who eats what when where with whom why?

Mitarbeiter von eßkultur Berlin

Fabienne - ma chérie!

Nobody gets as excited about birthday cakes as ma chérie Fabienne.

She never used to think about it at all until she left France and moved to Berlin. The Berliners were nice, her flat was big, the city interesting, everything nice and easy. But then: children's birthday parties. Mon Dieu!

What a lot of fuss those Germans make about it. First you have to make a cake for kindergarten, and in the afternoon all the kids come to your place. You have to think, and think thoroughly, about who to invite. If you make the wrong picks, your kid will be bullied in kindergarten later, and the parents of the unfairly-treated will never talk to you again.

But there's worse: Once all the kids are at your place –and chances are that your place is not equipped like a kindergarten– you have to stage a fancy programme with birthday cake, punch-and-judy show, sack race, egg-and-spoon race and chocolate eating contest. Some nice dinner to round it all off, until those other parents finally come to collect their spawn. And it is not over yet: you are supposed to have a small give-away for every little guest. Really, as a mother you can be happy if you survive that horrible day: the birthday of your own child. And silently you hope that next year everybody will forget to celebrate.

In France, ah in France, this used to be so simple! When you were lucky your family sang a song at breakfast, and in the afternoon you could play outside for as long as you could wish. All day long the birthday child could decide things and order things like a king. Birthday cake? Peut-être, maybe some simple marble cake with icing sugar, at most. Sometimes with some candied fruits on top, but Fabienne never really liked those.

But here in Berlin ... mon Dieu!!!

Fabienne is still in shock. Her son is two meters tall by now and 27 years old, a handsome man. Fabienne worries that some day she will have to organise her grandchildren's birthday parties. Possibly she will have to go on a holiday to France then, so sorry!