October 2006


Zwiebelmarkt und Demokratie

Flowers for saleTomorrow is the day of my big Onion Market party—where I am serving delicious Louisiana Gumbo.

Today is the day I make the basics of gumbo—including vegetable stock.

But before I did that, I ran down to the Zwiebelmarkt because I needed to get cash from the ATM and run over to the post office where I participated in American Democracy by mailing my ballot back to Bloomington.

And now it is time to rant: Deutsche Post is incredibly expensive: I know it costs 1€ to mail a postcard from Germany to the United States or Armenia; I think it costs 1,70€ to send birthday cards to the States; and the ballot from Germany to Bloomington: 3€! I practically had a heart attack.

It cost Monroe County $0.84 to mail me the ballot and it just cost me $3.75 to mail my vote against Mike Sodrel back.

Basically, the message I just got from Deutsche Post, is that if I vote in a district where the outcome is certain, I shouldn’t bother to vote. $3.75 is not inexpensive; especially since I indicated that my time abroad is indefinite, so I do not get to vote on the local issues, just federal offices.

As I staggered out of the post office, overwhelmed by the price of democracy, my phone rang: it was a hidden number, ultimately T-Mobile thanking me for being a long term customer (since 2004!) along with an offer to shift to a plan with a better per minute rate. I listened to the sales pitch, until I realized that they wanted me to sign a two year contract, at which point I declined.

Big Fruit DrinksBy this point I was well into the middle of the Zweibelmarkt—surrounded by booths selling a wide variety of food: Thüringen Bratwurst, Zwiebelkuchen, and non-Thüringen Bratwurst. One could also invest in drinks of all variety—although the non-alcoholic varieties were fairly difficult to locate. I ended up buying some mushrooms from about the only local farmer I recognized in Marktplatz (for the vegetarian gumbo). I was not tempted by the decorative onion things. I was only interested in the mime. (The mime is cute when not dressed as a mime.)

From there it was a quick trip home, and now the vegetable broth is boiling.

All’s right with the world.

2 comments to Zwiebelmarkt und Demokratie

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for voting against MIke Sodrel. Sorry it cost so much. I’ll be voting against Hostettler soon. Maybe we can make a difference.

    To make good Gumbo you need Okra, is that available in Germany? I’ve heard you can use Prickly Pear Cactus instead but I doubt that is available either.

  • Glad to vote against Sodrel.

    I cannot get Okra or Prickly Pear Cactus; nor can one get Filé. I do have filé though as i brought it with me.