I was reminded of her when I saw BILD reporting that beer at this upcoming Oktoberfest will now cost up to €9.85 (Euro) per "Maß". What is a "Maß"?, I wondered. It turns out that it is a word in the Bavarian dialect for a mug of one-liter size.
(Respectfully stolen from here)
Beer in Germany's grocery stores is shockingly cheap. A half-liter bottle, as I recall, was only about €0.30, which'd come to 25-30 U.S. cents for 12-oz., for U.S. comparison. I speculated at the time that Germany "subsidized beer".
The artwork at right, of a Maß, is as if it is lifted directly from my own memory. In late April of 2007, I visited Munich for the first and only time. I was traveling around southern-Germany with another American student at the time. We found a veritable Biergarten, open-air, with long wooden tables, quite similar to the scene in the painting. I was a bit ambivalent about the actual drinking, but it's a "must-do thing", isn't it. We got beer in large mugs. They must've been Maße (i.e., Maß plural). If I ever knew the word "Maß", I'd forgotten it, before today. I think we paid €5, plus deposit. This was April, not October. And 2007, not 2013.
My traveling companion, B.A., ended up taking his Maß home to the USA, along with mine and those of several strangers. The strangers' were abandoned ones he'd found in the huge grassy park adjacent to the beer-garden. Mind you, this was not stealing, because everyone pays a 1 EUR deposit, and those who don't return it forfeit the deposit. So all were paid for, by somebody. / I remember that when B.A. was looking for abandoned beer-steins, a woman in her 70s approached us and spoke a few words. Both B.A. and I had fair, functional German abilities at the time, but her dialect/accent was so thick that we couldn't understand her at all. You'd think it'd be demotivating, as both of us were students of the language, but it was more amusing. So this was the notorious "Bayerisch", in the wild.
I occasionally try to keep up with the news in German. I appreciate the low-brow tabloid, BILD, for this purpose, because the writing in it is simple. I can generally understand the contents of most everything in BILD, aided by occasional vocabulary look-ups (as in this word, "Maß"). It can really be a strain on my skill if I have to read long texts in German from something more highbrow. Sometimes cultural in-references that I don't quite get can be problematic, even in BILD.