I've got some more updates for you. First the pleasureful, then the professional.
Here's a snapshot of a few of the beers I have recently sampled. This doesn't included any of those I've tried out at various pubs, bars, and beer gardens (I've found a few good ones there, including an incredibly good dark beer from the Czech Republic that I can't recall the name of--I'll have to go back and sample it again).
Of those in the picture here, the ones I liked the best are the Freibergisch Bock Dunkel and the Jubilaums Festbier, produced by the Freiberger Brauhaus in Freiberg, Germany. This brewery, which Google Maps tells me is just south of Potsdam. opened in 1850. The Bock beer was very rich and flavorful, and packed a powerful 6.7% alcohol. FYI, most of the beer here have a higher alcohol content and come in half-liter bottles, so I'm getting kinda drunk most evenings. Life is so hard these days :)
Clearly, I've had a leisurely week and a half here (aside from the pains of getting acclimated), but it is not all fun and games, of course. Tomorrow, I travel to the town of Göttingen for the official Fulbright Scholar orientation meeting. There I will meet members of the Fulbright Kommission (German spelling) in Berlin and other Fulbrighters who are working in Germany this year. There is to be a walking tour of the city and of the City Forest (!), and a keynote address on immigration and citizenship in Germany. Aside from the business, it should be fun. I'll let you all know how it goes, and maybe have some more good photos to share.
In other exciting news: the following week, I will be going to Bonn, in the western part of Germany, to present at a conference on Teaching Popular Culture, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy's Teacher Academy (more info at: http://germany.usembassy.gov/ta2010/). Some of you are aware that this was not something I had originally planned. After arriving in Germany, I had made an inquiry about publishing in the European Journal of American Studies. In short, emails were exchanged and I was subsequently (and very serendipitously) asked by a member of the Teacher Academy to step in for a speaker from the U.S. who was unable to attend. It's a great honor, and I feel quite privileged to have been asked to do this. I'm in impressive company here--check out the schedule and bios of the speaker. It appears that American Popular Culture is a very hot topic at the moment, so I guess I'm in the right place at the right time. I'll be sure to give you all updates on how that plays out as well.
Til then ... I'm off to sample another beer. Ta.