Cologne – ~60 hours (20 sleeping)
This will be an easy post to write as most of the time was spent at the trade show. I’ll comment that the breakfast buffet in my hotel was badass but the line got to be overwhelming if you went too late (after 7:15am). I’m a big fan of their orange multi-vitamin juice which can be found in most Germany buffets.
Jeff and Julia arrived in the early afternoon and we went out for mittagessen. The German service was a bit suspect at this particular restaurant and you’re never quite sure what’s going on. We went to the trade show for a bit and then wandered around the streets where we witnessed domestic abuse. A guy got mad at a woman and pushed her over, she got up and was looking to hit him with her bag (dumb move) and he socked her in the face. We scooted away and drank some Kolsch at a local cafe. The server there told us a fun night spot was the Shying Deer which we went to the next night. It gets dark there around 10pm and it’s odd because restaurants stop serving food around 9ish. So we spent a bit too much time out and ended up having to eat at the hotel for convenience sake. The night ended without too much excitement.
The next day we spent all day at the show which was worthwhile. After, I went for a run along the Rhine and it’s great scenery and the town is set up perfectly for long distance runs. We met up with another “business associate” and drank by the river for a bit before having an authentic German meal where you feel like a carnivorous Viking. We bar hopped a bit before hitting the late night place and had a fun time. We got back safely and went to sleep.
We were all feeling it a bit the next day and walked it off before getting on a train which proved to be a story inducing part of the trip. I’ll save that for the next post.
I’m going to use this paragraph to give a few thoughts on the German mentality. By no means am I an expert but I can provide what I think. Germans are highly organized and efficient people. They enjoy the challenge of solving problems. What separates them from me, or at least the few I come in contact with, is they don’t mind falling in line. Order is what makes their world go round. Outside the box is a bit of a foreign thought and if what they have satisfies their needs, they’re happy. I’d imagine many people share this mentality. For me, and perhaps an American mentality, there is no limit on what I set out to achieve. I don’t see myself saying until I choose to, I’m set. It seems to me that this culture is fine with being told they’re set. By who? The government or church. It feels like a controlling society in order to achieve a common good. Now this could be way off, but it’s what I felt when I see the incredible structure like the Dom of Koln, which is the largest twin spired cathedral in the world started in 1218 and quite the human achievement. Strolling through the town of Koln and comparing it to Philadelphia is night and day. It’s clean, orderly, and well thought out. These are smart people who take great pride in their work. However, I don’t feel the same potential to the individual as I do in America. Maybe it’s just me.