Misadventures in Subway, or, How I Amused Two Bored Members of Staff

Ilmenau has a Subway – as in the sandwich shop, not the underground pedestrian pass. Thus far I’ve managed to avoid it, citing the fact that I ought to eat German food while I’m in Germany, but actually, I was just terrified that in a food shop where you have to talk quite a lot to the staff, I’d massively mess up with my German.  Today I braved it, and guess what? I kinda messed up in German.


This is Sub Wayne, Subway’s mascot here in Germany.

So, firstly the bread was different. Well, some of them were. I haven’t been in an English Subway for a while, but I’m pretty sure “cheese-oregano” is not one of the breads on offer. Whereas it is Germany. This presented my first problem. It was labelled as “Cheese-oregano” in English. So did I say it in English? Did I say it English but with a German accent? Ahh, the dilemma. To  put this in context, every time I’ve ordered a Big Mac in Germany, I’ve had to say it with a German accent, despite it being spelt the same in both languages, because my round English vowel just isn’t understandable.  In the end I just said Cheese oregano in English, because panicking in Subway didn’t seem like a great idea. Next issue was in a similar vein. When asking for Tuna, did I say Tuna (too-na) or Tuna (chew-na)? Drama, drama, drama. Think that time I went for the German pronunciation, because after the whole Cheese oregano thing, I felt I needed to get back on safer territory.

Then I hugely confused the guy because I didn’t want lettuce, and just wanted cucumber. It was kinda my fault, because I forgot that they call lettuce Salat (salad) here, so when he went ‘do you want Salat?’ he meant ‘do you want lettuce?’, so my reply of ‘cucumber please’ didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

My final act to confuse and amuse the staff was to completely forget the word for peach, so when the woman asked me whether I wanted the lemon or peach drink, all I could stammer was ‘not lemon’.  She was highly amused by this, and I guess my complete panic and loss of any German capabilities was funny to onlookers.

So yeah, I managed to officially panic in Subway because of too much English and the disappearance of my German, which at least amused the staff, if not me.

2 thoughts on “Misadventures in Subway, or, How I Amused Two Bored Members of Staff

  1. I was going through pictures from when I was in Germany in 2009 and found a picture I had taken of a Subway store-front window that had Sub Wayne on it because I found it humorous then. It still amuses me today, so I decided to google “Sub Wayne” and found your blog post. Excellent work.

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