Would BiG care to comment here?

Brexit: Germany promises ‘better pay, weather and food’ to tempt NHS nurses to leave UK

Better food? Srisly?

Yeah, yeah, I know the jokes but really, British food has come on in recent decades….

43 thoughts on “Would BiG care to comment here?”

  1. It does say Polish nurses, who are likely to appreciate German cuisine more than Brits.

    For top-end dining out, London beats every other civilised country. Japan and Barcelona might edge it qualitywise, but less choice.

    For mid-range and budget, give me Hong Kong every day. In Germany, I know more good Turkish restaurants than German ones.

    If you want a street-foody quick meal or snack, then Germany actually beats Britain. Nothing worse than paying 6 quid for a sad tasteless M&S or Pret sandwich and a patronising by the cashier.

    Food in Germany is certainly better than it was 10 years ago, but quality and variety are not priorities for most Germans. Price is the sole priority. We are regularly fed surveys showing that we have the cheapest supermarket groceries in Western Europe.

    The hospital food as a patient is as bad here as everywhere. In the NHS I used to have great fry-ups that have probably now been banned, but as staff, not as a patient!

  2. Better weather? Better than Poland, maybe, but the continental climate means roasting summers and freeze your nuts off winters. And there may be cheap food (if you’re on German wages), but energy is ludicrously expensive (even worse than the UK) thanks to the barmy energiewende. The beer’s good too, though not as good as England (or Czechia).

    I really like Germany – I’ve worked there quite a bit, holiday there, and a good mate has been a prof there for 30 years, but I’d never advise anyone to live there permanently.

  3. In Heidelberg, some years ago after an evening’s drinking, I came across a doner kebab shop with a chalkboard outside advertising their speciality: “doner kebab with garlic sauce”. Patrons were emerging with doners covered in a sort of white slime – garlic is obviously more exotic to Krauts than chilli (which is what you get in the UK).

    Given the observation, and the fact that the German word for garlic (Knoblauch) is a little long for a chalk-board, together with the skinful, it was understandable that my companions and I were amused to read

    Döner Kebab mit Knob’sosse

    Frankly, I didn’t fancy it myself.

  4. “but I’d never advise anyone to live there permanently.”

    This being he German problem, they’d all prefer to live in France or Poland themselves, thus their regular attempts at migration….

  5. Lived in Germany in affluent Dusseldorf for a few years in the early 90s.

    Food was universally, irredeemably, bad. Only exception being Pfannkuchen.

    Being offered a huge lump of bone, gristle and cartilage as a delicacy by a proud host takes the biscuit so to speak.

  6. It will always be hard to lure a native worker away from their home country, but given that many NHS nurses aren’t natives, Germany stands a reasonable chance of luring them away.

    Small sample size, but I’ve always found German casual dining restaurants to be surprisingly cheap compared with the equivalent tier in the UK.

  7. Düsseldorf weather isn’t much different from the UK. If you’re up in the Ozarks in the Deep South where large and unidentified hairy bipeds roam, that’s different, obviously.

    Excavator: salt is the only known condiment in Germany.

  8. “It will always be hard to lure a native worker away from their home country, but given that many NHS nurses aren’t natives, Germany stands a reasonable chance of luring them away.”

    Also the Germans are used to long casualty lists so it should work out ok and give us a chance to train some British nurses.

  9. It does say Polish nurses, who are likely to appreciate German cuisine more than Brits.

    Probably so but I doubt whether they are more likely to appreciate Germans.

  10. I thought when Merkel invited the third world into europe that they were all highly trained professionals (well that’s what the left was telling us) Obviously no nurses amongst the teeming millions.

  11. @BiG – I always got the impression that salt was not a condiment, but a fundamental component of any dish.

    I have seen Germans add significant quantities of extra salt to already-salted chips…

  12. ” I doubt whether they are more likely to appreciate Germans”

    An active antipathy towards Germans is certainly the attitude of my Polish friend, and she’s only in her 30s……..

  13. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    When I lived in Munich in the early 90s, once the novelty had worn off, the crap shops, restaurants and above all the supermarkets really began to depress me and so I went to Belgium, which was much better.

    Both De and Oe have improved dramatically since 2000 and while Austria has become much dearer, Germany seems to get cheaper ( this relates obviously to the Euro/Reichsmark which Tim highlighted in another thread). In both, though, rent and energy are stupidly expensive as are now the trains and they don’t run on time anymore !

  14. BiG: fry-ups haven’t been banned in the NHS. Last year I went in for a pre-op blood test I was low on essential crunchy bits (or something) and the nurse recommended I go downstairs to the canteen and have a full English breakfast.

  15. @ BiG
    My recent experience in Irish Hospitals confirmed that you can still get a half decent fry-up. You will find however, that every last baked bean and sausage is marked up with how many calories it contains.
    When I last lived in Bavaria it amused me to find that the only flavour of crisps you could purchase (and definitely not on a Sunday), was Paprika, anything else being rather exotic.
    Food in Germany aint bad, but the Germans have stood still whilst everyone else has moved on. Here in Brum, I can get a proper German (Turkish) kebab..

