Aalen

Schwäbisch-Sibirien: Ein hartes Schicksal

Ihr kennt Aalen nicht? Macht erstmal nichts. Ich kannte Aalen auch nicht, als ich im Sommer 2010 zum ersten Mal Richtung Ostalb fuhr. Wenn man bei Zeiss anfängt, kann man nach Aalen oder nach Heidenheim ziehen, beide Städte liegen ca 20 Fahrminuten von von dem wirklich sehr kleinen Städtchen Oberkochen entfernt. Und in Nowhereland Oberkochen ist der Hauptsitz der Carl Zeiss Gruppe. Klingt komisch, ist aber so.

Zugegeben, ich bin im Herbst nach Aalen gezogen und die ersten Monate gab mir täglich der Gedanke an ein Wochenende irgendwo anders – egal wo – Zuversicht! Oberkochen liegt in einem Tal, dass an irgendeiner Stelle in der Geschichte Petrus derart verärgert haben muss, dass dieser dem Tal von Dezember bis April nur noch den Rücken zukehrt: Es gibt Sonne. Hinter Wolken. Es gibt vor allem Regen, Nebel und Schnee! Und noch mehr Schnee!
Aber nach fast drei Jahren auf der Ostalb möchte ich für Stadt und Region mal die Lanze brechen.

Ich stelle Euch vor, wo ich in meiner Freizeit in Aalen und Umgebung meine Zeit am liebsten verbracht habe und freue mich immer über Kommentare oder Hinzufügungen älter Kollegen und Freunde.

Essen/Trinken

  • Olli´s Bar 

Im Olli´s gibt es nicht nur Bier und belegte Baguettes für den kleinen Bierhunger zwischendurch. Betreiber Olli ist großer Bayern-Fan und hat kurzerhand den FC Bayern Club Ostalb gegründet – sehr sympathisch. Es gibt ausreichend Sitzplatz an spannenden Spieltagen, im Sommer kann man auch draußen sitzen. Außerdem gibts eine Dartscheibe, einen Kicker und Olli bietet selbst gebrannte Schnäpse in guter Auswahl an.

Olli´s offers beer, a dartboard, local beer (called “Wasseralfinger”, named after a part of Aalen), a decent selection of handmade shots. It is always busy at Soccer Bundesliga Game Days and whenever there is soccer. Olli, the owner, is a huge supporter of the leading soccer club in Germany, Bayern Munich. One reason, why I spend some time at Olli´s.

Olli´s Bar: Mitten in Aalen / Olli´s bar is located in the middle of Aalen

Olli´s Bar, Aalen

  • Ramba Zamba

Das Ramba Zamba zu beschreiben, fällt nicht ganz einfach. Es ist eine perfekte Mischung aus Studententreffpunkt, Restaurant und Sonntag-Nachmittag-Lieblingskaffee. Einrichtung und Kellner lassen vermuten, dass man hier ab 30 nicht mehr willkommen ist. Dabei ist das Essen ausnahmslos immer gut (ich empfehle den Salat mit Putenbruststreifen und das Rumpsteak), für Aalener Verhältnisse ist im Ramba immer etwas los und es gibt die gängigen Zeitungen für den sonnigen Wochenend-Nachmittag. Für mich gab es nur irgendwann ein “Problem”: Da das Ramba einer der besten (und einzigen) Läden in Aalen ist, tummeln sich hier viele Zeissianer. Wenn ich in die Anonymität des Feierabends fliehen wollte, wusste ich: Nicht ins Ramba.

It is hard to find a short desciption for Ramba Zamba. It is a mix out of a student´s café and a restaurant. Interior and the younger waitresses imply that only students are welcome. However, the place serves fresh, creative, healthy dishes (I recommend the Rumpsteak) and is usually packed, which is quite uncommon in Aalen. As always there is a dark side, at least for me: Since the Ramba Zamba is one of the best places you can go to, you may find a lot of Zeiss employees. And sometimes, I just want my anonymous leisure-time.

