Sunday, July 31, 2011

friends in foreign places

it's a great feeling when you're traveling abroad, you're feeling a little displaced, everything is, um, "different," and then you get to see a familiar face and then, THEN you also get to meet a new friend who introduces you to a freaking cool beer bar.

our friend dan is in berlin for a couple of days with a friend of his, daniel, from rastatt. we had the good luck to cross paths, have some dinner and then move across the street to aufsturz, a dark, low-ceilinged bar in the mitte district of berlin. daniel kept apologizing for his english while expressing nuanced ideas about our american political system. he was more educated about it than us, i think. or it may have been the eisweissbier catching up to us. but i mean, come on, you can't apologize for your grasp of english while speaking at that level of proficiency and here we are, struggling to pronounce basic nouns and verbs in german. very impressive. glad to have a new friend.

we cruised through a pretty good list of beers, some we'd heard of but most we hadn't. current new favorites include rothouse hefeweizen and hopf white eisweissbier. those go down a little too easily. daniel introduced us to a smoked beer which was, well, interesting but quickly became overwhelming. still, when one is recommended something by a local one doesn't sit back and say "no thanks, i'll have a budweiser." aecht rauchbier marzen was an eye opener, like drinking a refreshing pound of smoked ham. try to wrap your head around that.

thanks dan and daniel for a good six hour hang, we really enjoyed ourselves. now it's sunday morning, head's fuzzy, coffee is setting in and the church bells around this part of berlin are ringing away.

one more note, just in case this is handy to anyone else, a lesson learned: jeans really can be worn for five days straight including a seven hour flight at the beginning. it's now been proven. we're not saying it's comfortable, we're just saying.


  1. happily, russ' jeans got washed today! it's amazing how confusing, humbling and exhilarating it can be to do something in a foreign country that would be a no-brainer at home. like washing clothes at the local laundromat, picking up concert tickets at will call, and buying groceries. so far, it's all worked out . . .

  2. Michelle comments! Soon we need to see an actual Michelle post, so we know it's not just russ + beer + travel. ;-)