Where are the eggs in Germany?

For the first time in my life, I left the United States; exchanged my small hometown for one of Germany’s most populated cities, Hamburg.

It was October 2018. I was tired from the flight. We arranged for some co-workers to meet me at the airport and bring me to the temporary apartment. They had a car and took me from point A to point B at a good pace. It went well.

After a bit of orientation, they left, and I was alone.

I began to investigate. The apartment was tiny — just one room plus a bathroom. There was a futon for sleeping, and large windows showed a courtyard. The kitchen was in the corner. There was a sink, mini-fridge, and single electric burner for cooking.

I opened the fridge, and it was empty. No food. No surprise there.

My co-workers told me about a nearby grocery store. So I ventured out. The leaves were colorful: red, orange, and yellow, falling from the trees. It was autumn.

The store was a brand I had never heard of before called Rewe. There I gathered some items but couldn’t find eggs. The store felt a bit small. I did a few laps around the store. Still no eggs. It became a compulsion. I did more laps: circling the refrigerated section, looking everywhere. Still no eggs. Then a thought occurred to me: maybe they don’t have eggs in Germany.

I thought to myself, I could ask. I even knew the word for eggs (Eier.) But I felt too raw from the trip. So I took the other stuff and left. I started learning German in preparation because I feared not knowing the local language would take away my voice, reverting me to a shy kid.

In the evening, I walked around the area.

And saw some truly weird things. Take a look for yourself:

After asking my co-workers, I found out that eggs are not refrigerated in Europe. Chicken eggs have a natural coating on them, which allows them to stay at room temperature for weeks (or so.) But in the United States, regulations require the eggs to be washed, which removes this coating, so they need to be kept cold.


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