Saturday, October 31, 2009


[ Freebies ]

For those who know me, when there is free stuff being given out somewhere, odds are I am scoping out the scene. One day this past week, I was heading up to the Mensa - the main student cafeteria on Campus - to meet up with some friends. In the main vestibule was a large crowd of people, stacks of boxes, and more people happily walking away digging through a bag filled with free stuff.

I didn't have to hesitate, I got in line, received my bag, and only then took a moment to realize what it was for.

I am pretty sure the free bags came from a local book store or other business since there were coupons and other ads inside the bag. There was also a trial shampoo -always nice - a chocolate bar - another bonus, and ...

A bottle of beer?

What?! [was I supposed to show my ID somewhere? ]

Now, this wasn't normal beer, but some lime mixed beer drink - and I checked that the alcoholic percent was a bit lower than normal beer - but nonetheless, this was given out for free.

It doesn't matter in the states if it is only a few percent of alcohol, you will still be carded at a store to prove you are over 21 years old [ a concept that I have received a lot more comments about here in Germany than I was anticipating ]. It is generally understood that alcohol is not necessarily carded as heavily here in Germany, and tolerance for young adults and teens making purchases is higher, but this situation with the freebies took me by surprise.

It most definitely is something I think only an American can really be shocked about, but no ID- checking aside, this alcohol was just handed out like candy. I know for a fact that something like this would never be able to be distributed publicly at UofM or another American University, even if it is just a few percent alcohol content.

With little surprises like this, university life, even in these early first few weeks, is already proving to be more different than I first anticipated.

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