Sunday, February 19, 2006
Germany, Day Seven: "Excuse Me...Can You Tell Us Where the Ocean Is, Cuz, Uh...We Can't Find It"
I love the sea. We are definitely an item. I don't so much like being in it as gazing out at it, but it has always had a special place in my heart due to much time in my life spent in the since Katrina-destroyed trailer camp "Rise n' Shine" in the so-called Cajun paradise, Grand Isle. I'm not Cajun, but I like Grand Isle and ridiculously long run-on sentences. Sigh...
Anyway, I like looking at the ocean, and sand doesn't bother me very much, but the Robkers hiss and spit at sand like a cat at Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Also, if you can't tell, I like Scandinavia like 50 Cent raps about fat kids liking cake, and a visit to the Baltic Sea would put me right on its doorstep.
Early that morning we took a train Northwest to Hamburg. That's not a typo. It's an actual direction. We got there, got rid of our stuff at the hotel, then took a ride farther North to the town of Lubeck.
Thus begins my great victory over Jon Robker.
"We are going to the beach, right?" I asked on the train.
"LUBECK IS ON THE OCEAN!" Robker said nastily. I know he was thinking about all the sand he was going to have to pull out between his toes.
We then arrived in Lubeck, which is an absolutely beautiful city. I could have taken a landscape photo of it, but instead, I took a picture of this:
Anyway, the three of us walked toward where we thought the ocean was.
And then we walked some more.
The town began to look like New Roads (town I went to high-school and held my first job in):
except there weren't really any black people, which is the opposite of New Roads, but otherwise, it was basically the same place with older buildings and more well-managed waterways. I can't even explain how much I missed black folks while I was in Europe. They just weren't there. Almost nothing but white folks. It made me lonely at times.
Anyway, we kept walking.
Eventually, after having to shave three times just to keep our beards from touching the ground (Except for Stephanie. She refused to shave her beard...Zing! Just kidding, Steph...don't kill me :) ?) we realized something was wrong.
When Robker stopped someone and asked them how far the ocean was, and their first response was hysterical laughter, I knew we were in trouble.
Lubeck is not on the ocean. It is near the ocean. Thirty miles near.
We walked back and got on another train.
Eventually, we reached a resort town on the Baltic Sea.
Of course, I can neither remember or spell the name of this town.
The Robkers stayed on the sidewalk while I ran around the beach like a five-year old, which is basically what the ocean, extreme cold, and twenty chocolate-vanilla Milka bars do to me. Combining these three things sent me into hyper-five-year-old-mode. And that's because:
We left the beach and went back to the train station.
I was surprised and saddened to find that this was, indeed, the end of the line.
It was was all very sad. Even more sad was when the three of us divied up the cost of the trip to split three ways.
Unfortunately, due to the conversion rate, all three of us would now have to sell our bodies until we died just to break even again.
We were up for several hundred Euros apiece, or
THIRTY TRILLION DOLLARS!!!
Thankfully, we sorted things out through a tax-loophole so we could get by on what we had. Actually, we got by because the most excellent Robker thought ahead to buy a train discount card. Because of this card, we saved several hundred Euros, or
INFINITY HUMAN SOULS!!!
This more than made up for the lack of Sea-Existence in Lubeck. Plus, that walk took off some of the calories from the hundreds of candy bars I had consumed in the last seven days.
We got back to Hamburg and settled into our digs.
We then went to an Italian restaurant (I needed it in a Desert Needs the Rain/Mango way). We found some place and I ordered a pizza called a "Sofia Loren". This pizza had fried eggs on top of it! I'm not kidding. And it was good.
What was not good--the shifty waiter swindled us out of about four Euros.
I don't even have to tell you how many dollars that is:
Anyway, we walked back to the hotel. Hamburg felt strange and dirty, and I REALLY wanted to take a shower.
Well, I have been promising a shower horror story.
Here it is:
The shower was just right there in the middle of our room!
I mean, look at it. There it is.
So, you are probably thinking one of two things:
A. WHAT?!!! THAT'S CRAZY!
B. Uh, that's not really that bad, dude. Chill out.
Well, Mr. B, if the location of the shower isn't bad enough, check this out.
So, I get in the shower, strip naked, and hang my clothes over the side.
I get a decent wash done, and then turn the water knob.
The water does not turn off.
I turn the knob the other way.
The water burns my flesh off.
I turn the knob the other way.
The water is still burning my flesh off.
The water suddenly gets cold.
I start yelling.
Robker and Stephanie try to help me, but I am in the middle of the room, soaking wet, cold, naked, and modest only by a thin curtain.
Robker and Stephanie start yelling out ideas, but none of them work.
I think of everything under the sun, but the water won't turn off.
The shower curtain gets sucked into the drain, jams it, and threatens to flood the room.
I put up a noble fight, finally pulling it out before the water spills on the floor.
The shower still won't turn off.
I finally can't take it anymore.
I tell the Robkers to clear out of the way, grab my towel, and dive out.
The Robkers rush into the vacant shower and attempt to turn it off.
It WON'T TURN OFF!!!
IT WON'T TURN OFF!!!
I get dressed, and it is still going.
We don't know what to do.
Time goes by.
People die, people change.
Robker turns the knob as the three of us have done a hundred times, and suddenly the shower turns off.
Ten seconds of silence.
I never got in that shower again.