We left the Astro Bar.
Emily told me about a place that she and her friends always saw, but that they never went to called “Paul’s Metal Eck” (ecke means “corner,” so this is probably just a variation on that). Obviously I wanted to check this place out.
Though Emily had had an interest in Metal and Punk rock for a number of years by the time we met, the friends she’d made while exchange-studenting in Germany weren’t as into that stuff, so she didn’t quite get to do and see a lot of that side of the culture there. Which worked out well, because we were able to revisit some of her old favorites, but also experience new things together.
The entrance to the Ecke is right on the corner of Simon-Dach Straße and Krossenstraße. You walk in to a brightly lit up front room, with a bar diagonally to the right and a pool table in the adjacent room to the right. Beyond the room with a pool table is another small room with a large table accommodating the bench against the wall, a couch and a long and wide but short coffee table in front of it, and a two person round table in the other corner.
We sat at the bar for a minute, ordered our beers. Since having moved to Milwaukee (MKE), I’ve really lost interest in drinking lagers and pilsners, and have instead developed a taste for more hoppy beers. It was here at the Metal Eck that I realized, they probably don’t have much to offer in the way of hoppy beers in Germany. Emily got her Raddler (beer + soda) and I some kind of Helles (lager).
It was a really cool bar, with skeletons and other horror themed sculptures and such were placed around the bar and on the walls, the music was (not surprisingly) a mix of Neu Metal and old school Thrash like Megadeth and Slayer and Exodus. To the left of where I was sitting, there was a sign that was funny:
(Whoever steals here dies!)
I could see smoke in almost all the rooms, but there weren’t any ashtrays at the bar.
“Können wir hier rauchen?” I asked the bartender.
“Nur um die Ecke.”
We went around the corner to the first room with the pool table in it and watched the game while we smoked. After a couple minutes the couch in the next room became free, so we moved in there and sat. I’d wanted to play some pool, but was intimidated by the fact that I don’t know any of the German words for that. Still don’t. Do people call it pool, use the verb spielen, are the rules basically the same as American bar rules? Who knows? (not me)
I pictured my interaction with the people playing pool, and wondered how exactly I would get involved. “Ich möchte mit dem Gewinner spielen” (I would like to play with the winner [?]), “Darf ich das nächste Spiel haben” (May I play the next game? [?]), “Sprecht ihr Englisch?” (Do yous speak English?). Definitely the last one. I further imagined shooting very impressively, which I don’t usually do, but this was my imagination, so why would I shoot badly? All of the people playing seemed like they were somewhere in the relatively same skill level as myself, so it wouldn’t have been impossible for me to have won a couple games.
But none of that happened. We talked and watch for a bit, eventually I stopped paying any mind to the game. We sat for a while, getting drunk; it was fun.