There is just so much to say about how wonderful this city is. I can’t even remember all of the information or all of the stories, but I can certainly say three things:
– It is beautiful. The history, the nature, the architecture, the food. It’s just so beautiful in so many ways.
– The beer is great. Kölsch, a Köln local beer, and Bosch, a Bonn local beer, are really wonderful, and cheap.
– There are so many smart, kind and friendly people. Whether that is the family who’s Airbnb I’m staying at, the Café workers or the students and faculty I’ve met at the University of Bonn, everyone is so helpful and amazing.
I’m sure there are places where people are less nice, the food is less great, the environment is less pretty. But for day 2, it’s so nice.
First, today in class we had lectures on the Development Policies of the EU (European Union). Here we talked about various missions and visions for development policies with EU NGO’s and other groups of people. But we also worked pretended to be a group of representatives from an Imaginary Union of countries. We were splint into 5 pretend countries, 3 pretend beneficiary countries, a parliament and a Union Commission. It was our job to decide how much of 10 billion dollars would go to each beneficiary country from various prompts, and each group was able to argue and debate why someone should, or shouldn’t receive aid.
My group was the commission and we had to facilitate this discussion and ultimately decide how much of the aid would go to which country.
It’s hard. Who gets how much money and for what? What is more important? What is more sustainable? Who will use it responsibly? What will be the rate of return, etc.
As an additional note, talking about development aid for Human Rights (to which, I believe the right to practice ones culture, to practice art and music, is a part of the the Freedom of Speed portion of Human Rights, along with communal aspects) can be very tricky because of the, “What is more important?” questions. Because everything can be argued to be more important than something else given the context and defined need. I find it hard to argue with people that cultural programs and community engagement is just as important as food, shelter and water, but it is. It is just as important it all depends on needs, resources and demand.
We also had a seminar on Human Rights and Good Governance and while very interesting, incredibly dense and hard to summarize right here, so I will not bore you and go onto the student Bonn Tour!
So, the city is old and dates back to Roman times. There are a lot of Roman stories, war stories and very old stories that tie history into folklore. One of them is about two soldiers who were protesting the town, at the time, from murders and their heads were chopped off. (?) But now they stand in the city center near a Cathedral, protecting the city. There are more little stories like this as well.
Here, there are so cobblestone streets and walk ways, with various market places and hidden gems. This photo here is from one of the main market places. I’m sorry, I didn’t take notes so I can’t remember names. But just around the Bonn HBF train station!
After walking around for a while, we ended up getting hungry and found a lovely hole in the wall, grab and go style “Student” place. Think about it like a D.C. street vendor, but in a hole-in-the-wall establishment. It was amazing! For 2 euro I had Döner, which I heard is actually Turkish but also “very German.” It reminds me of a Gyro, but with some different veggies and sauce. Delicious! I also had a Kölsch beer for 1.50 euro – Which is unheard of! It was so good. I would eat it every day. Cheap and amazing, you can’t beat it.
Afterwards we ended up at this photo, which is the sun setting near the Rhine River. We were able to bring our beers (you can openly drink on the street! I asked three times if it was legal.) here and enjoy this view. A treat after a long, brain intensive day.
Learning so much and having fun while doing it!
Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)