The first thing I wanted when we got off the plane in Germany almost five weeks ago, was a Diet Coke. Pictured above is what I got. Here it's called Coca-Cola Light. I took a sip, thinking that it would be the same as home and I was wrong.
I had remembered my mom telling me long ago that Diet Coke used to taste the same as regular, but it became a problem with diabetics in restaurants because they couldn't tell the difference. For a diabetic, getting regular Coke would be a big problem. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten regular Coke in a restaurant by accident, so I could see how this could easily happen and a diabetic wouldn't notice the difference. Hence, they made Diet Coke taste like it does today and those who aren't used to it, don't like that taste.
Diet Coke here tastes exactly like regular Coke, and since I've been drinking diet for the past 15 years, that took me a little by surprise. I won't even drink Coke Zero because it tastes too much like the original (which was the whole point of its creation). The moment I took that first sip, I was already looking forward to the first Diet Coke I got on our return trip in July. That was pretty sad since we weren't even in our final destination at that point.
Like at home, there are generic versions for everything. Pictured above is the 1.5 liter generic Diet Coke from Aldi's. It only cost 39 Euro cents! They have a bottle deposit here as they did in Michigan, so that's not something new for us. 39 Euro cents seems like a steal for us and because it's generic, it doesn't taste as much like regular Coke, which makes me a lot happier.
I had heard before we got here that ice was not something common in Europe. We had learned from some of the Germans working with Andy in the States, that a big reason for that is because there aren't free refills in Europe and you'd rather have more to drink than ice (gotta love how good we have things in America). It's also a bit of a luxury item. The price really depends on where you're eating. In the grocery store you can get a small bottle for a little less than a Euro. I've encountered places where it can be as much as 2 Euros. Yesterday, I was out at lunch and was shocked when I got the bill and it was 3 Euros! That translates to $4 in the US. I only paid 1 Euro for Brady's whole lunch and had I known it would cost that much for my drink, I wouldn't have gotten it.
I knew before we came over here that diet pop was something that was going to be rare, so I planned ahead. I bought the new Brita bottles that have a filter in the spout so that you can put water from anywhere and it'll filter it right before it hits your mouth. These are great to keep in the fridge for cold water and will be great when we travel.