Life is great. I'm having the best time here!!
I went out to this really great local bar on Tuesday with Callie and Elena and found out my favorite beer EVER is hefeweisen b/c it doesn't taste that bitter and its pretty sweet. The old bar we were in was so cool and quiet. It was decorated like some 70's house with weird flowery pea green wall paper and like barf yellow accent colors. Ha, I really liked the place.
Oh and last saturday I had a bought of homesickness that came about in the weirdest way possible. I was going to a bar with my friend Kirk to this place that a few people had heard was really good. WORST IDEA EVER! It was a hostel bar with basically only Americans in it. The people I was with were really fun, but there were some guys there who were American that were SOOO annoying. They were the obnoxious Americans who were like, "Oh I love America! I never want to leave again!" "I'm from Boston and its the best place on Earth! Blah blah blah, I'm drunk and American and annoying." Basically. Yeah so that was a total bust! They were even playing football! American football on the TV!! UGH! I don't even watch football in the US and I sure as hell did not come to Germany to hang out in a bar with a bunch of Americans watching football! It was horrible. Luckily I just called it a night early and went home.
After that night things went back to being really fun though. On Wednesday Manfred was having dinner with his nephew so I was to find my own food. It just so happened that Adam and Raleigh wanted to get food that night too and then Kirk came along b/c his family did the same thing as mine. The four of us found this really cheap place in Charlottenburg near Raleigh's house and enjoyed the ambiance of eating out. We decided to go to stamtsch, the student meeting in a local bar, because it was right near us. Ah stamtisch was such a good idea b/c there were SO many students there and it was really fun. I met this German Bavarian guy named Fabian (haha Fabi for short) who had some interesting insight on what it was like to be from Bavaria and living in Berlin. He was really funny and the best foosball player I'd ever met! Oh Fabi! He did say that he thought Bavaria was not that different, but Stephan (pronounced Stephon), a native Berliner and one of the student assistants, said that Bavaria is really different because its a lot more traditional and people are more religious. Also I think just from being here I've noticed that much of the German stereotypes we think of are actually Bavarian things like leterhosen, beersteins, and the hats with feathers in them.
Dinner with Kirk, Adam, and Raleigh. You can see Kirk is missing home a little bit there with the cheeseburger.
Here's Fabi on the left, then me, then Kirk. The flash wasn't on so its a little blurry.
Then last night I had a great night again! First I had dinner at Manfred's friend's house who had a daughter who was 19 and spoke really good english. She was really nice and had a lot to say about living in Berlin. Her mom was also really nice and kept asking me about why I chose Berlin and what cultural differences there are. Haha I said the fact that there's no open bottle rule is the weirdest thing b/c on the weekends there'll be kids in the UBahn drinking out of vodka and beer bottles. Even going over to thier house I brought a bottle of champagne and I felt like the bus driver was going to tell me to put it away. Haha its really weird growing up with something then having it mean nothing in another place. Yeah they said they thought it was so weird that in the US you couldn't drink openly. Haha she said they were camping once and had a wine bottle out and a ranger told them to put it away even though they were all like 30 to 40 years old. Ha she said they always forget when the go to the US about the open bottle rule.
Later that night after I exchanged numbers with the 19 year old daughter, Raleigh and I met up and for lack other place to go we went to stamtisch again b/c it was still going on. Ah stamtisch is so much fun! The bar we were at is one of the few places were beer comes in the liter mugs. Haha like the really stereotypical big glasses that are really heavy. Ha and then we kept making up names for Stephon's children that he doesn't actually have haha. We were going for the most stereotypical names like Hansel, Gretel, Fredrick, and Hans. Haha oh Stephon is such a good sport for putting up with us. Yeah we even went out to get more beer b/c its really common to leave a bar, buy more beer, drink it outside, then go back to another bar. Haha so Stephon and Raleigh and this guy Max all went and stood in the FREEZING cold (its like -9 Celsius here! BRR!) and drank our beer. It was a good night all in all and Stephon is a pretty funny guy. We talked about religion for a good while and then went on to talk about Berlin and America.
Raleigh and I with our HUGE liter beers.
Here's Stephon, Raleigh and I outside in the cold! He was such a good sport! Oh and I think you can see that someone wrote I love Germany in graffiti on the wall. Haha how appropriate! I do love Germany!
Its so interesting how alcohol is treated here. Its definitely just part of the culture. Its like going out for coffee in the US. No one thinks anything of it to just sit with a beer outside. Its really freeing. Its not like I'm going out and getting drunk every night (although after that liter of beer I'll admit that was a lot of alcohol) but its so normal to just go as a social thing to bars. You order one drink and sit there and talk about life or whatever. I just like the atmosphere. Its really casual compared to drinking in the US which is usually binge drinking. Its a really good place to meet local people too which is really nice. Basically I'm not getting wasted every night I'm just going out to see people. The US should really consider changing its moralistic view of alcohol and maybe we'd have less binge drinking.
Basically I'm having an AMAZING time and its really the best to go out to pubs and bars and just hang out with people then go to museums and cultural places during the day. AMMAZING. I am living the life.