Spend any time in Germany, and you will surely see that many people here have a borderline obsession with coffee and cake. There are so many fantastic kinds of cakes to be found that when I first arrived I used to write a regular post just about eating them. Pass any cafe or restaurant in the afternoon, and you will see people of all ages happily tucking into a plate of something sweet, with the coffee close at hand.
Oddly, I have lots of pictures of coffee, and lots of pictures of cake, but none of the two together. Rest assured that I have enjoyed them both at the same time.
Since cake is almost always a good idea, it’s not too hard to figure out why it’s so popular, but a conversation in one of my classes today alerted me to the fact that there may be another reason for the obsession.
One of my students, P, was reluctantly admitting that he’ll celebrate his 40th birthday this year, and as is typical, he’ll be hosting a sizable party at his house. They’ve already rented a tent, and have also sorted out a party service to do the catering. He’s not sure exactly what they’ll eat yet, but said that of course, they would be having coffee and cake first. Because when people arrive at his house, they will want coffee and cake right away.
His office mate, W, who is a quick with a joke in any language, immediately jumped in on that one.
“Well, P, you know you will be 40 now. And coffee and cake are sex for old men!”
Whether or not this is a well-known theory I cannot say. But next time you’re walking by a cafe and see an older gent enjoying his cake, make sure you don’t stare, lest he be enjoying it too much…