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The day had been a long one. Almost 10 hours hitching from Amsterdam to Brück

“The end of the journey is not quite in sight. We are sitting in a bar that has Native American/old-time-y American theme. Flags, posters are reminiscent of the American West and American flags, bows, and arrows, and cowboy paraphernalia. Interspersed with all of this are lacy window hangings and Waldorf-like dioramas on the windowsills. Nothing like stepping into a bar and seeing little statues of lambs and other animals nestled in evergreen branches. Another giveaway that this bar is not someplace in the US, at least in this time period, is the indoor smoking and bright lights. The live music band is doing a decent job, though, reminiscent of a coffee house and small music gatherings I have been to in the states, covering classic rock to bluegrass-y tunes.

Despite all the fascinating décor, the pub not all that comfortable. Maybe it is the diner-like plastic wood grain tables, maybe the bright lights and white walls. Perhaps it is because I am a stranger here in the middle of the night, sat down among people I do not know (and who are definitely several drinks into their evening). I know that smoking is bad for you, bad also for those who are taking in the second-hand smoke. However, the fact that everyone smokes inside here is oddly relaxing considering the situation.

We were offered a place to stay by a gentleman here. He is a bit of an oddball, ‘alternative’ as W puts it. He is kind and no danger comes with great reviews from another man and his pregnant (and not drunk) wife. Despite this, I am always a tad hesitant to take offers from drunk people. The last time this happened was in Ireland, and instead of a place to stay, we escorted an extremely drunk Irish man to his house, handed him off to his very embarrassed wife, and camped in a rugby field instead of this man’s land.

Keep on rolling, relaxing in a bath of American old-timey tunes, cigarette smoke, and a nice beer. In the corner, by the bar, I can just see our big travel bags failing to hide beneath a small counter. It is amazing that you can show up in the middle of the night to some random place and yet you can get a smoke, drink and a place to stay.  Time is passing, people are still here. Apparently grabbing ass in public (consensual, it appears) is somewhat acceptable and entertaining here. It is around 1:30 am now. When you think of the stereotype of the people you would see at a bar at this time in the morning I think of very drunk, usually younger crowd of people. Here, a mixed age group and a pregnant woman chilling with the drunk (but not out of control people) in the early hours of the morning. I shall stop now, Werner is coming back.”

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