I’d like to buy the world a döner kebab …

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I was mostly kidding when I said that a döner kebab van in Leesburg, Va., represented deep truths about globalization. But then I got this comment, from one Michael Pöppelmann:

I am an exchange student from Germany and currently in the United States. Doener is my most favorite food. Sometimes I even dream about eating it, just because it is really filling and healthy!

There you have it, a German exchange student, desperately homesick not for bratwurst but for … döner. And come to think of it, when I was an exchange student in the Netherlands 25 years ago, tacos were the food I missed most.

Now I realize that döner and tacos are trivializations of long-established culinary traditions, and I’m not going so far as to proclaim that nations with döner kebab vans have never fought a war against each other. But I guess I am enough of a stateless cosmopolitan that I am cheered by the sight of Turkish food by way of Germany being served in a parking lot in Loudoun County, Va.

Also, I’d like to share with Michael and the rest of the world an important piece of information: The html coding for umlauts. To write an ö, you start with an ampersand (&) and then (with no spaces) type ouml, followed (again with no spaces) by a semicolon. For a ü it’s uuml, for ä it’s auml. One need never write “doener,” or worse, “doner,” again. What’s more, no two nations that use umlauts have ever fought a war against each other! (Well, actually, that’s probably not true.)

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