The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Back in the USA

May 16, 2006

I arrived back in Columbus yesterday after spending about five days in Bielefeld, Germany. I chose not to purchase the insanely expensive WLAN access offered by the conference hotel and instead relied on a nearby internet cafe–which was fine for checking my mail, but not so much for blogging. I have a couple of posts stored up, so expect to hear from me a great deal over the next week.

A few impressions from my first trip to Germany.

• Delta Airlines has very friendly service and pretty decent food. The “extras” on the plane–video service and so forth–left a great deal to be desired. Overall, I wouldn’t be adverse to flying Delta to Europe again, but I’d try to book United, SAS, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, or any number of other carriers first.

• The trains in Germany do not run on time.

• CNN’s US broadcast is to CNN’s international broadcast as:

(a) People Magazine : The Economist
(b) The A-Team : The Sopranos
(c) The Backstreet Boys : The Decemberists
(d) The Da Vinci Code : Foucault’s Pendulum
(e) All of the above

• I still find Coca-Cola Light far better tasting than Diet Coke. I’ve come to the conclusion that Coke Zero, unfortunately, suffers from the absence of cyclamates.

• The tower of Sparrenburg Castle is sufficiently tall to trigger my acrophobic tendencies. The design of the wooden stairs upon which one ascends the tower didn’t help.

• Volkswagens do, apparently, grow on trees in Germany.

Falafel and sauerkraut make a surprisingly tasty combination.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.