Kegeln

April 22nd, 2012

Yet another day I slept in. How lovely! When Lena woke me up, she had a cappuccino and full out breakfast waiting for me at the kitchen table. What a way to begin Sunday!

We spent a considerable amount of time deciding what to do with our day. The options seemed to be limited to: movie, skating, or kegeln. After several phone calls and exchanges between the German students, it was decided we’d go to kegeln. Thanks to my iPhone translator, I learned “kegeln” is German for “bowling.”

We drove into the city to a little eatery that, by day was a quiet lunch pub, and by night probably housed drunk older men looking to reminisce over a few Bitburgers. The man working behind the bar when we walked in eyed us eerily and gestured for us to follow him. He took us behind the bar, and through a door leading to a steep flight of winding stairs. The lack of lighting made us feel like this was the end.

When the stairs came to an end, so did the sausage factory jokes, and we saw the dimly lit room that expanded into a single wooden bowling lane, where everything was manual.

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The room had a mini fridge equipped with sodas, glasses, and assorted straws. It also had a chalkboard for score keeping, and a counter for eating.

As the rules of the game were explained to us, the rules very closely resembled those of bowling. However, in kegeln, there are 9 pins, and the kegeln balls vary in size, depending on the preference of the bowler. (Kegeln-er?) Also, you must bowl underneath a taut string tied at the front of the lane. This prohibits people who like to overstep their allotted “runway”, and also sifts out those of you who throw bowling balls like tennis balls. WARNING: If you hit the string, you will have to pay 5 Euro cents.

I won my first game of kegeln, which I was quite proud of. One of the boys from Germany told me “My grandpa plays kegeln here every week. He is in a club.” I believe it may have been tacked along to an invite to come see a true game of kegeln, but I was more concerned with my earlier assumption being confirmed: This was, in fact, a place old men congregated.

When we got hungry, we called up to the pub and ordered Schnitzel and fries. Later on, a mysterious cabinet dinged and we went to figure out why. The mysterious wooden cabinet was a dumbwaiter, and it carried our food from the kitchen to us, and vice versa. So cool!

When we’d called it quits with the game, we headed back home; already I was feeling the affects of a cold coming on. I called home for the first time as well, and almost immediately homesickness started to set in. I burst in to tears at the sound of my family’s voice, and coupled with a cold made for a sleepless night! But I think that’s all there’s to be said for today.

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