Bavaria – Worms Roadhouse…

I believe a roadhouse defines a country.

In America for instance, the roadhouses serve apple pie and donuts and breakfasts of waffles and maple syrup that come in at 2,000 calories. You can have eggs any which way, hash browns, and bacon that looks like it’s been struck by lightning.

breakfast7 breakfast 6 breakfast 4breakfast 8

You are served by waitresses that are straight out of all the American movies you’ve ever seen. Think Five Easy Pieces and Jack Nicholson. The waitresses work hard for their tip. But let’s not mention that they pour completely undrinkable American coffee.

Five Easy Pieces sc

Then in France there’s the L’Arches, which literally arch over the motorways that crisscross the country.

L'Arche.1

You can have a gourmet meal in one of these very strange architectural feats. Cassoulets or duck confit with freshly fried pommes frites, hams and charcuteries and of course cheeses of a standard you’d find on sale in Fauchon on the Champs-Elysees .

Oh yes, and the bathrooms have bidets. Of course they do.

It Italy the roadhouses have bathrooms that should be nuked.

Italio cow

But they also have amazing pastas and pizzas, which compensate somewhat. In an Italian roadhouse you can buy rosaries from Lourdes and pornographic postcards from Russia. While imbibing the most exquisite coffee you’ll find in any roadhouse anywhere in the world, you have to keep an eye out for your car in the parking lot in case someone tries to bust in and steal all your belongings.

That’s Italy.

Then there’s Germany.

Precise, ordered, efficient, meticulous, rigorous, Germany.

Germany, that makes Mercedes Benz cars and Leica cameras and Zeiss optics. Germany, that has an economy that keeps most of the rest of Europe functioning. Germany, where you can set your watch to the trains because they always run on time, down to the second. Germany, where you can fit out your bathroom with a shower that will give you water temperature down to half a degree Celcius.

Germany, where the roadhouses are completely and utterly weird.

Worms is a town that I had to visit. How could you not visit a town called Worms? You would regret it always if you drove past Worms and didn’t pop in.

Worms was an important stop on an ancient trade route across Europe. It vies for being the oldest city in Germany. And on it’s outskirts it has a roadhouse, catering to modern day travelers on their way across Europe.

Ext Worms Roadhouse

I judge roadhouses on the number of trucks outside. The Worms Roadhouse had about forty big mothers parked in the lot out front. I figure if forty German truckdrivers choose the Worms Roadhouse to stop, then it’s got to be worth a look –

Segafredo

The first thing I notice as I walk in is a very impressive coffee bar – an Italian coffee bar. Segafredo. This is a good start, because German coffee sits only marginally above American coffee in drinkability rankings.

Germans don’t do coffee – they do beer.

NordSee

Then I notice a big NordSee section, where you can buy North Sea stuff, like cod and smoked salmon and other marine life pulled from those freezing waters. NordSee is the McDonalds of fish & chips in Germany.

Roadhouse sitting area

Roadhouse sweets

I then notice that the place is immaculate. There’s a capacious sitting section where you can just – sit. And racks of sweet goodies that are perfectly in order. Nothing out of place. So too the pre-made rolls and sandwiches. Everything has been carefully and precisely put out on display.

Rolls

You suspect that salmonella doesn’t abide here.

It wouldn’t dare.

But then again, there’s probably no flavor in the food either. Flavor after all is arbitrary. Subjective. And so by definition, imprecise. In this roadside temple of exactitude, imprecision is verboten!

Sausages in roadhouse Roadhouse Schnitzel

The food they’re cooking though looks yummy. Bavarian sausages, pork roasts, schnitzel, roasted potatoes. Good solid German fare for forty German truckdrivers, all at reasonable prices. I look around for the forty German truckdrivers but can’t see them.

Perhaps they’ve all gone to the restroom.

The restrooms are downstairs.

This in itself makes me suspicious.

I’ve never been to a roadhouse where the toilets are downstairs. Usually they’re out the back, or behind the office, or in a separate block or shed where you need a key, supplied spitefully by the person who just swiped your card for $85 for fuel, as if resenting that at the end of his or her shift, he or she will have to clean the putrid mess that you made.

Here the toilets were downstairs.

Why?

