Right, let's get cracking. I met up with Rachel and Beth (another language assistant living near Oldenburg - the entourage is growing!) on the tuesday night, and quite obviously went to my favourite restaurant in the quarter kilometre circumference covering a certain part of town, "New York New York". I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, and it's quite late here, so I'm just going to possibly repeat myself when I say it truly is a brilliantly unique restaurant. I would liken it to a kiwi (the fruit not the nationality): a little grotty and hairy on the outside, but perseverance pays off when you get inside and experience the juicy goodness on offer. As you may be able to tell from the name, the place is modelled on italian-american cooking, and the walls are plastered (sometimes literally) with photos of celebrities past and present, with bright lights accompanying pretty glass installations. A really cheerful atmosphere that makes you feel as if you're in the middle of the Big Apple. Also owned by a mafioso-style family of italians, and some sicilians along for the ride. Going to try and make it a regular place to eat, or at least have a "cohwafee" (My attempt at the New York pronunciation of coffee. Sorry.)
Also couldn't resist this. Sorry.
Having eaten to the point of hating ourselves, and sharing some tender moments with the endearingly creepy sicilian waiter, we moved onto the Grand Cafe (again), as it was cocktail happy hour. As we sat at the bar, cocktails in hand, I was transported back to the jazz age, the years of conspicuous consumption. That is until I noticed two things:
1) The price of the cocktails was still heinously inflated
2) The soundtrack to the scene was, in fact, Genie in a Bottle by Christina Aguilera
Still, the hour spent there was very enjoyable. It's difficult not to enjoy yourself in the Grand Cafe with friends.
Beth and me at the classy bar
We hadn't planned on it, but we decided to take a short trip to the yearly Kramermarkt, Oldenburg's version of Oktoberfest, before heading on to another bar. Arrived at the Markt to be greeted by the smells of food and beer I associate so readily with Germany. First stop was, obviously, at the Erotikangeln stall. Yes, that's right, erotic fishing. Not trying to catch fish in a skimpy thong, but trying to hook a bag of rude goodies. I was voted as the (un)lucky fisherman by the group, and at first won a prize that doesn't even bear thinking about. The vendor kindly let me have another go, so instead I won a notebook with cartoon drawings of the Kama Sutra included on its pages and a large green fuzzy novelty penis. Fun for all the family.
My first prize. (Interestingly, when I found this image on google, its title was "gadaffi-dead-front-page". Who says internet image searches aren't always interesting?)
Rambled around the Markt for another hour or so, taking in all the sights, smells and sounds that we would enjoy at greater length the next day. Also saw a fairground ride called "Breakdance" which looked less like breakdancing and more like my personal vision of hell. I didn't go on it. If I had, I would have Chai Powered all over the Kramermarkt (that's right, Chai Power is now also a verb. Get with the programme).
Made our contented way from the Kramermarkt to Polyester Club on the outskirts of the Innenstadt, and came face to face with living proof of the old "don't judge a book by its cover" moniker. It looks from the outside- and I say this with love- a shambles of a place. However, I would say Polyester is another Kiwi: the dinginess continues inside somewhat, but the 1960s eastern bloc style really does grow on you. Added to that the jaunty benches, various random seats, Electro Swing Jazz in the background, and board games on offer, Polyester is certainly a place to go for a good time. Lovely student-friendly atmosphere as well. Will definitely be visiting many times, especially as they have a table tennis night every thursday! We then said our goodbyes, all looking forward to the Kramermarkt the next morning.
Deliberately blurred edgy photo taken by Rachel
Part Two coming soon...