Henry Poon's Blog

The Hamburg Fish Market and the German Wurst Man

Day 187

While walking around Stuttgart last Thursday, my friends and I went to the Hamburg Fish Market.  Normally, a street market in Stuttgart isn’t that interesting, but this one was different.  A fish market from Hamburg meant quality fish.  Geographically, the city of Stuttgart is landlocked, and the most commonly bought seafood is frozen.  I don’t know what other people think, but I would definitely eat fresh fish over frozen fish.

Even though by name, the market sold fish, some retailers sold chocolate desserts like chocolate/caramel bananas and strawberries.  They even had a giant beer garden set up for people to eat and drink.  While people ate, a band would play music.  Out of the entire event, what stood out most to me was the man selling German sausages.

This man had gathered a large crowd when he started yelling loudly about what a great deal he had.  This man would fill up giant bags of sausages and sell them for only 20 euros.  Each bag looked like they were about 3-4 kilos.  What an amazing deal in terms of euros/weight.  The guy would yell something in German and then if nobody bought it, he’d add more sausages into the bag until someone bought it.  To further entice people to buy, he’d take sausages and throw them into the crowd.  It was such a weird sight.  A fat guy just throwing sausages into the crowd.

His giant belly must have been all the beer he drank and the sausages he ate.  It’s so stereotypically German.  While holding the sausages in his hand, he’d go on about what kind of sausages he was selling (apparently he had elk meat sausages too), and he sold so many bags of them.  I think the guy selling cheese nearby adopted this wurst man’s strategy of stuffing cheese in bags (except he didn’t throw them, so that’s not as cool).

Eventually, he took notice of our group and call out to me, “you with the hat!”  I guess I stood out of the crowd because of my fedora (or maybe because I’m Chinese).  I walked up to him and he handed me this stick of pepperoni (I think that’s what it was) and started saying something to me that I didn’t understand.  This man yelled so loud that it seemed like he was screaming at me the whole time.  I looked over to my friends and they yelled back with a translation saying, “give him your hat!”, but I heard “in your hat”.  I was really confused at this point.  Why would I put the sausage in my hat?  Soon after, I realized what he wanted and he ended up wearing the hat for a brief moment before handing it back (it didn’t suit him at all).  I’m pretty sure he dirtied the hat with his greasy fingers too, which I wasn’t too happy about, but I guess it’s all in good fun.  It was a really strange experience though, but at least I got free food out of it.

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