There is a little story, that I think is very nice, that I forgot to tell anyone.  Вот!

My dorm is approximately a 10-minute walk from the centre of a little village called Golm, which is actually an Ortsteil of Potsdam.  The second day I was here, I discovered that the dining halls close for dinner over break, and I had not gone shopping.  So I was faced with a decision: go forage, or starve.  I elected to take a walk to Golm, which I hoped would have at least one eating establishment.  It turned out to have exactly one (as far as I could tell).  This establishment was called the Walch Café, and was completely empty, except for one dude reading and sipping a Coke at a table outside.

I realised the place would be awesome when I entered to find this tiny and very friendly dog wandering about in the complete absence of humans.  This is quite typically German; grocery stores have to actually specify "no dogs." Eventually a fairly elderly woman came out of what was presumably the kitchen carrying some food.  I took my seat at the single booth, where the dog had taken up residence, and ordered something called a Großer Reiherberg, which is actually the name of the hill directly behind the café.  I didn't order anything to drink, as water always costs money in Germany, and I was happy to go back home and drink from the tap.  

As I ate, I got to watch the German version of Big Brother, which largely involved several people making fun of this one woman for having no understanding whatsoever of German politics, and several times had to turn down offers of something to take my leftovers home in.  I protested that, as the Reiherberg was basically the only thing I had eaten since breakfast, I would likely finish the whole thing.  When the other customer came in to settle his bill, he had an American accent, so I talked to him.  It transpired that he was an American whose wife was from Columbus, doing some research at the nearby Max-Planck-Institut.  After he left, and I finished my Reiherberg (which was extremely delicious, although it looks a little greasy in the photo), I sat watching Big Brother, and when offered something to drink, I gave in and ordered a water, as I was quite thirsty.  I then engaged in conversation with the woman, who was called Erika and was very pleasant.  I learned that her own daughter had emigrated to Sweden, and that she did not get many students as customers because students are so poor.  When I settled my bill, she did not charge me for the water.  And then she ran back into the kitchen and returned with a bag of bread and fruit and cheese, for which she would accept no payment.  This ended up being most of the next day's nourishment for me.  

I am trying to work out how often I can come back and not have her scold me for spending too much money.  The prices there are actually quite reasonable.  Germany is pretty great, I think.


  1. Where is the picture of Erika??

    How about the dog's name??


  2. Thought taking a picture of Erika would be unnecessary, and the dog is completely deaf, so knowing his name doesn't do anyone any good.

  3. Dustin! We want to have you at Thursday super via webcam. Are you cool with that? We weren't sure if it would be too late...