Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bundesliga Fuβball

[ National Leage Soccer ]

Friday after class, I walked home - broke a sweat up the hill which has become a daily ritual - but wasn't greated at home by Adriane and Eva. I forgot that both of them had jobs for the day, Eva, at a wedding, and Adriane at a stand at the Saarspektakel which started this weekend as well. I decided to use the freetime to rest and take a nap, and see what I would be up to after I woke up refreshed. It was my first Friday night in Germany, and I wasn't sure what I was up to for the weekend. It was a very busy week, filled with a lot of learning and many new things, and just hanging out and unwinding was, I think, on all of my American classmate's minds.

I was in my boxers ready, to close the blinds and get a bit of sleep when I heard footsteps down the stairs and a knock at my door.


The door slides open, it was Lutz. [you have a key to the house?]
Hallo, what are you doing tonight?

Nothing really, maybe meeting people at the festival. Why?

Tonight is the first match of the soccer season.

Oh cool, I brought my cleats here to Germany.

No, the season on the TV.

Ohhhhh, great.

I am having a BBQ and you should come and we will watch the game.


So there, that settled my plans for the night. It wasn't till after the conversation was done that I realized I was there standing in my underwear - hmm, maybe I feel a bit more European already.

I took my nap, and a little before 8, Olli was at the house to pick me up. We cruised a few blocks away in town and we arrived at Lutz's place. The charcoals were lit and then we were going to start cooking on our little BBQ. The next day, when I told one of my friends about it, she replied that she wanted to do a German BBQ too. The ironic thing was that the two packs of meat we had, marinated pork and marinated chicken, both had American flags on the packages - go figure. All American BBQ. I guess barbequing is American summer culture, and from the German perspective, from Lutz's description with a circling arm motion, our BBQs at home are wall unit size.

Once the food was cooking, Lutz and Olli pulled out some Weizenbier that they wanted me to try. It essentially is a beer with a significant amount of wheat in the blend. I really don't know much about how to palate beer or wine, but I have been able to try both since it is drank casually here with meals. The Weizenbier was different, and I guess a bit more bitter I supposed [ and really frothy at the top ] and Lutz joked that it was essentially liquid bread in a glass. According to the guys, this is what you can get at Oktoberfests in big frothy mugs. After the initial tasting, they added stuff to the beers which was a surprise to me - banana nectar in one, and coke in another. These mixers sounded crazy to me, but both were really good. Altogether it was really good with the BBQ. [and my glass was shaped like the world cup with the golden beer inside - quite the novelty ]

During dinner, the conversation was pretty fun. Right now Olli is being trained as an assistant in an Ambulance and has had some very exciting experiences for just his first few days. This led to the talk of health care and the politics that are happening with the local elections this month. One thing of concern here is the vaccine for the Schweinegrippe - swine flu. [ which I wonder if it relates to the Polish word, since to have a flu po polsku is mam grypę , either way it was easier for me to instantly understand this way of saying the virus over Stefan's translation of pork-sickness, which made me have to tilt my head and ponder for a bit ] The issue of debate with the Schweinegrippe is whether it should be subsidised by the government, by healthcare, or footed by the people - at the cost of 15 Euros. A deal right? Well, Lutz and and Olli said this is enough to get the Germans out protesting in the streets - picketing being the national pastime of the Germans they claimed. This expectation for healthcare is definitely a difference from America.

After some more conversation from senior trips in high school [they went to Spain as an entire class! 400+ classmates for an all inclusive week! ] to other random chat, we headed inside to catch the rest of the first half before halftime.

The season opening game was against the national champs from last year, Wolfsburg, against Stuttgart. Wolfsburg is from the Niedersachsen area and Stuttgart is from Sothern Germany.

Halftime came quickly at 0-0 and during the break came the news [ the only real note of interest is because it was the first time I watched TV here in Germany, and thus the first time seeing their news broadcasts and the perspectives on Iraq, the American economy etc.] The second half was exciting, with 2 goals by Wolfsburg allowing them to win the game in the end.

I am going to enjoy watching soccer here because it really is an exciting sport to watch, and I wish it had a closer following in America. This is a lucky year to live in Germany, since I will experience the winter olympics as well as the World Cup in South Africa, both from German perspective and coverage.

Wrapping up the night, the three of us walked into town and by the river to see the first night of the Saarspektakel - a large festival in Saarland alongside the river, which is taking place this weekend. There were many people, stands for food, boats with lights and music, as well as crowds of people dancing by stages housing DJs with some pretty great dance/house mixes. We weren't there too long, but it is something I will be excited to see when I go back tomorrow.


  1. chris! i've really enjoyed reading your notes so far, even tho they're making me jealous.. about the possble polish connection between "grippe"and "grypa," you're probably right, that they are related. parts of western poland used to be part of eastern germany, so there's a lot of linguistic crossover (like the area of germany you're in and france/french). glad to know the "mother tongue" is coming in handy! (try out kartofel, it mean potato in polish, but has a german root..) keep having fun!!

  2. Now thats what im talken about Chris......
    Have FUN & Party hard..


  3. hey, sounds pretty good so far!

    the next time you should try Weizenbier with banana juice. It's good - trust me ;)

    Bis bald

  4. so with "grippe" it's the same in russian and possibly in french, but don't quote me on that one, i can't remember exactly.