Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Germany, Day Nine: "Chocolate Factory? The Place...Or the R.Kelly Album?"
ATMs in Germany and Sarah Michelle Gellar have a similar relationship with me--they never tell me what I want to hear. When I said, "RahRah, baby, leave Freddy for me," Sarah said, "No." When I said, "ATM, what my balance be?" ATM said, "Balance? That does not compute." Then I kicked the ATM machine, and it exploded in a fiery ball of coins booming like a thousand slot machines. This is similar to the Sarah Michelle Gellar situation, except she kicked me, and I exploded in a fiery ball of booming disappointment.
The three of us finally found a bank that could tell me what was going on.
Aparently, I was rich.
The night before, the Euro had taken a startling fall, going from 28.7 trillion dollars per .1% of a Euro all the way down to like $.88 a Euro.
I then decided that I had to buy my mother a wooden mantel clock. Don't laugh, it's what she asked me to get. More on this later.
The three of us left the underground bank and emerged in the cold light of German day to the biggest freakin church I have ever seen.
Remember how I said in the day-two entry that Robker told me the Nuremburg cathedral was a small church?
He was, as always (Except in the case of sauerkraut. Come on, man, I know you don't enjoy eating that stuff!), correct. This Cologne church, the Dom Cathedral, was just as big as he had promised. Look at how tiny those folks next to it are in the above picture! And they're standing about thirty feet from the building! You could fit the entire cast of Gigli in there!
We went inside, and I was promptly yelled at. A man in a red robe ran toward me and started barking at me in a strange gutural language I later found out is called "German", though, if there are others who speaked this cursed tongue, I have not met them. He kept pointing at my head, and I suddenly realized he wanted me to take off my hat. But it was so cold in there! Like, Steve Austin cold!
The Moria-like architectural design didn't exactly help.
Since the cathedral was so tall, I wanted to go to the top.
Of course the Robker's didn't want to, so I made fun of them and left.
Halfway up the second tallest gothic structure in the world, so big it is impossible to get in one picture, I wasn't laughing. I was wheezing for my dear precious life.
I don't know how many steps that thing has, but it is even MORE than the amount of Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street Films COM! BINED!
The view was worth it though.
This is my favorite photograph of the whole trip.
After deciding we didn't want to pay to see the church's "treasure" we went to this sweet ancient-human-life museum. It was not cool beans because even room temperature beans are nasty, and I don't really get that expression.
It was a nice museum, though.
All except this EVIL statue that I was forced to stare down.
I don't even have to tell you who won, but it was me.
Also, something I love about this picture:
Look at how scraggly that facial hair is! It's still scraggly a year later, but during my 23rd year it certainly filled in a bit. Sigh...someday I'll being able to grow a beard. Well, until then, at least I can gloat in my spectacular staring contest victory that I won, when I, feeling particularly verile, slapped the statue on the top of the head repeatedly until I was absolutely sure that that Mofo blinked.
You lose, dude!!!
We then walked along some river, which I am sure was transported Mississippi River water from St. Louis, along with the riverfront because it looked exactly the same.
I love them Robkers!
I'm not sure if you can tell or not, but the wind was blowing approximately 200 miles an hour in this picture. It was crazy!!! But nothing could stop our determination because we were headed to the CHOCOLATE FACTORY!!!
I couldn't wait to get in there, and when I did it was everything I could possibly hope for and more. Teachings on how my precious chocolate is made. Diagrams of how my precious chocolate is made. The actual viewing of how my precious chocolate is made.
And most importantly:
The consumption of my precious chocolate!
That's right, I was allowed to drink from the:
That brown stuff is chocolate! Sweet precious chocolate! The factory is on a boat in the river, and the fountain is at the head of the boat. A nice lady dipped one of those wafers into the fountain and handed it to me (I refuse to believe that she did this for anyone else). It was sooo good! I felt so completely satisfied, yet wanting so much more.
But for some reason I didn't buy any candy from the gift shop because I bought over thirty (I'm not exxagerating) candy bars in Hamburg to bring home to my psychotically sweet-toothed family.
After we left the factory, we did some stuff, and then some more stuff. I just talked about chocolate, though, so I don't have too much more to say. We ate some Donor-Kabobs and some really good ice cream, and then I went on the final mission, as, I will now reveal, this was the last full day of the trip.
The final mission was to find my mother's wooden mantel clock.
And, apparently, they don't make those in Germany. Robker, Stephanie, and I went on a mad dash for a clock, hitting every single store in sight. We looked for hours and hours, and we found NOTHING. Nothing. Finally, we found an antique shop with something similar to a wooden mantel clock. The clock was old, international looking, pretty, pricey, but not too pricey. We checked a few more places, found nothing, then came back and scooped it up. It sits upon the mantel still*.
The mission complete, the trip nearly over, the three of us went to a rave, took copious amounts of ecstasy, and fell into a textbook cuddle-puddle. We met up later and went back to the hotel.
And if you believed that last part you must go up and down these steps six quadtrillion times or pay me three Euros.
We did buy a bottle of Apfel Liquor, which is this whiskey made from apples Robker told me to try.
By the time we got back to the hotel, I was about to pass out. I was exhausted. I was dead tired.
But I didn't want to admit this, of course.
I have always been the last to go to sleep, everywhere. On this trip, I would read long after the Robkers had fallen asleep. In Washington, all my roommates fell asleep long before I did. I am the only one awake in this house right now, and at this time at night, I always am. It's just my way, and I have a reputation to uphold, so when the Robkers wanted to let the Whiskey sit on our third story window ledge to cool off, I objected.
Of course, I didn't want to say that I was tired, so I just said I wanted to drink it then. They wanted to wait, and I didn't. So then I offered to start drinking on my own, but they told me that's what alcoholics do. I wanted to drink the whole thing and go to bed, though. I wanted to bring the bottle home for my bottle-collecting brother, and I didn't want to:
A. Bring a liquid filled bottle on the plane, or
B. Dump any of the whiskey in the sink because I paid 17 Euros for it.
So, I took a shower and did all manner of things to stay awake.
Finally, the bottle got cold, and we drank it. Steph had one glass, Robker had two, and I had about four, draining that sucker, washing it out, and leaving it out to dry. Of course, now that it was time for bed, I got my second wind.
So, after we went to bed, I lay awake, thinking about how I wished I didn't have to go home the next day, but the next day is for tomorrow's entry.
*The next week, while visiting the Wal-Mart in NEW ROADS, I noticed that an enormous selection of wood-carved mantel clocks were on sale.