Admittedly, even though I am a small-town-girl myself, I’d rather made strange when moving to Brunswieck and I still do – sometimes. After stops in Hamburg, Cairo, Amman, Istanbul and Stuttgart I witnessed a cultural ramp-down in late autumn 2006: Brunswieck. I beg all Brunswieck-Fans pardon for this. I know that the city has its assets: I can go by bike because everything can be easily reached. My beloved central German uplands, the Harz mountains, are close and two times a week the Reben-Hall offers the best circuit training in town among familiar faces. If there were not the weekends and the memory of the “wild” nights in Hamburg, where the challenge was to choose an event out of hundreds of interesting events and not to find something interesting at all.
Again and again on Wednesdays
This Saturday everything has changed. I subscribed to the town’s newsletter of events a while ago. Often, I just open the newsletter hopefully and five minutes later I close it disappointedly. But this time it is different, because I meet soul mates. Three writers are going to explain to me on Saturday night how and why I have to put on my beer goggles for Brunswieck, including a self-experiment thanks to a subsequent Cocktail-performance. Voilà, that’s quite something.
Within the framework of the “Kulturviertel im Quartier” I get to know the Jakob-Kemenate for the first time. I always wanted to go there – good location. The invitation text makes me curious. It claims to answer the following questions:
1. Is it necessary to put on one’s beer goggles for Brunswieck?
2. Does it still exist the typical German corner pub?
3. The smoky pub at the end of the street, where discussion on all the world and his brother are taking place?
4. Where strangers become friends?
The evening claims elucidation on this subject from the (self-appointed) pub and literature experts Christoph H. Winter, Merle Janssen and Gerald Fricke. As I do not know them I do not have great expectations, i.e. I can only be caught by surprise in a favourable way. And that’s the way it goes.
Of gay bass players and true love
Merle Janssen gets started and tells us about her experience with Barnaby’s Blues Bar, whereas the audience refreshes itself with drinks (at no charge!!!). The first story is all about Don Papa and a gay bass player. A typical women fate – who has not heard of it? The lecturer does a good job, however she might already suspect that she will be outmanoeuvred from her neighbor to the right side pretty soon. However, to her credit I have to admit that she was clever enough to start reading. Christoph Winter did not hit the jackpot as can be read from his facial expression.
This is when the congenial Gerald Fricke, until then unknown to me, starts performing with a play on words that even two-fisted and extremely critical minds like me have to relax their facial features and thus lose their straight face. Have I missed a literary jewel so far? Well, it became obvious quite quickly to everybody who is the favourite artist. His combatants however do not seem to have expected anything else than that and give the go-ahead to Gerald. Completely unleashed he could most probably read Brunswieck’s telephone book to the audience – and they would still love it. But, he talks of true love instead. But be cautious, true love in Brunswieck only does exist between Eintracht Braunschweig and men.
Money for nothing and the chicks for free
After an hour the party is over. (Free) Cocktails are now being served in the courtyard next to wine, beer and slices of bread with toppings. That reminds me on the culinary extraordinary times in Caffé Platti in Torino. But still you had to pay for your drinks there to get your hands on the magnificent buffet with Italian delicacies. Just to denounce any confusion: The Platti is unmatched!
After three glases of wine (two of them mixed with water!) and one (Whisky Sour) Cocktail I try to reflect if the initially posed questions have been answered in course of the evening. Well, I am afraid that my knowledge concerning those questions is the same as before. But what the heck? It was a nice evening. And maybe the Jakob-Kemenate is my new true love, who knows?