly possible that in between watery stalks of iceberg lettuce and ailing strips of paprika, there are also the remains of tinned fish, greenish-dyed hard-boiled eggs, and 'boiled ham’ in a state of pasty dissolution that have solemnly assembled to celebrate their last rites, weeping balsamic tears and mourned by elderly wrinkled desiccated olives and furrowed quartered tomatoes.
You could describe it as an ‘organic still life’ to illustrate Dante’s Inferno.
Very soon, if not earlier, we can no longer continue to watch how are listlessly pronging around in something that aspires in vain to being celebrated as a gift of God.
We order more wine to rinse down that which can no longer be changed. But the rosé is off. Done and dusted, as we expected. So - fine. Then our sommelier escalates into top form and says” “Frascati. Maybe da Frascati?”
What? It’s still around? I thought that this disgusting industrial 'wine’ from a Roman area of cultivation the size of Australia had died the same death as shaggy Greek rugs, bean bag chairs and the 2-litre bottles of Lambrusco that the cheapest supermarkets used to sell but no, here the relic was still on exhibition.
Fine, we’ll take a Pinot Grigio…which turned to be so 'grigio’ that classifying it as a chemically-blended, disgusting, foul brew with a subtle suggestion of petroleum and sulphur would be the appropriate oenological terminology for even the lesser experienced wine taster.
What did Frank Zappa once sing? “The torture never stops…”
Shit - you can say THAT again!
The evening finally reaches its glistening conclusion when we are proffered a small glass of heated cheapo Amaretto with a topping of 'chemotherapy-resuscitated’ industrial aerosol ‘cream’ and a straw. As Confused by pure disbelief, I even venture to actually 'taste’ a drop, upon which Madame visibly pales and says: “Is there nothing that disgusts you?”
Although I am not insured against such evenings, I settle their claim with my credit card.
So, that was the SHADOW.
...NOW I’M WAITING FOR THE LIGHT!!
Anmerkung: Der Übersetzer weißt darauf hin, daß diese Übersetzung als Freundschaftsdienst an einem unerwartet eingetretenen freien Nachmittag entstanden ist. Sonst übersetzt er komplizierte technische und businessmäßige Sachen für Unternehmen, die ihn dafür mehr oder minder fürstlich entlohnen. Wollen wir jedenfalls hoffen.
da nehm ich mal die qypevorgeschlagenen Stichworte in english
awesome food expensive fancy schmancy !
lovely. hätt ich nicht besser machen können!
Brilliant stuff. There must be a curse on any place named Peppino - see my review at the link below. But I didn’t have the patience of 6Kraska6 to do a total demoltion job! http://www.qype.co.uk/place/241363-Peppino-Monreale#327295
@Randolph: Uuh ohh..I guess there’s kind a spell on locations called “Peppino’s”, isn’t it? Sort of a demon, causes evil & really BAD things…
@Randolph & 6K6. Also safer to do a full demolition job in Duisburg than in Sicily, right? ;-))))
Abbrecherquote Anglistik (Regensburg): 80%.
Gut daß 6K6 bei den Filosofen nicht abgebrochen hat/ist, denke ich. Die Tatsache daß das Original aus Kraskascher Feder geflossen ist muß eben betont werden.
Eine hohe Abbrecherquote in Anglistik kann ich als Übersetzer doch logischerweise nur rühmen, gell? Weiter so, Leute!
Als Rentner will ich später nicht bei den Peppinos der Welt herumflanieren (müssen) ;-)
Schnitzel Huber Lenzmannstraße, 47051 Duisburg
Waffel Haus Lenzmannstraße, 47051 Duisburg
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