Christmas time 2016, Greg and I went to the Aachener Weinachtsmarkt, which many tourists associate Aachen with.
The Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt is a sprawling Christmas market that spreads from Münsterplatz down to the area circling the Dom and extends to the Rathaus Marktplatz. It is also one of the most popular Christmas markets all over Europe.
Its main attractions include glühwein (warm wine), street performers, gift items, and for me, the… Koohrivost! Greg has mentioned a couple of times how this street food is very German. Curious, I gave it a go and queued at the food stall after a couple of hours of scanning the famed Christmas market.
That time, it hasn’t been a month since I arrived in Aachen. My German, if it does exist, was limited to short pleasantries. To calm my nerves, I practiced in my head what I was going to say to the cook at the booth who’s taking my order while I waited for my turn.
It is worth noting that this cook is a burly man in his 40’s who could be over 6 feet tall with mustache covering a quarter of his face and physique that revealed he probably had muscles in his youth.
When it was finally my turn, I was self-conscious that he won’t understand what I would order because of my accent. So I resorted to tenderly speaking the words while trying to pronounce each syllable.
He looked at me perplexed. I began to wonder if I said it wrong. For about several heart-stopping seconds, he and I stood there looking at each other. Him with seriously furrowed brows working hard to decipher what I just said, and I, feeling for my phone so that I can type out my order if worse comes to worst.
The angels must have sang the words to him. Ever so slowly, his brows rearranged acknowledging the limp German I just uttered.
‘Ah! Ein Koohrivost!’, he exclaimed with a matter-of-factness.
I learned that day that sometimes slow syllabicated enunciation might not be the best way to be understood in German. It’s about speaking it with conviction and audible hunger for currywurst. Or more appropriately, KOOHRIVOST.