Yesterday I spent a good bit of the day wandering through the university quarter of Cologne, in search of Starbase 8, a “science fiction fan store” in hopes of finding out about some kind of nerd club where I could meet other people. The store was pretty awesome, mostly selling action figures for various scifi shows in quantities proportional to each’s popularity. The proprietor was not particularly loquacious, but he did give me a couple of flyers:

I think these are awesome just because they look so serious about prancing around in Starfleet uniforms, and the concept of Germans in particular doing this entertains me to no end.

In the evening I went out to a birthday party for my coworker which was a lot of fun. I spent a long time talking to a Dutch guy because English was better for both of us than German, and then I hung out with a couple of German guys who were practically brothers. One of them explained to me how obsessed he is with American cars, how great he thinks they are – which I found embarrassingly ironic coming from a German. Very entertaining, despite the awkwardness of listening to a German sing the praises of American cars. Everybody was wonderfully friendly, and it was really nice to have good conversation. It was also really nice when people were talking about personal or cultural things that someone often took a moment to explain the backstory to me so I would understand the conversation. I was rather impressed that despite being tipsy I had no problem getting home by myself at 2am.

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