For the past couple of weeks, the Bakestress has temporarily converted to a Sausagestress – or, even, Bratwurstress – while working long hours at the Oxford outdoor Christmas Market selling German sausages with some friends of ours who manage the stall annually. They specialize in three kinds – the Bratwurst, the Currywurst, and the Smoked. Oh, and the Hog Roast. But that’s a new innovation for 2011; there’s no telling if it will make a triumphant return in 2012.
The Sausagestress comes home after 8 to 10 draining hours and generally crashes immediately, after showering the powerful bratwurstian perfume out of her hair. But sometimes, when she’s feeling generous, she shares a bedtime story with us about her favourite customers.
(warning: the next section contains some serious stereotyping.)
There are the Germans, who always order everything efficiently, so as not to keep the people behind them waiting.
There are the Chinese, who assemble themselves in front of the stall for a group picture, completely blocking the line of hungry customers for a 2 minute photo shoot.
There are the English, who queue with the best of them and never complain. They tend towards the currywursts. After all, curry is officially their national cuisine at this point, isn’t it? Tikka masala has been voted Britons’ favourite food for years.
There are the Russians, who point out the exact sausage they want from the grill, on that exact roll in the corner, with that exact cluster of fried onions. Please.
There are the Americans, who always just have to ask for something extra. Um, could I get my bun toasted? I’d like mine with extra pickles please? To which the Sausegestress politely points out that pickles are not on the menu, let alone extra of them.
Finally, my favourite: the Japanese. Apparently, without fail, every Japanese tourist who comes to the stand asks for a Smoked German – no mention of sausage or wurst, just a Smoked German on a bun. The Sausagestress chokes back laughter every time.
We had to see our gal in action, so headed down to the Market for a lunch break on the Philosopher’s birthday.
We almost got waylaid by a rackful of these gems on the way: