Sunday, May 6, 2012

Beer and Fußball

I know I haven't been doing a fair job of keeping everything updated, so here's my (albeit lacking) attempt to catch up a small bit! The past couple of months have been so busy! I still have to slap myself in the face sometimes to remind myself that, in fact, I have NOT always lived in Germany, and that Aachen is not my real home. I've come to the mind-blowing epiphany that it's not about how long you live in a place that makes it your home, but rather how you interact with it. It's all about how you connect yourself to it, explore it, observe it from an outsider's point of view, and learn to appreciate it. If I would've known that going into college, it wouldn't have taken two years for me to acclimate to Springfield. But i digress.

1. BEER 
No trip to Germany is complete without becoming a beer-lover. Luckily, I didn't have far to go. I didn't realize until visiting the Netherlands how great German beer is. It's can seriously be the Miss America of all beer. I say this bold statement based on two things, taste and price. Mostly price, since I'm a broke college student living in a Euro world with a Dollars bank account. But really.  You can get really good beer (correction: beers**, who just buys one beer?)  for a couple euro or less at the supermarket. Or if you know where to go, you can get a 2 euro half-liter draught weizen (wheat beer....if you don't know what this is, imagine Blue Moon...but 18340967 times better). The bar in my basement (yeah, repeat that in your head....BAR IN BASEMENT) has 1 euro Veltins (from one of the top 7 breweries in Germ.), Kölsch, Jever, and more. In fact, for those days when coffee just isn't enough, I am quite lucky enough to also have a handy-dandy BEER VENDING MACHINE in the basement. I say those capitalized words while waving my hands around in the air above my head to emphasize the revolutionary greatness of this. 
Or, if you want to get really German, you can mix your beer with Coke, Fanta, banana juice (I've tried this and it's surprisingly delicious), cherry syrup, wine, or just about anything you want. It sounds disgusting, but don't hate until you've tried it! (I picture all my blog-readers running to their kitchens right now to whip up a banana beer..don't disappoint me!) 

I could go on talking about German beer for a really long time...but anyway.


I accomplished something major on my list!!! I went to watch an Aachen vs Frankfurt match a couple weeks ago. Alemannia is Aachen's fußball team (yellow and black), who are sadly now in the third league (which apparently no one cares about). We sat in the front row instead of standing with the rest of the crazy fans, which was nice for me because I wanted to take lots of pictures and I didn't understand the game anyway, so I kept having to ask questions. I think my toes might have a bit of permanent frostbite from that game (what a great souvenir!). 

My German friend told me that Alemannia used to be pretty good, but their stadium was always full so they built a bigger and better one. *For the record, the new stadium is reallllly nice. It holds about 30-25,000 people if I remember correctly. But in order to pay for the new stadium, Alemannia had to sell off their best players. So now, no one goes to the games because they suck and the stadium is usually only about 1/2 full (15,000 people which is ironic because the old stadium held 20,000). The game that I attended was an important match because it determined whether or not Alemannia would stay in the (still good) 2nd league, or be bumped into the 3rd league. Frankfurt filled a quarter of the stadium with red, black, screaming, and even fireworks. Due to my complete lack of soccer knowledge, I couldn't even say if they tried hard or not, but we lost 0-3 no matter how well they played. There were some pretty funny moments, though. At one point, one of the Frankfurt players just completely pretended that the Alemannia player pushed him down, so he's standing there happy as a lark, looks at the guy next to him, falls down flat on the ground, and starts yelling. The best part was that the ref wasn't even paying attention. The stands were a mixture of laughter and yelling profanities at him. 

Regardless, it was an awesome experience. During the yellow-card moments of the match, I had never heard louder screaming in my entire life. I'll just describe the rest of it with pictures.

Frankfurt with the ball, as was most of the game.

What a gem.

Poor Alemannia didn't stand a chance.

Extra security at the end of the game to control the rioting.

Frankfurt celebrated their win with fireworks

♫ Ale (sung ah-lay), Ale, Ale, Ale, Ale,
Alemannia, Alemannia,
Ale, Ale, Ale! ♫

On a brief and unrelated  note, I want to complain. It is currently MAY 6th, and 46 degrees outside. Yesterday, I had to put the fleece lining back inside my coat, and wore my warmest scarf. Oh, it's also raining, but I stopped noticing that after the first four weeks of solid precipitation. I pray your weather is better wherever you are!! 

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