und zwar sehr gut!
I attended my first German Meetup the other day at a pub in Hammersmith. It took well over an hour to get there on two different forms of public transport from Greenwich, but, really, it was worth the travel time.
I went in to the pub and headed straight for beer taps. As usual, besides the Amstel and Guiness, I didn't recognize the other draught beers. So I asked the 'tender by way of saying, "I don't know your beers well here" what's the (fill in random English lager here)? She responded, "I don't know them either!" It turned out that the sweet, young gal behind the bar is from Tennessee. Well, shoot!
Tiffany from Tennessee is here doing an internship, and, as such, is able to work, too. She told me that she's at the pub most nights and interning during the day. Not a bad gig, really! Chris from Caledonia came up and ordered a certain lager, and, upon his suggestion, I did, too. We were all just chumming around with one another when a huge group of drunken misfits came up to order their umpteenth round. This was my cue to leave the Tiffany and Chris and go in search of the German geeks.
The group was housed in the upstairs portion of the bar, and, for the whole night, we had this space all to ourselves. The Meetup was billed as a group for "students of German", but I thought it was a very advanced group when compared to like-leveled groups I had attended back home. All were fairly conversant, and it seemed that we all had a good amount of both speaking and listening time.
The only 'bummer' was that, due to table constraints, we were broken down into three sitting groups. I tried to circulate amongst them all, but found myself stuck to one group in particular with only a foray, or two into the neighboring group. The folk sitting farthest from me didn't get any attention apart from a cursory 'hallo'.
After about two hours, or so, the organizer decided it was time to put on the German movie he'd brought. Not good timing on his part, really. I was tired, but trying to rally the strength to sit through a two-hour movie. Fortunately, for me, I'd seen the film before, hadn't liked it much, so felt no compunction at all about calling it quits and making the hour plus journey home.
If you're wondering, the movie was this: Die Edukators I had hoped it would be this: Goodbye Lenin!
Daniel Bruehl stars in both films, and he's a good actor, but the former could be skipped entirely.
I'm hopeful that subsequent Meetups will be equally rewarding, if, however, a little bit closer to home.