I walk down, the stairs immaculate. I consider dirtying them. Dropping some rubbish perhaps, or better still, cleaning out my nasal passages with a sharp snort which would have the contents sling-shoting onto a shiny wall where it would cling there tenaciously in all its disgusting glory.

But then I think my desecration would be probably be caught on a security camera and I would be imprisoned for lacking precision.

I walk down to the toilets, aware now that my need is more than just one of curiosity. I did actually want to avail myself of the urinals. But then I realize that … I have to pay.

Toileet entryentry machine

PAY?

PAY TO USE THE BATHROOMS AT A ROADHOUSE?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I can’t believe it. This is the first roadhouse I’ve ever been, anywhere in the world, where I have to pay to use the toilets. And it’s not cheap either. €0.70. That’s about US$1.

It’s not the amount of money that bugs me – I can afford it. It’s the principle. Why should I have to pay to use the toilets in a roadhouse? I notice that they offer a deal – if you pay the €0.70 to use the toilet, then you get a €0.50 discount on a €3 cup of coffee upstairs at the Segafredo coffee bar.

That’s cool. So it only costs €0.20 to use the bathrooms.

If I buy a €3 cup of coffee.

But I don’t want a cup of coffee. €3 or otherwise. Because if I had the cup of coffee, I’d want to use the toilets again. So I would then have to pay another €0.70. And then to justify the outlandish cost, I’d then go back upstairs again to have ANOTHER cup of coffee. For €3. And then I’d have to go to the toilet again. And pay another €0.70.

I could imagine myself being there all night. Going up and down those immaculate stairs, between the toilets and the Segafredo coffee bar.

I paid the €0.70 and went inside.

It was like I’d walked onto a set in a Stanley Kubrick movie. Think A Clockwork Orange.

Urinals WS

The urinals were… precise. Cold and precise. And of course they were spotlessly clean. No cigarette butts in these beauties. No wads of chewing gum. No little yellow puddles in the toilet bowls that hadn’t as yet been dispatched to the North Sea.

Nope – if you pay €0.70 you get hygiene with a capital H.

Urimat

This is thanks to a contraption attached to each urinal, called a Urimat. Urimat is made by Sanifair. Sanifair as a name just makes you want to smile, doesn’t it.

Smiling, I wonder what a Urimat does. I consider that it might automatically make me urinate, but when nothing happens I dismiss that possibility. I’m momentarily disappointed that precise German engineering hasn’t yet delved that far into helping us all live full productive lives, our bladders automatically emptied.

Presumably a Urimat, made by Sanifair, sanitizes your urine – fairly – before it disappears into the North Sea. I must admit I could suddenly start to see value in my €0.70. I was using a Urimat. It looked expensive. The product of precise German engineering. All this to clean my urine.

I feel good about this, and immediately I feel ashamed for thinking that the roadhouse had ripped me off €0.07.

Toilet screens

I notice as well there are large black screens separating each urinal. This presumably so that the truckdrivers don’t peak at other truckdrivers penises. I wonder if this is something particularly German. I make a note that I should look into this further.

I use the urinal, thankful for the screen – although I was alone.

I wonder where the forty truckdrivers are.

As I walk out I notice something on the wall. A vending machine. I wander over, curious to see if it dispenses hair combs, or dental floss, or antiseptic.

Vending machine

No – it dispenses penis rings.

This is probably where  the truckdrivers are – in the cubicles trying on their penis rings.

Vibrat PR

I notice that some of the penis rings actually have inbuilt vibrators. My goodness the Germans are inventive! I would calmly state here that I’ve lived a full and colorful life, but I’ve never heard of a penis ring with a vibrator.

Perhaps I should get out more.

The dispenser can also provide a German truckdriver with a travel vibrator. I wonder why a dispensing machine in a men’s toilet would have a travel vibrator. Is this to make the long kilometers on the autobahns more enjoyable for the truckdrivers? Where would they place it? Or insert it? And does it need batteries? Are the batteries included?

I wonder if you buy a penis ring or a travel vibrator, do you get a discount voucher for coffee?

I walk upstairs. I hear a loud crash, and see that the magazine rack has crashed down and spilled magazines everywhere, all across the floor.

The roadhouse manager rushes over, his face pale. He looks at the chaos, distraught. This was not how his life was meant to go.

As I walk out to my car, I smile. Not because of the Urimat, but because I viciously drop an icecream wrapper on the ground as I get into my rental. I revel in my celebration of chaos.

