From Berlin I spent the last couple of days in the small town of Bonn, in the west on the Rhine river. I stayed with Georg Rienartz, another contact via Russell who was my age and a student there. There wasnt an abundance of toursit sites in Bonn (although I’ve gotten progressively more negligent of my tourist obligations with each city I’ve visited), so I just mostly hung out and loitered around the town. For dinner, Georg took me to his home home where his mom cooked dinner for us. On the way, Georg and I tlaked about the game and he said something that troubled me, that, during Sunday’s game, he felt like he was doing something wrong by cheering “Deutsch-land!” It sort of went along with what I had talked about with Roderik’s father, the sort of sad, self loathing that many Germans seem forced to harbor in the wake of Nazism makes all demonstrations of national pride seem suspect. Very interesting and very sad if true. Anyway, Georg’s mother was very German (interpret that how you like), speaking almost no English. I mostly just sat there and smiled like a big dork while they visited with each other. Since I speak German about like a three year old, theres no telling what I actually said to her when I attempted to speak.
That night, I went out with Georg and a bunch of his friends. They were all really friendly, and, again, willing to include me by speaking English. One highlight of my time in Bonn was getting to eat at the Bonn university cafeteria (I’m obviously easily pleased). Georg’s girlfriend ate there everyday so I asked if I could come along. She was Polish, and her accent sounded like one of the girls out of any James Bond movie. Anyway, it was really cool, eating German government food among German students, all eager to grill me about American foreign policy, of course.