The law in Germany requires markers not to exceed 215 fps. For years tournaments were played on U.S. military bases to avoid complying with the law. With the DPL currently consisting of over 300 teams and fields open all across Germany I am reliably informed they are not all competing or even playing at the legal limit. I mention all of that as it is the most commonplace explanation for how the MS found this place and why we were there. Supposedly as a former U. S. air base it still conferred diplomatic immunity (or whatever) on all the otherwise “illegal” markers in action over the weekend. If that strikes you as odd and kinda silly on its face join the club--but hey, it's as good an explanation as any.
Vas ist ein air conditioning? Only available in your car as it turns out. This isn't anything new or out of the ordinary for Euroland (it's only warm a couple months of the year, right?) but it continues to amaze me--as does the cuisine--or lack thereof. Shouldn't small town Germany feature German food? Okay, there's a sampling but it seems like much of the (limited) menus instead tend to feature generic, dare I say universal (sorta) fare. Although, to be fair nobody in America is gonna put 'rumpsteak' on their menu. I know some Euro-types (and others) object to imperialistic American cultural hegemony--as well they might--but if y'all ain't gonna fight the good fight where it matters--on the menu--where will it all end? Mediocre pseudo-American food the world over. Want fries with that?
In checking the Sunday match-ups I've been scouting Group A teams. We also played a couple of matches today. We brought our pit crew and organizationally we're set. Is it normal for refs to high five each other when dishing out 2-4-1's? Sorry, that's verboten paintball talk.
After dinner I spent a pleasant evening in the Biergarten. The local Pilsner is a bit on the bitter side for my taste but the wheat beers are quite good. Not cold enough but good. As is the lemon infused Polish vodka a friend brought with him from--Poland. By midnight the room is reasonably comfortable with the windows open. It's simple but modern and reasonably sized--unlike the beds which were small singles.
Have I mentioned that the Eifel Stern operates on coupons? It's apparently a commonplace practice. Want to purchase a meal in the restaurant? A drink in the Biergarten? Buy a coupon at the front desk. With cash.
The weather remains ideal. Pristine blue skies and crisp breezes are the order of the day. Quite nice really and it's a good thing given that we're only playing 3 prelim matches of Race 2-5 over two days. There's time to do other things. Like a team autograph signing at the GI Sportz booth. The team signed free T-shirts and pods. Much of the time there was a small crowd around not in the waiting line because they didn't know how much the "free" stuff would cost. Once informed it was a freebie they were all over it.
We went into Bitburg today. It's a holiday weekend so most of the stores and restaurants are closed. Over here holidays are prime shopping opportunities. Not so much over there as it turns out. We ended up in a district of patterned brick and stone we thought was pedestrian only. Turns out a few adventurous cars including a couple of taxis decided otherwise but mostly the streets were empty. We found a tiny hotel with a first floor restaurant that was open. It promised more traditional German fare with real leaded glass windows and blooming Geraniums in window boxes. The kids had mostly been eating the ubiquitous ‘rumpsteak’ and spaghetti Bolognese. The bratwurst and smoked sausage I’d had the past two days from the event concessions were disappointingly conventional massed produced meats--I hope. While the kids continued to eat cheeseburgers and rumpsteaks with herb butter sauce I had a terrific pork schnitzel with a dark mushroom and onion sauce with a side of potato pancakes.
What, you want paintball talk? Tell the Millennium kids.
There are a couple of incidents I can relate. Rumor has it a Lisbon Benfica player punched a ref on the CPL field or in the pit area. The story has it the player grabbed the ref on the field and then later in the ref's area of the pits punctuated his objections with the aforementioned punches. Rumor also has it the league is backtracking to keep the lid on this by claiming the ref would have been more severely hurt if he'd been punched and in fact it was maybe more like a slap or something. Late Saturday a small group that included at least a couple of CPL field refs and a Millennium photographer accosted some of my players in front of the hotel. There are a number of benches in front and some of the guys were sitting around when this group approached them. They appeared to be drunk. The photog was identified by his league authorized jersey and the kids recognized a couple of the others as refs. They began by insulting my players and one ref in particular tried to incite a response by throwing elbows, punches and kicks--that didn't connect--at my players. they continued to insult and curse at them until my guys got up and left. (If the league wants a description of the refs in question I'll be happy to supply it--but I won't be holding my breath in the meantime.) Tell me again how fair and even-handed the officiating is again.