Grits, Porridge, and Cigarettes

I am the MOST excited to be back on my blog. I know – three weeks is an inexcusable amount of time to be MIA, but I do have some excuses regardless. First excuse – lack of Internet. We waited and waited and waited for it to arrive then found out there was a miscommunication with the company, so after we got all of that sorted out, we were finally able to celebrate the arrival of our Internet last Monday, which of course was when my laptop stopped working… (second excuse). I got in a few Skype sessions and a partially written blog post until my laptop peaced-out and refused to charge. I don’t know if it put itself in timeout or was mad for reasons unknown to me, but it simply quit working. Then, third excuse – my husband and I were in Croatia from Thursday to Sunday, so obviously my laptop didn’t make the trip. However! Please know that I was mind-blogging (yes, that’s a thing, at least for me) while I was in Croatia and will share it with you soon because Croatia is an amazing, amazing country and you need to know about it.

As much as I would love to make today’s post about Croatia, I can’t because it’s not finished. Pictures have to be edited and yada-yada-yada so instead I will tell you a story that I’m still laughing about a day after it happened.

Will and I have an awesome, awesome German teacher. She’s been our teacher for two months now and we get to know her a little more each day. We’re more like her friends instead of students (unless she’s introducing a new grammatical topic, like reflexive verbs for example (eesh) – then we definitely go back to being students). So last week Will and I were talking with her about the types of food we eat in the U.S. We told her all about Chik-fil-a (food only) because everyone needs to experience Chik-fil-a at least once in their lives. We told her about steak and sweet tea and yes there is in fact a bit of a weight problem in America because of the food we eat. Then we told her about breakfast foods – pancakes, french toast, scrambled eggs…and grits, which of course she had never heard of. I attempted to explain in very broken German what grits are and how good it is for breakfast, meanwhile Will shook his head and claimed the opposite. We collectively decided that perhaps Vienna porridge is similar to southern grits and if I ever eat porridge I’d let her know my thoughts.

Grits. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So yesterday Will and I arrived at the corner of the street where our Deutschkurs building is located and found our teacher standing there having her usual breakfast (a cigarette and coffee). We told her about our trip then asked her about her weekend and she told us this story:

On Saturday I went with my friend to this restaurant that has the food you talked about in the U.S., and I was so excited because this restaurant has pancakes and french toast and all the things you said that you eat. And my friend ordered pancakes and I thought I might order pancakes too but then I saw on the menu they had porridge or this grits that you talked about, and I told my friend I cannot have pancakes because I must try this porridge that is from the south in the U.S. So then I got my porridge and I tried it and it was so horrible! It was so horrible and I did not like it and I do not understand how you eat this porridge! And I looked at my friend’s pancakes and they looked so good and I was so jealous that I did not have pancakes but instead have this horrible porridge! And I was not hungry for the rest of the day and this…this porridge is not good – I do not understand how you eat it and like it at the same time!

I laughed so hard. My southern pride wasn’t even wounded because I was more flattered than anything that my Austrian teacher said no to pancakes because one of her students likes this weird porridge stuff that’s apparently a big deal in the south. (Uh yeah it’s a big deal. We don’t make acronyms out of just any word: Girls Raised In The South (GRITS). I’m partially kidding. It is a widely known acronym but I’m not a “WHOO! SOUTH AND COUNTRY AND BOOTS!” type of southerner. I’m from Atlanta.) While I will never order a cigarette for breakfast, I will seek out the porridge-serving restaurant. I’ll let you know how it tastes.


  1. Oh! Atlanta-native here! Piedmont baby!
    Ahem. I can be normal. I love grits- but I’m married to a CA boy who transplanted to GA and hates them. I think you have to grow up with them…
    in TOTALLY unrelated news, I think cheesy grits are calling my name. I’m going to the kitchen.

  2. Piedmont! I lived in Gwinnett County, went to high school in Norcross. You’re totally right about needing to grow up with grits in order to like them. You either love them or hate them, and unfortunately our husbands hate them. Enjoy your cheesy grits!

  3. 1. Well, it’s been almost a month now! How was that restaurant?
    2. Sometimes with laptops if you just take out the battery and put it back in, it’ll fix the not-charging issue. I actually had a laptop lie dormant for other a year due to this, so I understand. Now the internet has gotten faster and the coding even for Facebook has more bells and whistles and the old thing can hardly keep up with it.
    3. In German class I remember reading an article titled “Fett Werden”. The only phrase I remember from this Germany-critiques-America article is “ein extra Portion Mayonaise auf ihre Big Macs.” And yeah, it’s true. And we also wear tennis shoes when we’re not playing tennis.
    4. I’m not sure if it shows, but here’s some sushi.

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