May 20, 2014 (10:30am, CEST)
I was finally at the Frankfurt airport, bags checked in, ready to go, and consciously aware of the fact I don’t have much to show for the fact I went to Germany except for my Deutschland scarf, my WHU student ID, and lots of pictures. On my way to my gate, I was popping in and out of airport gift shops and boutiques, partly just out of curiously, partly out of a genuine hope I could find something reasonable priced and sized and legal to take back with me.
A little shop with a promising title came into view, and I thought “Why not?” I went in and immediately took in the neatly arranged collection of alcohol and pre-packaged sausages. Biscuits and such were in the back. Near the register was a large container filled with little liquor bottles, mostly about 20ml. Jaegermeister, schnapps, Kleiner Feigling. I gave away my first Kleiner Feigling, so I decided I could buy this one, empty the contents, and bring back the cute little glass bottle and I would be content.
I was searching through the bottles for KF when a store associate said, “It’s all alcohol, you know.”
Me: “Yes, I know! I’m looking for Kleiner Feigling.”
He reached over to help me go through the pile, but hesitates and looks at me. “Wait, how old are you? You need to be 18.”
I laugh. “But I am! I’m 19.
“Oh gosh! Really?”
“Yes! I have my ID if you want to see.”
“Oh, no. It’s fine. I believe you.” We both laugh.
I saw something that amused and puzzled me, so I point it out. “What happened to the ‘Best of Germany’?” Sure enough, the shelf that was labeled “Best of Germany” was nearly entirely empty while the rest of the store was impeccably stocked.
Turns out the “shelf” was a refrigerated shelf that broke down earlier that day, and since most of the items was cheese, they had to move them elsewhere, leaving only the vacuum-sealed sausages.
I paid for my bottle and turned to leave.
I turned back and saw there was another associate. He was pointing at my bottle with an absolutely priceless look on his face.
The first associate looked at me, smiled, and waved me on. “It’s okay, she’s old enough.”
The poor guy didn’t look convinced. I tell him my age. “Are you sure you don’t want to check me?”
His eyes got even bigger when I said 19, and his body frame quickly relaxed when I asked him to check. “Oh, no! You’re fine! Have a safe flight!”
And with that, and another peal of laughter from both sides, I figured I was ready to come home.