Ramba Zamba Aalen

Interior Ramba Zamba Aalen

Menu Ramba Zamba

Kreative Karte / creatively designed menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Gelateria Dario 

Dass Dario ausschließlich bei sonnigem Wetter und auch dann nur von 13.00-18.00Uhr seine mit Liebe eingerichtete Gelateria öffnet, habe ich ihm in dem Moment verziehen, als ich meine erste Kugel seines hausgemachten Eises schmeckte. „Mozart“ – inspiriert von den Mozartkugeln war ein echtes Geschmackserlebnis und ich kann jedem empfehlen, an einem warmen Sommertag bei ihm vorbeizuschauen. Mitten in der schönen Aalener Innenstadt liegt seine Theke. Er führt keine „normalen“ Eissorten, außer Schokolade. Und die gibt es gleich als weiß, zartbitter und dunkel, aber immer verfeinert, mal mit Mohn, mal mit auserwählten Schnäppsen, mal mit Mascarpone oder Creme Fraiche. Die Fantasie des Eismachers kennt ansonsten keine Grenzen: Erdbeer-Rhabarber, Balsamico-Essig, Schokolade mit Calvados-Äpfeln, Bourbon-Vanille mit Mascarpone und vieles vieles mehr. Für Milchallergiker oder Kalorienbewusste gibt es auch immer wunderbare Sorbetsorten wie Cranberry-Himbeere. Einfach lecker!

He only opens on sunny days and on these days he opens from noon untill 6pm – not quite employer friendly times. Fortunately, the minute I tasted his icecream, I forgot about those circumstances. Gelateria Dario icecream is a real highlight in Aalen and I encourage anyone who is in town during summer to take an hour off work and be amazed by this fine art of Italian Icemaking. Everyone familiar with Bey&Jerry´s knows that you can basically mix everything into icecream. This is exactly what he does, too. Only, he takes the tasting senses a bit further. There are flavors like Balsamico-Vinegar (no, it is not sour!), dark chocolate with (MOHN) or Bourbon-Vanilla with Mascarpone. For the ones allergic to milk icecream he usually offers great sorbets, which are especialls refreshing on those hot hot summer days. Delicious!

Gelateria Dario in Aalen macht außergewöhnliches Eis

Außergewöhnliches Eis in Aalen / Extraordinary Icecream in Aalen

Recent Posts

The generally accepted level of racism

Today I had lunch with a friend from Boston who moved to Munich with her husband and two kids in June. Without a doubt she is in full cultural shock mode. This is not the first time she had left the US. As a matter of fact she has lived in Europe for many years already.

When I asked her how she feels she told me that what seems to be so picture perfect (look at the highest rated passports, or countries with the highest quality of life, Germany always ranks high), is actually quite harsh. For example, she said people give her “stinky eyes” all the time when her kids are too loud. And that on multiple occasions the family has noticed other people mumbling things like “Auslaender”, which means foreigners but is usually not meant in a delightful way. And then she said this: “I feel like there is a level of racism in this country and people talk about it so openly as if these are facts that everyone agrees with.”

That really got me thinking. For my last blogpost I have been given a surprising amount of feedback. Not surprisingly, lots of snarky comments from Germans and a multitude of internationals encouraging me to keep on writing. Some of them asked me if I could explain why a party like AfD, a populist right party with strong ties to the Neonazi organizations, is now in every state’s parliament and in the German Bundestag, the national parliament. Of course, if I had a good explanation, I would probably work somewhere else. All I have are observations. And they have a lot to do with narrative, and the organization of Germany.

The founding order of the United States, the very idea of the country was freedom. The founding idea of the Federal Republic of Germany, was to not repeat the past. Whereas the degree of individualism knows almost no boundaries in the US, in Germany there are written and unwritten boundaries. One very written example is that denying the holocaust in this country is a felony, not freedom of speech. My favorite example of unwritten rules and restrictions in Germany is the German mama saying to toddlers: “One does not do that.” It is a society that is raised with a lot of “one does not do thats” and, believe me, there are lots of them, like the situation my friend from Boston finds herself in when the kids are “too loud” on the streets.

So how can one challenge existing orders, boundaries, rules, customs when they fall under the “one does not do that” category. That’s right, one does not. What if somebody does do it, addresses the fears of people, says what one should not say? AfD has done exactly that, in a very dangerous way. They address fears while presenting their own worldview with their own explanation. Explanations that lack any proof or sense, but that most likely does not matter. As long as someone addresses something that has been under the cloak of Germany’s hidden rules for too long.

It works the other way as well. Challenging things that are “ok” to say as not acceptable does not make you a lot of friends here. The other day after one of my rants on Facebook somebody asked me: “Then why did you even come back here if you don’t like the way things are.” An interesting question, which I did not understand at all. This is the country I was born and raised in. I think the status quo is unreasonably shitty and I would like to change that, critique that, but instead I get asked why I am even here. One does not do that!

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