This is a blog post by Morgan Brown

Karneval + Berlin

I’m in Berlin, I’m kind of settled, I’m looking for some German classes and I’m doing a little exploring. So far, I’ve become obsessed with this little cafe in my neighborhood, which has elevated couches and even a bed. I’m also lucky to have a recently-closed-airport-turned-free-park nearby, which I’ve already had the pleasure of running in. I’m digging the area.

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to check out Karneval in Cologne with some native Colognians, which was awwwweeesoooooommmmeeeee. Lots of fun and drinking and dancing and talking and meeting and eating and stuff. Rul nice. Then I visited my bae in Charleston, South Carolina for a week. I haven’t been back to the US since October, so it was a bit of "whoa". Now I’m back and ready to get a lil entrenched in the Berlin thang.

  • Kölle Karneval! To be honest with you, I had not even heard of this celebration before I came to Germany. Turns out, it’s awesome (oh, surprise!) and didn’t strike me as touristy. The city goes crazy! Everyone, young and old, is out in costume getting wasted on Kölsch and dancing in the street…for a week. I just stayed for the first day, which is apparently “the best day” as Karneval-goers are becoming increasingly exhausted as the festivities progress.
  • Kölsch! …is a type of beer from Cologne (FYI Cologne = Köln in German) that is consumed in LARGE quantities during Karneval. There are many kölsch producers, in fact, my friend told me it is the type of beer with the most producers. It’s typical to drink this beer out of a 0,2L glass, which is like 4 shots. This makes it dangerously easy to consume a lot quickly.
  • Kölsch (the language)! …is a “dialect of German” that is native to Cologne and I guess not super intelligible by German speakers. There are few people that speak it natively in Cologne and most other people seem to know a few words or phrases. As I remember, some of the traditional songs of Karneval involve Colognian.
  • “Kölle Alaaf!” is a thing that you say during Karneval as a greeting, chant, etc. It means “Cologne above all!” in Kölsch. It’s sometimes chanted as a call and response thing: “Kölle!” — “Alaaf!”
  • Mettbrötchen! …is a traditional food of Karneval, which is raw pork on a sliced bread roll. I had it with butter, onions, salt and pepper and I fucking loved it. Seriously, I was on this food’s nuts. The idea of eating raw pork is admittedly a little scary, but I had no issues at all. It was just fucking delicious.
  • Random…you can’t modify your car without getting it inspected. I’m not sure to what extent this is, but there are definitely way fewer tricked out cars on the road. Something about safety, blah, blah, blah, whatever.

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