After changing my clothes and leaving the hotel, I walked up the road toward a place marked “Alte Brauhaus” on the sign. Naturally, when you find a sign that says “Old Brew House”, you don’t just sit in your hotel.
I first checked the hours. According to the sign on the front, the place closed almost an hour before I arrived. But I was so heartbroken, I walked up to the door and poked my head inside anyway. Several guys were standing at the bar, so I walked in and hovered for a few seconds.
“Can I help you?”, the bartender asked, in German. I’m just guessing. She may have said “Get the hell out, we’re closed”. Nobody knows.
“Yes, a beer please!”, I responded, and it worked.
In Germany, they understand that “beer” means “Pils”. So she poured me a pils. It was fantastic. Cold, malty, and somehow tasted thick and luxurious. I dunno if it was because it was a fresh tap, or if Radeburger Pils is the best beer in the world (it’s not), or if I was just tired and wanted a beer. But it was good. I considered taking a photo, but I was sorrounded by hard-working men who just gotten off work and were drinking a beer and talking about soccer. I was not about to take out my cell phone to take a picture of the glass. “HEY GUYS! THIS IS BEER! I’M TAKING A PHOTOGRAPH OF MY BEER GLASS! HA HA HA! THIS IS GREAT! DID YOU KNOW I AM NOT FROM AROUND THIS AREA??! I MISS MY WIFE.”
No. The phone stayed under the table. Here’s a photo of my shoes.
For my second beer, I had a Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen. It was all banana-ey and delicious. It was around this time, that the bartender and neighboring hard-working-men started asking questions. They asked basic questions, like “Are you from Denmark?” and “Where do you work?”. As an almost-native-German-speaker, I responded with fluent German.
“Hi! My name is James! I am 32 years old!”
I’m kidding. It went very well. When I didn’t understand, I said “Slow please!” and otherwise I think I understood. Once, I even asked “was that your question?” because I truly just guessed what the question was (I guessed right). Eventually, we started talking about beer. I asked if they had any other beer than the two on tap. They did! A dunkel, from a bottle hidden under the counter. Someone beside me asked if it was as good as the normal weizen beer, and I said “No, I think the other one is better”, and someone else noted that the other one was on tap, which of course makes all the difference.
I was just thrilled that I understood what was going on. And that’s really the whole point of this post. I understood what was going on.
Usually. Sometimes I had no idea. “We’re taking about soccer” the bartender would say. Ah. Okay. You guys changed the topic, and I didn’t notice. Fine.
Ha ha! Something funny happened! I wish I knew why we are laughing.