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Migrating for Power

June 2, 2009

Yesterday ended with Taylor and I finding a genuine German restaurant to eat and moving into our new hostel. When we walked into the fast food place in the basement of the bus station, everything was in German and none of the dishes familiar. Previously when we have needed things everyone has spoken English, further inflating our view that America is the center of the universe. However, when Taylor said to the owner “I don’t speak German,” the man shrugged and gave him a look that said, “What do I care?” I honestly found it refreshing. Most importantly, the durum doner was delicious.We got back to the hostel that we will be staying at for the duration of the trip, Haus Venusburg. The house we are staying in is tucked back into the woods, and is a surprisingly nice place for the group rate price of $20 a night. It was nice to finally have a home for my 40 lb suitcase, especially since Taylor and I turned out to the be the only ones sleeping in our 4 person room.

We woke up early to go to a quaint grocery store 100 meters down the road. When we walked into the store, I was amazed at  the difference between European and American grocery stores in selling disposable items. The beer and soda are in bottles that are returned to the store,  customers  pay .15 euro per disposable bag, and there were no disposable utensils or plates sold that we  found. Also, we had a prehistoric epiphany when we realized we had no access to a refrigerator (or microwave or stove). When I pointed out that dairy products would spoil if we tried to store them, Taylor reminded me that we could walk to the grocery store every couple of days when we ran out. We didn’t have to buy large quantities or drive to the grocery store. How unique!

After putting our groceries away and packing sandwiches, we caught the 600 bus to the central station, where we rode the 66 to the Maritim hotel, the location of the Bonn conference. We’re starting to get into a routine, and Taylor is a master at the Bonn public transit system.

The conference has been enjoyable, and I’m sure that Taylor will give more detail later. But before I sign off, I’d like to make note of the humorous “migration patterns” we’ve been noticing at the conference. Because everyone is so dependent on electricity to charge their laptops (including us), sitting positions are determined not by convenience or comfortability, but by proximity to power outlets. To those from DePauw, you will appreciate the analogy that looking for a spot next to an outlet is even more competitive than trying to find a table in Julian during finals week.


Bis später!


7 Comments leave one →
  1. Alex permalink
    June 3, 2009 1:40 pm

    well Anthony… I don’t know. tables in Julian during finals week can be really difficult to grab.

    • abaratta permalink
      June 3, 2009 1:52 pm

      i know man, they’re both difficult. but this is even more people so it seems more intense.

  2. June 4, 2009 3:51 pm

    Your post reminds me of my first few days in Bonn in July 1983. I’m glad you’re raising the questions about the arcane quality of the UN. Perhaps you could ask some folks over beer if they think the process is accomplishing something, and if so, how.

    In my opinion, the fight is multi-pronged.

    When you look out over the grassy area next to the university, imagine hundreds of thousands of folks there to hear Petra Kelly, & Nobel winners Willy Brandt & Heinrich Boll speaking out against stationing nukes in Europe on 10/22/83 or so.

    At the time, it looked inevitable; then hopeless two years later. Within six years, the wall came down.

  3. June 5, 2009 9:19 pm

    I know what you mean about European grocery stores. It’s the same in Holland. I love it.

  4. June 6, 2009 8:57 am

    15 euros per dispolsable bag? that would be awful – it’s just 0.15 euro 🙂

    • tcantril permalink*
      June 6, 2009 3:52 pm

      Sorry, Anthony mistyped. Europe´s not that expensive. We corrected it now.

  5. Dilius Maximus permalink
    June 6, 2009 9:34 pm

    I love the German culture, and I find your run in with the German restaurant quite amusing. Keep it up!

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