A very common thing Germans like to do is attending a so-called Stammtisch, which is basically a regularily happening local meet-up of people, most likely with a certain topic in mind. My parents, for instance, joined a stammtisch for parents with visually handicapped children in Stade, a while after I was born.
A great advantage of a stammtisch is:
You meet a lot of cool people with the same interest (depending on the stammtisch motto) and make a lot of new friends very quickly.
Marburg is a beautiful place to be, but most of the people I met so far were visually handicapped and often had a strong relation to the Blista; and honestly, there are way more people to meet to hang out with.
Also, with an age of 20 years, it should be easier to meet people and, especially during the weekend, stay out for longer.
In the past, I just tried to randomly hang out in the city to meet new people, which only worked partially, and the number of people I met and hung out with more often was quite low.
One advice I got was checking Facebook for some local groups, and I happened to find a group called “Neu in Marburg”. Sure, I wasn’t really new to Marburg, but it should be a good place to start off eitherway.
I decided to post an introductory message about me and what I’m up for, and almost immediately got some replies and even an event invitation.
I decided to join the event and contacted the person who invited me. We set up a meeting point in the city where she picked me up, because the location where the event took place was considered to be unknown territory for me.
The event was about how national socialism affects us and how to get rid of it especially in local communities, for instance. A few presentations were held, followed by a pub quiz. We didn’t talk about national socialism for the entire evening, of course, although it was a quite interesting topic and a lot of people shared their own personal experiences. I met a lot of awesome people there and we had a hell of a great time.
Although I wouldn’t regret visiting future events like these, I especially enjoy languages and like to speak English and learn Dutch. There used to be a Dutch Stammtisch some time ago which sadly disappeared and seems to be no longer existant.
However, whilst browsing through messages in the “Neu In Marburg” group, I saw a post by the English Meet-Up Group, who announced a German spoken Stammtisch at Café Paprica, a quite familiar place to me. When I checked their site, I also stumbled upon their English meeting taking place every Wednesday at Café Mocca. I got in touch with Alejandra, one of the admins, to confirm the location and ask for some further details on how to get there, and she offered me to alert her should I get lost on the way. The way went better than I thought; some people walking alongside me offered their help, and I made it to Mocca safe and sound.
It was amazing how many people I met there from so many different places, such as South America, the US, Italy, France, Ireland, Poland, and a lot more (Please forgive me that I couldn’t remember all of the places anymore). A lot of people came to Marburg to study or work, but of course, there were also some locals around. 🙂
Was my visual handicap a problem? Not really, I would say. They gladly announced what was available on the menu, and also gave me a hand when we – somewhat later in the evening – decided to go to another pub to have another drink and stay up a little longer. Back in my group, I already knew that this was clearly not the last time that I’d join them again! Sadly though, I was about to leave Marburg for two months, and could therefore only join them once more for their German meeting the Monday before I left.
Nowadays, eversince I returned to Marburg in September 2017, I am attending the English meetings regularily, nearly every Wednesday! Everybody is treating me like a normal person and nobody bothers about my blindness. In fact, we already organized random meet-ups that had nothing to do with the actual Stammtisch to tour the Christmas market, attend concerts and Couchsurfing meetings, etc.
Plus, it is no problem at all to text them on the WhatsApp group to ask for help in order to catch up with the others at the right spot or to get back from a certain spot to known territory when the event is over.
In any case, to wrap things up, I learned very quickly that this is a hell of a great community and, most importantly, that we can trust each other and sort out problems, should there be any.