  16. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Ha ha
    Sorry the thing I read about the Euro being in Germany’s favour, was by Brillo, not Tim. Sorry having a senior moment there

  17. Brexit: Germany promises ‘better pay, weather and food’ to tempt NHS nurses to leave UK

    It also promises you’ll spend a whole lot of time with a whole lot of Germans, which seems to be more of a threat than a promise.

  18. I spent a week in Baden-Baden a couple of year back and the food was pretty woeful and the Frenchman I was with agreed (although the Russians I was with didn’t seem to care). Cross the Rhine into Alsace and it’s a rather different story.

  19. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Excavator Man and his knob reminds me. The Germans were never really ones for spicy food. The preference for curries for a long time was to have some bland cream-based sauce over chickens bits WITH BONES. I used to have to keep sending my curries back to be made hotter.

    It wasn’t until the mid90s that proper ghee based dishes started appearing. Even so, one still has to order the upper hot ranges to get any real taste out of them and I have always been at a medium level in UK curry terms.

  20. A friend who married a German then worked in a public library was instructed by her bosses not to eat garlic to avoid causing offence. No wonder their food is so bland!

  21. “If you’re up in the Ozarks in the Deep South”
    The Ozarks are mostly in Missouri, which is not the “Deep South”. /Pendant

  22. Which reminds me of one of Bismarck’s aperçus:
    “A strange fellow your Bavarian. Halfway between an Austrian and a human being.”

  23. Friern Barnet hospital staff canteen is open to the unwashed and serves acceptable fry-ups. But it’s sorta out of the way. The plebs are meant to head for the Costa on the main concourse.

  24. garlic is obviously more exotic to Krauts than chilli

    Didn’t used to be. Blucher, for example, was well known to frequently reek of garlic. Explains why he lived so long, I suppose.

  25. I genuinely love the food there, but then simple combinations of meat, starch, cream and mushrooms make me happy.

    Plus it’s a relief not having to add salt to everything, unlike here now PHE have buggered up everything.

  26. “For mid-range and budget, give me Hong Kong every day. ”

    I reckon HK has* the most restaurants from different nations, staffed by nationals, than any other city I’ve visited. The quality of the ingredients tend to be authentic as well. (Worst I’ve ever had on that front was a Tapanyaki in The Hague, they really don’t work with North Sea ingredients.)

    *had? its a while since I was there

  27. German sausages vs English one? Choosing between one bit of boiled meat and another bit seems like a wash to me.

    I don’t know – maybe German beer vs English beer?

  28. Many of my German acquaintances regard food as something to line their stomach before ordering a drink. The non-drinkers view food as fuel, a necessary evil. An ice cream or a cake and most appear happy.

  29. “In heaven the food is French, the cars are German and the police are British, but in hell…”

    You can scratch that last bit about British police, with their obsession with social justice and banging up everyone who looks a bit askance at a 200lb bloke in a dress pissing in the Ladies sink………….

  30. No chance. My wife worked with an Italian Nurse who spoke quite good English to talk to, but struggled with the level required to do medical things.

    I doubt there are a significant number of UK qualified Nurses who speak German well enough (that aren’t of German origin, i.e. didn’t learn it in our school system). It wouldn’t surprise me if there aren’t any.

  31. We have some really good food options here in Auckland; however whenever we just want something hearty our go to restaurant is German.
    Plus they do beer in proper sized glasses rather than the 400ml “pints” that half the bars use to rip you off!

  32. @Chris Miller February 27, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Better weather? Better than Poland, maybe, but the continental climate means roasting summers and freeze your nuts off winters


    Initially Sweden in mid Feb seemed OK, after a while I asked “when does cold snap end?” – April/May. This was Malmo which is further South than where I lived in UK

    I prefer UK’s temperate climate (and food).

  33. Yes, I was once in Stockholm in Feb and decided to walk the 800m back to the hotel. I genuinely feared frostbite in my ears and after a few hundred yards I flagged down a taxi.

    OTOH I was in Leningrad (as was) in March ’86 and there was a line of people sunning themselves in swimsuits along the banks of the Neva (that was still partly iced over).

  34. As a HK resident I would challenge the comments on the food here. If you want a purely ‘local’ diet then fine, but western food is largely an expensive and usually disappointing experience. At the top end it can be very good but mid range is expensive – difficult to get a decent steak for under 350hkd for example (35 quid) and more often than not a dish sounds lovely but tastes of nothing at all. Even worse it costs even more to buy in supermarket and cook at home as the tycoons that run HK property (which is why restaurants are so expensive) have a lock on supermarkets as well. A pack of Safeway labelled bacon that cost 2.40 in the UK costs HKD 100 here. If you want to put on a decent dinner party for 8 people it will probably end up being 500 quid plus wine. So people don’t do it, the meet in disappointing mid priced restaurants instead.

  35. Mark, of course you only eat local in HK!

    If you misss steak, you can get fantastic beef noodles in CWB for around $120. No need to eat dreary “pizza” or fish and chips with the investment wankers in Stanley.

    For western high-end try the Verandah.

  36. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Germans and Austrians are constantly surprised to hear me speak German in my cockney accent, so the chances of meeting a Brit nurse out there speaking the lingo are indeed slim. Builders perhaps, don’t know what it is like now, but Munich swarmed with UK builders in the 90s.

    I’m sure BiG will concur. It s Karneval time in the Papist areas of the country and there are fewer more depressing sights than watching Germans try to enjoy themselves .

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