Who wouldn’t say yes to being whisked away to a spa resort, especially in the middle of the winter? Exactly.
We didn’t have much planned for the actual New Year’s Day, other than recovering from the previous night and continuing our marathon of the Big Bang Theory. Since our time so far had been spent either wandering outside in the cold enduring wet freezing feet or lazing around the house, we thought it would be good to have a change of scenery. So over breakfast, we decided to go to Kristall Palm Beach (Albertus-Magnus-Straße 29, 90547Stein), a spa resort which PC had been suggesting since I booked my flights to Nuremberg. I’m still not sure why I had been resisting the idea at the beginning but I certainly don’t regret giving in. Even if I had to wear my silk pyjama shorts as I hadn’t packed any swimwear and I certainly wasn’t going there wearing oversized man shorts – long story.
New Year was quite a low-key affair for us. Since I don’t deal well with big crowds and I’m not a drinker, going to a big loud party with unlimited booze was out of the question. Instead we chose to go to Blues gig at Kofferfabrik, ‘The Suitcase Factory’ (Kofferfabrik, Lange Str. 81, 90762 Fürth) which was just behind our apartment building. From what I’ve been told, it used to be an old suitcase factory, hence the name, and now it’s just a place where people can chill on a daily basis. It also has different gigs every New Year for everyone’s tastes so this wasn’t just a New Year ‘thing’. It has different sections including a “Couch Club” where, according to the website (in German), you can eat, drink, flirt, laugh and cry among other things. They even serve food – apparently many people tend to go there for brunch – and even have a little something for vegetarians and vegans. We chose to only go to the gig rather than have dinner there as we still had of leftovers in the fridge (yep, that’s what we had for New Year’s Eve) but also the special New Year’s Eve menu didn’t really appeal to us. I quite liked the whole setting though and would definitely want to go there simply to chill.
Picture your local library down the street: small and limited in books unless you make a request 3-5 business days in advance but still with enough genres to please the young and younger and for you not to go any further. Now imagine that same library but with board games instead of books.
When PC told me about going to a board games night with some locals, I was horrified I have to admit I had my reservations. Don’t get me wrong: I love board games, I grew up playing different board games with my father but this was a whole new level. The only German board game I knew (and sucked at) was the Settlers of Catan which my colleagues back in Mauritius were crazy about. I imagined myself in a room with sweaty and smelly men with terrible social skills right out of Stuart’s store from the Big Band Theory and the prospect of that wasn’t appealing at all. I did however agree to put my reservations aside and go there with an open mind – and if I didn’t like it, we could always leave early. We ended up leaving way past midnight.
Every Monday and Friday at 7 pm a group of people from enthusiastic 7 year olds to experienced 80 year olds gamers (I may be exaggerating a bit but you get the gist) in the play room in the Pellerhaus (Egidienplatz 23, 90403 Nürnberg). The way to the play room is actually through the back door rather than the front one, so if you are going down a dark alley, then you’re at the right place. We reached there a little bit later than seven but groups had already been formed and play already started. That didn’t pose any problem though. Before we knew it, we were sat at a table playing against two cheeky German gentlemen well into their fifties (or maybe I’m just bad at judging the age of people) talking about everything from game strategy to why Franconians are different from Bavarians.
Our “mentor” thought this would be a good one to start with and get us into the gaming spirits. Blokus is basically a multiplayer tetris game in real life. It’s designed for two to four people and it’s mostly based on strategy. Whilst our gaming partners knew what they were doing, we (or maybe that’s just me) putting my tiles where they fit rather than doing much thinking and taking the occasional advice from the experts. The aim of the game is to end up with the least number of squares tiles at the end so the obvious strategy would be to use the polyminoes with the highest number of squares at the earliest possible. I’m not sure how it happened but we ended up ganging up on PC at some point during the game. Maybe they just dug my accent –the joys of having an almost-British-turning-American accent – and preferred to bully the only other person they could instead. There’s even a travel version of the game for two people which eliminates the ganging-on-the-weaker-player problem and which could definitely be interesting on the road. Continue reading Germany is to Board Games…→