"I'll go and see what it is." Mikey volunteered.
"It's some sort of bar."
"That'll do. They're clearly selling shots."
Et Kabüffke is a tiny place, with a handful of tables outside. It has a wide range of spirits, but one is their speciality: Killepitsch. A drink devised in an air raid shelter. At least that's what the leaflet the friendly waitress gave us said. It's a herby thing.
"What do you think Mikey?" He doesn't look like he's enjoying it.
"It's OK." he says unenthusiastically. Before picking up the menu.
"I quite like it. And it's 42% ABV. Full of alcoholly goodness."
"I'm having something else."
A couple more rounds are consumed. Me sticking to the Killepitsch.
"It's 42% ABV." I repeat in my defence.
We're over 90 minutes in and Mikey still hasn't had a Weissbier.
"I know somewhere just around the corner that sells Weissbier." At least it probably does. It's the sort of place that would.
We don't go straight there , however. Mikey spotted a place with a cocktail happy hour earlier.
"Do youi fany a cocktail, Ron?"
"Why not? We are on holiday."
I get a big Margharita. Not sure how much booze is in it. certainly a lot of ice. we only stay for the one. And continue on tou our original destination.
Auberge? Pretty sure it used to called Polar Bear or something like that. I hope it's just the name that's changed.
A look at the beer menu is reassuring. Mikey gets his Weissbier, I get my Alt. Frankenheim is OK. Not as good as Uerige, but it'll do.
"Do you fancy a shot?" Was that me or Mikey?
Why not, indeed? We're on holiday. Even if our livers aren't.
By telling him that the food is dead good, I manage to persuade Mikey to visit another Alt brewery: Zum Schlüssel
Mikey peruses the food menu, while forcing down another delicious Alt.
"This is a lot more expensive than Wuppertal."
"It's very good."
"There was a place back there with schnitzels for 8.90 euros. That'll do me."
That'll do me, too. If I'm honest. A filling meal will do fine.
Passing the kitchen on my way to the bogs, I'm taunted by the delightfully fatty smell of roasting pork. I'd have happily paid an extra 10 euros.
The cheap schnitzel place is called Hexe. And the schnitzel isn't quite as cheap now it's no longer lunchtime. Now it's 10.90 euros. Still not a bad price. That's what we paid in Wuppertal.
"Why's yours bigger than mine?"
"I beg your pardon, Ronald."
"You and your filthy mind. It's your schnitzel I mean. Why is it bigger than mine?"
"I'm sure of it."
The banter, it just never ends.
It's Alt for me and Weissbier for Mikey, again.
"How about some ouzo?"
Needing a slash, I ventured to the bogs. Now that's something I've not seen before:
I'm speechless. for a bit. What the fuck? Who on earth is this meant to appeal to?
No problem finding a ticket machine on the way back. We can travel with our heads held high.
The return trip is on a slower train, Still fairly quick. A young German couple invite us to sit opposite them. The look like heavy metal fans. Both have a half litre bottle of beer in their hand.
I pull out my emergency can. The one I bought in Rewe on the way out Carlsberg elephant. 7.5% ABV. They look impressed. Even more so when I pull my emergency schnapps out of another pocket.. Chantré, the gentleman's impulse schnapps.
Mikey is hungry again by the time we get to Wuppertall. And drops by the Rewe for a frikadelle sandwich. I go for a more conventional egg and bacon. Mikey also gets a bag of sweets. The walk back to the hotel is long enough for him to demolish both sarnie and sugar.