Coke and glasses

109 thoughts on “Bavaria – Worms Roadhouse…

  1. Man, that’s too much to digest.

    American coffee is bad. Well, Mr. Smarty, how about Starbucks. I guess that could be bad too, but not too bad not to be profitable. I am by coffee the same as I am about wine. I don’t know a good one from a bad one. That is convenient, because it means I am just as happy with the cheap ones, and saves me a ton. Part of my senior frugality.

    There is a little place here called Herschel’s where for $7.28, I can get two eggs, two bacons, two sausages, two pancakes, and a cup of coffee. I can’t do that too often and continue to live, I am afraid, but it is a deal. I have had too many “deals” lately. I need to go back to bodybuilding eating.

    Bill, I just knew you would find some way to bring up the penis rings again. You never let me down. Now you have described them in detail in two separate blogs, so you can reach all audiences. I have not checked to see if you have entered them into the forum yet. Hopefully, you will be able to find your size with a seashell on it. The ultimate pilgrim accoutrement.

    Jill and I celebrate our 13th anniversary today and will celebrate our divorce on the 30th. December is a busy month.

    Have a great day.

    Steve

    1. Ah Steve –

      As for penis rings, I’m just a social observer mate

      🙂

      Glas you enjoyed the post. I want this blog to maintain this kind of humour. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll put them altogether into a book.

      Your Herschels sounds fabulous. Just the kind of place I like to go when in the US. Starbucks is undrinkable too – interestingly Starbucks came to Australia, opened up franchises everywhere and expected to take over the world here, and within a couple of years they had to shut down (except for a few stores to cater for American tourists!!) – the reason being that in Australia we have an incredible coffee culture, probably because we have a large Italian community here. People who know – like Gordon Ramsay etc – say that Australia has the best coffee outside Italy. I did though buy Jennifer and me two Starbucks christmas Coffee mugs at the airport in Frankfurt on the way home!

      If you want private email on this blog, you can get me on billsroadfood@gmail.com

      As for your anniversary and divorce, all I can say is that you two continue to amaze me. I hope the month plays out to both your expectations.

      Bill

      1. Herschel’s is great. I like Starbucks because I like the ambiance. Jill and I used to go and meet at Starbucks once a day. Was the highlight of my day.

        I think I have enough of your private emails. Do I need this one for something? How do you keep up with them?

        I see I have to fill in the email, name, and website each time I post on here. How do I get them filled in permanently so I don’t have to complete each time?

      1. Thank you Anne. That is very sweet. We are blessed in many ways. I may sound cavalier, but even if it is the right thing, it is still a huge loss. We just choose to go thru it with love, mutual support, and dignity.

        Steve

        Bill: still had to sign in. On iPhone this morning.

        Anyone else having to sign in with all your data each post?

      1. You’re the boss. Oops. Again, it is making me complete the identification. I put in the email and it adds the rest, but it should not be that much work each time.

      2. Hi Steve –

        how about you restart your computer, clear the cache, and try again.

        And let me know if you still have problems.

        I have to leave tho in about 15 mins to drive to Syd

  2. Bill, I am amazed yet again. How silly of me to think that this blog was really going to be about food!! With you at the helm, I should have known better.
    BTW, did Jennifer have anything interesting to report from the ladies rest rooms?
    Gotta love coffee in Australia. I am a serious coffee snob who refuses to drink instant coffee or use disposable cups. Also don’t frequent places like Starbucks, Gloria Jean. The Golden Arches, however, can make a half decent coffee to put in my travel mug when on the road.
    Time to turn on my inbuilt coffee machine for a quick caffeine injection before settling into report editing for the night.
    Cheers.
    Anne

    1. DearAnne –

      lovely to see you here!

      Actually Jennifer has an admission – she got confused at the entry gate to the toilets and went into the men’s room!!

      She didn’t realise, because everything looked so alien, until she saw the urinals, or Urimat – and then freaked out. And then she didn’t have any more money to go to the ladies!!

      bill

  3. Bill,

    Finally checking up with my email and your blog.

    Hilarious! And we even get visuals of the penis rings and urinals, who could ask for more?

    I love this Road Food Blog, it is proving to be very entertaining.

