Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hokie, Karneval, Malt

I had to go into school on Sunday to finish up the practical malting work (our barley is malt now, by the way). I had just left my place and was walking down Schmiljanstrasse when I saw a big bearded guy wearing a Virginia Tech hat. I couldn't believe my eyes...what a weird feeling! It may not sound that weird to you guys back home, but trust me it was. I haven't even seen any Americans at all (other than John from class) since I've been here and there was a HOKIE walking in MY NEIGHBORHOOD! I froze in my tracks and just stared at him. I wanted to say something, but nothing came out. I really wish that I had stopped him, but he walked by really fast and I guess I was just in shock. By the time I unfroze he was pretty far away. I came really close to yelling, "Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi Tech, Tech, V-P-I Sol-A-Rex, Sol-A-Rah Poly-tech Virgin-i-a Ray, Rah, V-P-I Team! Team! Team!" (yes, I was an orientation leader and actually know all the words.) I even had on a VT shirt under my jacket. What are the odds? I hope that I run into that guy again.

We celebrated Karneval in class yesterday...for about a minute and a half. Burghard Meyer (sporting the clown nose above) is one of our more entertaining (better) professors, and he told us that THE place celebrate Karneval is along the River Rhein (Specifically, Köln or Dusseldorf). Wow, I just used a lot of parentheses. (Who do I think I am, Ted L. Nancy?) Anyway, I hope to get to Köln and tour a few Kölsch breweries at some point while I'm over here. Also, FeedBurner tells me that lot of people in Köln read my blog, which is a little weird since I've never met anyone with any connection to Köln.

Here are a few pictures of our freshly kilned winter malt, the machine that is used to break off the rootlets/sort the kernels, the final product, and a kid that I saw walking down the street today with his mom:

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