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On the road again…

After almost two years in Munich, it was time for a change.

Why? Well, there were a few things. First off, I have changed jobs. The new position I have taken is wonderful – a new company with all A-Level players – people who I have wanted to work with and have known for years and an idea that I have wanted to develop since 1999.

But even if it wasn’t for the new job, we probably still would have left. Munich is a beautiful city, but in some ways, it just frustrated the hell out of us. Sure, it was beautiful, and if you love snow, skiing and the mountains, it is a perfect location. Unfortunately, for us, skiing is just a prelude to sitting in a pub nursing our bruises and enjoying a nice drink by the fire. Hell, I can do that without the potential damage to life and limb.

But take Munich out of the picture and where the hell am I? In Bavaria. Deep in Bavaria. Conservative, mildly-xenophobic, back-water farmland. Let’s be honest here. It’s the sticks. If you drive for an hour, do you know where you are? Yep – still in the sticks. An hour after that? Either Nürnberg or Brennero. Honestly, it takes a good amount of time before you’re in a different city, and most of that drive is through farmland and quaint little villages. Unfortunately, like skiing, quaint little villages don’t do much for us.

So, instead of the excessively expensive land of beer-by-the-liter, we’ve gone to the other extreme. We can still get beer-by-the-liter, but it takes five glasses to get there. Yep, the Scowlers are in Cologne.

Why Cologne? Well, first off, the job was fantastic… and we already have as many friends up here as we did in Munich. Plus, we’re more ale drinkers than lager lovers, so coming to the land of Kölsch isn’t the hardest thing for our tastebuds. But beyond that, it’s just the feel of the city… and it is a real city.

Cologne prides itself on its multiculti image. You can see it in the most subtle ways – the ticket machines for the subways are in 4 languages (Munich just put the first few English friendly machines in place at the main train station and the airport), and the grocery stores offer beer from all over the world (in Munich, if it was brewed more than 20 km from the city center, it was pretty much verboten). Plus, it’s the gay capital of Europe, which means our friends from San Francisco will have more fun when they come to visit.

Oh, and if we get sick of Cologne, just jump on the subway and end up in Bonn, or take the train for 30 minutes to Düsseldorf, or jump in the car and be in Brussels, Antwerp or Amsterdam in just two hours.

So, we’re now adopting Cologne as our new home. Our apartment even has a view of the Dom (the main cathedral)… sure, we can only see the tips of the spires, but it’s still an amazing sight to see every morning when we get up.

That’s all for now, and Kölle Alaaf!

Posted in Cologne Life.