Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Word of the day Qual der Wahl from my Brazilian correspondent

So Dr B has gone thousands of kilometres from Ferney Voltaire to the northern reaches of Brazil at the mouth of the Amazon to find he is staying in a hotel run by a Frenchman married to a Brazilian. So far he hasn´t been very ambitious when it comes to eating and just walked 50 metres down the road to the local restaurant which turned out also to display a French flag and be run by a man with an enormous handlebar moustache who used to live in Chamonix! Worse still, he was confronted with the choice on the menu of filet de boeuf or coquelet au four. It´s what the Germans call the qual der wahl ... In the end he decided to go with the Brazilian national dish (beef) which was just delicious (he says).
I suppose qual der wahl is how having to choose makes you suffer - choisir c'est souffrir - the agony of choice - something Dr B normally only goes through when he's trying to decide between deserts not main courses. It's a phrase that comes to my mind when I look at the yoghurt counter in the supermarket - just how many yoghurts does it take to make human beings happy?