I’m back in Berlin recovering from the 2011 Whiney Expatriate Blogger Meet-Up, which was held in Cologne this year.
The 2011 WEBMU was fantastic and I heartily thank our fantastic hosts for putting together a very nice program that included lots of beer, a nice tour of the city, and a lot more beer.
As is with tradition (Dresden, Bremen, Munich, Hamburg, and now Köln), Saturday night was the annual WEBMU trek to a gay bar with yours truly as the virtual host. Thankfully I had Resident on Earth to assist – and I sent her a list of four potential bars that I’d identified – she knocked the one that I thought was the weakest link off the list immediately, and then evaluated the remaining ones. We made a selection and all was set.
After an excellent dinner at the Päffgen Kölsche Brewery, I gathered our motley crew of some 25 people and we headed for our gay bar of the night – which was, amusingly enough, not the Maxbar. Our first choice was packed to the gills and relatively small, so a quick audible was called (for the confused: American football terminology here), and we diverted to Maxbar, what should have been our first choice in the first place.
I’ve often wondered what the other customers and bartenders think when a large group of English speaking people, both men and women, pour into their gay bar haunt. It didn’t matter in Dresden and we were well managed in Bremen. Down in Munich, in My Lord, we were graciously welcomed – and I am sad to report that the bar recently closed. Last year in Hamburg, we fit right in.
This year we took over the back part of the bar – the part with a large comfortable sofa and mirrored ceiling. There was also a make-out nook in the wall with lots of pillows, cushions and room for two (or three, depending).
Other than the make-out nook – which was not conducive to mingling and chatting – it is safe to say that we scared people off. Every five or ten minutes a group of locals would work their way to the back, find the couches occupied, and you could see them discussing the situation, before they would concede defeat and work their way back to the front of the house.
The night was a total success, and I am sure that our departed founding host, J, would have loved this gay bar.
Meanwhile I, once again, want to thank our Köln hosts, as well as everybody who joined us at the gay bar after dinner. Let me assure you that those who didn’t make it to the gay bar were the primary gossip subjects. I am sure that ears were burning…
Last, but not least, I must give my compliments to our bartender, Magnus, who did an amazing job of handling our rowdy crowd. He was incredibly friendly and kept all of us well watered and happy.