    Arlene

      1. Steve,
        I automatically get to post with my wordpress id. Wonder what’s going on with you – why not try to post your comment with your wordpress id once? I think then you will be logged into this blog and won’t have to sign in each comment.
        Arlene

      2. Steve, it’s your logon for your blog. When you post, you are asked to put in your email or comment with your WordPress.com account – Arlene

      3. But Steve, it sounds like you are using your email address to post, not the WordPress.com account. Am I right?

      4. Steve,
        I guess Bill’s Road Food Blog simply is discriminating against you. Have you tried to reboot your computer?
        Arlene

      5. I have tried everything. Right now, I have to fill in email below, then name, then website. It takes some of the spontaneity out of it. Actually, I put the email in and it then adds my name and the gravatar site.

      6. Steve,
        When I start typing in the reply to box, my name and picture comes up with a comment saying I am commenting using my WordPress.com account. I logged into my WordPress account the first time I came onto this new blog and have not had to log on since.

        Maybe you should click on the “W” in the blue circle, log into WordPress only and not put in your email address.
        Arlene

      7. Bill,
        I’m not having any problems, logged onto WordPress the first time I came onto the food blog and have never had to log on since.
        Arlene

      8. Steve,
        Don’t ask questions, obviously your cache has been cleared, maybe something to do with fishhooks who knows.
        Arlene

      9. Hi Steve,

        The settings on this blog are the same as the PGS blog.

        And it doesn’t see mast hour Arlene is having a problem. As she asked, are you logging on with your wordpress account? That would be the same ID you use to sign in to the PGS blog.

        Let me know if you have any more problems.

        Thanks Bill

    1. Thanks Arlene!

      I want to try and maintain a lighthearted tone to this blog.

      I will be posting once a week, every Sunday.

      Next one is on an amazing sardine joint in Porto!

      Bill

      1. Bill,
        I’m sure the sardine joint didn’t have those special rings – can you give a hint at their hook?
        Arlene

      2. Been to Dime Box. Right down the road from Old Dime Box. Over in the German country near Luckenbach.

        German. I wonder if they have penis rings, flavored
        condoms and fish hooks?

      3. Bill,

        Dare I even ponder what German truckdrivers might do with fishhooks? Gosh they are a tough lot, those German truckdrivers, aren’t they!

        Arlene

      4. Hope they keep them away from the flavored condoms. That could be disastrous.

        Asking for all the data again. This is BS. Think I will go to bed. Now I find if I click the blue W each time, I log in automatically, but I do have to click the blue W. Can’t just post. No instruction booklet with this thing.

      5. Steve,
        I think there might be a “log me in automatically” box to click for WordPress.
        Are you now thoroughly confused?
        Arlene

    1. Steve,

      Arlene is right though.

      First, restart your computer. Then when you log in to the blog, do it by clicking on the blue W icon, then fill in your wordpress details. After that it should be all automatic.

      Bill

      1. Bill,

        Hate to admit this but before I retired and became a full-time artist, I had a long time career as a systems person. I was responsible for the Payroll System for the Railroad, but I was more versed in the Payroll Software and programming that language, I’m a real dummy when it comes to hardware. And now being out of the “geek” environment for 8 years, I don’t even think I could write a line of code any more.

        So you weren’t far off calling us geeks, I used to be one of them.

        Arlene

      2. Haha -I remember you telling me…

        Most times these things are a matter of following common sense. Such as clearing the cache by restarting the computer etc.

        Also, it’s amazing how much you can learn from reading a users guide or going onto a support forum. The information out there on the web is pretty comprehensive most times.

        Bill

      3. Steve,
        True that!!!!!
        I think Portugal is going to be a blast, but I doubt Jen will be able to censor Bill, I get the feeling she is fun loving also.
        Arlene

      4. Arlene,

        Jennifer certainly has a great sense of humour – but she doesn’t approve of such subjects as”travel pussies” and penis rings with vibrators… Not her speed.

      5. I’m assuming that is for both 🙂 :-), right? Very interesting hmmm

        Hey, where is everybody else tonight? Have we scared them away?

      6. Oh well, c’est la vie. And on that note I’m signing off for the night – see ya’ll tomorrow
        :-), 🙂

    1. I agree with Steve, Bill puts those topics out there so people like Steve and me will start up a dialog knowing well that the conversation will take on a life of its own.

      You just gotta love that guy! 🙂

      Arlene

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