Last night I attended what I dub a "German Green Tea." Every month, the Greens in Champaign-Urbana host a discussion about a topic, usually led by an expert in that particular field, and we call it a Green Tea. What I attended was basically the same thing: the local Greens brought in one of their representatives from the Bundestag to give a presentation about the development of poverty in Germany. Although I couldn't understand quite everything, it was very interesting. Basically, in Germany, as in the USA, the chasm between rich and poor is widening and the upper class controls an increasing share of the country's wealth. To combat this problem, the German Greens emphasize making education available for all and school reform. German schools typically let out early in the afternoon, or the students have long breaks between classes and thus go home for awhile. The Greens would like to have an all day school day.
Afterwards I went out with some of the Greens for beers and little hookah smoking! I tried a hookah for the first time. Although I probably won't make a habit out of it, it was interesting and definitely a lot more fun (and aromatic!) than cigarettes.