So I was in the supermarket (Rewe) today picking up some necessities like a package of ham, a bottle of soda and a 5 liter mini keg of Beer (of course) among other things. That was all fine and good but this story took a turn for the worse with regards to my self esteem during the transaction with the cashier.
So I come to the point in time where I have to make one of the more difficult decisions that one has to make in a day and that of course is which checkout line to go through. On this particular occasion there were only 2 options. These 2 possibilities included a line with an older cashier who was having some difficulties with the customer in her line and she had to call over a fellow employee (the guy probably forgot to weigh his fruit and as we all know German’s HATE when someone forgets to weigh their fruit). The other alternative was an attractive young lady of about 21 or 22 years old whose line seemed to be moving quite smoothly.
This decision was remarkably easy. I began laying my groceries onto the belt and waited a short minute until it was my turn to check out. As the young lady was scanning my gorceries she came to the dreaded 5 liter keg of beer and gave me a quick glance.
Now before I go any further I thought I would clarify a few things.
1.) I’m living in Germany right now
2.) The drinking age for beer in Germany is 16 (though it’s not even very strongly enforced considering it’s part of the culture)
Back to the story…. What happened next caught me completely off guard. She said in a very polite way ‘Ausweis” which means ID. Feeling a bit discombobulated, I asked her to repeat. Again, she asked me if she could see my ID. (Now I have been living in Germany for a year and NOONE has ever asked me to present my ID). I quickly started searching through my wallet to find my New York State drivers license. I handed it to her and you could tell that she had probably never seen such an ID before and she looked at it for some time until the realization struck that I was 25 years old (9 years older than the drinking age). In a very embarassed voice she said in English, “oops sorry” and handed me back my ID. At this point my self – esteem was already lower than Bush’s approval rating in 2008. I just said “no problem” paid, took my groceries and left the supermarket as quick as possible with tears streaming down my face and a slight sniffle. Thats actually a bit exaggerated, the tears weren’t really streaming down but only trickling.
On the bright side, the next time I go in there I probably won’t have to go through such a traumatic experience considering my face is probably burned into her mind now.