I have written about this before, but that was 2010, and I really don’t expect any of you to pay enough attention to this blog to keep track.

Hey, it’s good to know where you stand.

Anyway, back in the day when Nathan was living in the Teehaus, I wrote about Vokü, that wonderful informal soup kitchen that can pop up basically anywhere and operates on a come-as-you-are, pay-as-you-can principle, and that build in that crucial element of human interaction that many poverty relief efforts miss.

I’m on the lookout for sneaky sneaky ways to learn German, since I have surprisingly little opportunity to talk to people–most of the time I’m listening, or speaking Russian/Spanish (actually, I think my Spanish teacher is starting to hate me because sometimes I simply refuse to talk, even after being (in her eyes) explicitly called on. If I were the teacher, I would keep a paper ball with me and throw it at my head whenever I was called on and didn’t answer. Fortunately, my professor is nicer than me.). The problem is that I don’t really have hobbies that involve other people, and hanging out with people I don’t know without a project is a lot like sitting in silence, not making friends. So I decided to look for volunteer opportunities. I wrote a couple of refugee support groups, but they haven’t responded (apparently my help isn’t good enough), and now I’m checking out the Vokü options.

These are the places that currently offer Vokü on a regular basis: http://stressfaktor.squat.net/vokue.php?day=all

In contrast to the Teehaus, not all of them are run by hippies who also are illegally running a business under the cops’ nose in a “residential” space. Many of them, in fact, are actual restaurants, who open their doors after a certain time or on a certain day.

It’s sad that this is remarkable, but nevertheless cool how many groups have said, “You know what? People are hungry, and we can fix that.”