Wednesday, February 23, 2005

It’s a Small World After All

23 February 2005

Well, I finally feel better after a Big Mac, Minestrone soup, Lazagna (from the Italian/Mexican Restaurant a block up from the Dom (Cathedral in English). ) Actually, I’m wondering if I’m not coming down with the flu that everyone and their mother has had in the Western world. Being on the “oriental” side of things has kept the most of us sheltered from the Outbreak. Time will tell.

It was great to bum around Cologne again at my own pace. I just drink this place in (literally) every time I’m here. As I have said before, the people speak the same dialect that I’ve learned, they have a more friendly approach, the food is great and especially the bier is fantastic. It was funny, but last night in Frankfurt, the waitress comes up to me and asks me what I want to drink and I asked her for the rundown on what they offer. Finally, I added questioningly, “Koelsch?” To which she relpied, “No, you have to go to Cologne for that. The world will stop on the day that the Koelsch-bier runs out in Cologne!

I’ve been having a great time here in Cologne. Took myself on an impromptu church tour. I had researched Cologne on TripAdvisor.com before coming here and was really surprised to find that Cologne has twelve churches specifically that are Roman established churches. Most boast their beginnings from the 9th century. Others like St. Albans and St. Maria im Capitol are very old churches that are still in the process of being restored.

I went looking for gifts today, no shopping today. That will be tomorrow’s task. They even have a city-sponsored shop that sells mugs, puzzles, glasses, all kinds of knick-knacks and posters all dedicated to the history and promotion of the city of Cologne. I’ll be going back there soon, but I just needed to chill today and plan.

I got a hold of Roland in Elst, Netherlands tonight. I really feel bad for springing my arrival in Europe on him. I begged him not to change any plans if they already had them, but he said not to worry. I will only spend Friday night and part of Saturday with them. This is the screaming fast tour of Europe for me this time around. At least I’m getting the chance to see friends. That really makes the trip special for me.

Speaking of special, I was at a bar tonight and started talking with a guy sitting next to me. Turns out that he is an American and is over here in Cologne on a special arrangement with the University here. I asked him what University he is with in the States and he replied Ohio U in Athens, OH10. I promptly asked him if he knew Ms (Professor) Lisa Crockett-Hassett and Mr (Professor) Pat Hassett as I know they live and work there too.

Lisa, Pat and crew go wayyyyyyy back (we’re talking jumping far into the wayback machine here folks) to my winter-over in 1988-89 season at Palmer Station. She and Pat were two of the group of scientists that came down during our winter over. Just a side-note here; Lisa is a third generation Antarctic explorer. Her Daddy and Granddaddy were down on the Ice too at different times of their lives. Another side note; I think that the spark between Lisa and Pat was started after Lisa got two of the other Beaker girls along with herself, to jump Pat and basically de-shirt him. They tried to “pants” him too, but I think Lisa wanted to still have some surprises for later!

Anyway, back to the story. I thought that the man was going to drop his teeth right there. Wasn’t it just a couple days ago I was saying something about the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon? I’ll be darned! See? It really is a Small World After All. It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all, it’s a small, small world. And with that, I’m going to let you with that song ringing in your head and waking you up in the middle of the night for the next two weeks! Cheers.
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