Friday, February 17, 2006
Germany, Day Five: "You Must Be This German to Ride."
Something became apparent to me as soon as we arrived in Berlin.
I don't look like I am from Germany. I'm about six-feet tall and have a sweet crawfish tan and dark curly hair, but the average German male is about six-foot two, is as pale as Gertrude, the moon's albino offspring, and has straight flaxen hair, which was an evolutionary advantage when ancient Germans hid in hay bales from Trolls. In Bavaria, the southern German region where we spent our first four days, this didn't really come out.
In Northern Germany it did.
And it made me feel like crap.
Once in Berlin, Robker and Stephanie began pointing out famous German landmarks I had never heard of that had great significance to them. This made me feel even more out of place. Then I got on a bus full of pale, tall, quiet people. This made me feel like Curtis James Jackson III at The Dollar Store.
Also, the tree behind me in the above picture is a painting. There were no green trees in Berlin. There was more SNOW, though!
I started to get seriously depressed, which probably had something to do with jetlag or the fact that my money was virtually worthless, or maybe I just remembered once again that Sarah Michelle Gellar is married to Freddy Prinze Jr. and not to me. Anyway, I needed some me-time.
After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, the three of us went to downtown Berlin.
We saw what is apparently one of the world's tallest structures, this hideous tower:
I was not impressed, especially at the six euro, or 4.6 billion dollar, fee to ride to the top (I know the units seem to be changing everyday, but you have to realize, that's what the market does!..?)
After rambling around, we came across a giant Best Buy type store called Saturn. I suddenly realized a long time dream of mine.
In high school, I really dug this band called Kent. They only released one album in America, Isola, but they have plenty more albums available in Europe. I remembered that I wanted to find some of their CDs. I never bought them on the Internet because the prices are ridiculous, and buying CDs on Ebay just isn't my way.
Anyway, I found their second English language album, Hagnesta Hill, and I picked it up for cheap. The three of us went back to the hotel for a minute, and I declared that for the next two hours I was not going anywhere. The Robkers told me I could not do that, because not doing that is their way, and I do not hold it against them, but I told them that I could do that, and I would do that, and I did do that. Sometimes, I just need to chill.
I listened to 70 sweet minutes of Kent and stared out the window at the Germans. It was wonderfully therapeutic. Kent is the perfect soundtrack for Northern Europe. They sound a little like Radiohead, except leave out all the fear and paranoia and add some hope and humanity. Just kidding, Radiohead, I love you.
Oh, and of course, I left the lights off.
When the Robkers returned, the three of us took off.
I was refreshed and ready to kick Germany's ass.
That is my usual attitude toward everything, so it felt real pretty to be back.
The three of us took the train to some other part of the city. I got confused as to where because the entire city is made of cranes building new things and it is impossible to tell what is what.
I'm sorry that this entry isn't as funny as usual, but I have a new Kristen Bell wallpaper and I keep looking at it and giggling, so bear with me.
Anyway, here I am in front of a piece of the old Berlin Wall.
Look at that face. You know I am thinking that if I wanted to, I could kick all those cranes down, but I was feeling "generous," so I didn't.
We then footed it to the Reichstag, which in German means "Camel-Toe." The Reichstag is the German Capitol building. We waited in line for almost four complete months, and then were allowed in.
After a bunch of stuff I can't remember, we went up to the top. Of course, fraidy-cat twins didn't want to go up the tower portion, so I took their cameras for them and climbed by myself.
Berlin's skyline looks like this from there:
Also, the German lawmakers keep a giant metallic-spike hanging over their heads during legislation:
Those are their seats, directly below. They need one of those here in Louisiana, methinks. Especially, post 8/29/05. On second thought, maybe the U.S. government needs one of those, too. Or somebody. Seriously, we got screwed.
We caught a bus and headed back to the hotel.
This hotel is awesome. I can't remember the name of it, but it was an excellent little place. The building was really old, and the manager was this extremely friendly (but not in a " Hey, that's my no-touch place!" kind of way) Swedish lady. She had several daughters who were Kent fans, which was refreshing, and a topic of bonding. Sweet. She had the place decorated all crazy and wonderful, and I don't have room to post pictures of it in this post, but we stayed two nights, so more to come on that front.
"He Did WHAT to that Statue?!"
"Tales of Man/Stone-Construct Love.