29 June 2005

pushing him down into the grid of grey

the new originals: to keep current. today i'd be flying to copenhagen, denmark; a one hour flight to another country, the eighth of the global reconnaissance objective. denmark, it seemed off the beaten traveler path. the four and one from tennessee left this morning. david, blessed with another year, had obvious issues waking up. in fact he had obvious issues moving, an obvious hangover pushing him down into the mattress every time he tried to rise. eventually his brother urged him out of the room, off to catch a train to amsterdam. have a nice trip everyone. i don't think i even know all of your names... david, vanessa, josh, and two others, the brothers.

i spent my morning slowly. my flight wasn't leaving until 7:50pm and i planned to arrive at the airport approximately two hours before for check-in. charged the batteries during the shower. spent some time on the internet researching egypt and india, specifically on the us travel advisory site. egypt might present some problems. this makes me nervous:

"On April 30, 2005 there were two terrorist attacks against tourists in Cairo, a bombing near the Egyptian Museum and a tourist-bus shooting near the Citadel. Though the three perpetrators were killed and other foreign tourists injured, no Americans were hurt in either incident. On April 7 an explosive device detonated in Cairo’s Khan El Khalili tourist bazaar, killing one American tourist and injuring three others, in addition to other foreign casualties. Terrorist bombings targeting tourists in Taba and Nuweiba, Sinai, in October 2004 killed and injured many people, including several Americans. Prior to these blasts, there were no terrorist incidents involving tourists since an attack by extremists in Luxor in November 1997. A heavy security presence is observable throughout Egypt. Visitors and residents alike are requested to cooperate with Egyptian authorities."

: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1108.html

packed. i've done virtually no shopping on my trip and here in berlin i've purchased three t-shirts, and i planned to purchase a fourth at checkpoint charlie to supplement the paper one i'd bought days earlier. three shirts was enough to make a difference, straining. i dropped off my pack at the front desk and was out for my last day in berlin. quick stop at alexanderplatz to buy my last currywurst; the woman recognized me and prepared it with mustard. danke. onward to the stradmitte s-bahn stop and down to checkpoint charlie; shirt secured. to the jewish museum, but no time to visit, i wanted to see again the holocaust memorial for more information about the memorial itself. to the grid of grey darkness, i found the information center which shachar and i had missed on our first visit. first security check with an x-ray. i'd have to check my daypack. the woman asked me something in german and i wasn't prepared and couldn't come up with 'sprechen sie englisch?' quickly enough... all that came out was 'english?'. what an idiot. she said 'sure.' and re-asked the question in english. as i walked away i thought about returning and apologizing for just saying 'english?'. stupid tourista.

down the stairs. below.

the history of the holocaust. so incredibly powerful and moving. six _million_. the information center is built under the grid and the ceilings are indented with negative impressions of the concrete towers above. hard to describe, inappropriate to photograph, but it's almost as if you can see the bottoms of the stellae from underneath. so many were killed and most of the names were not recorded; this memorial strived to remember the individuals. in one room, darkened, one name at a time was projected onto each of the four walls and a short biography read first in german and then in english. six million _individuals_, with lives and families and careers and dreams and hopes. and above, the concrete pressing down.

the memorial information brochure mentioned the nearby fuhrerbunker; i made a visit south to vossstrasse to see if i could locate the bunker. i did find the street and several signs in german. unfortunately i'm not able to translate, but some day i'll be able to. walked over to the under den linden s-bahn stop and back over to the hostel to retrieve my pack.

[imagine buckles clicking, straps being tightened, and equipment secured in an action movie 'getting ready to kick ass' sequence]: clicked, tightened, secured: outfitted and ready to travel. u-bahn and then s-bahn the whole way to the schonefeld airport. check in, delay, flight on easyjet. safety instructions were given in english and german by the attendants and then in danish by a recording. what a beautiful language. i thought the irish accent had mountains and valleys, but if irish english is the pyrennes, danish is the alps.

arrival in copenhagen. [!!!] denmark. retrieved the pack from baggage claim 3 [a long walk from the gate] and then over to the atm to withdrawl danish kroner. 500, two 200's and one 100, approximately 67 euro, beautiful notes. i'd recorded the directions to the hostel from their website. outside to find bus 250S. right there, quickly... and found the schedule. it was exactly 10pm; next bus at 10:14pm. the bus pulled up a minute later and the bus driver walked off. break, i assume. others built up waiting. the driver returned. i'd be getting off at zone one... wondered if i could get by with a simple 'i'm getting off in zone one' or if he'd need more information. hoped not... i'd have to attempt a pronunciation of 'h.c. orsted vej'.

me: 'i'm getting off in zone one.'

bus driver: [confused look]

me: [shit] 'atche see ooorsted...' [[?] [?] [?] picture accompanying 'please forgive me for butchering your beautiful language, sir' facial expression]

he looked and smiled and repeated back the name of the stop with the correct pronunciation, which incidentally sounded absolutely _nothing_ like 'atche see ooorsted'. ha. i went and sat down. 'about thirty minutes away,' he said. i felt bad and thought about going back and apologizing for my ignorance. second tourista language moment of the day. almost exactly thirty minutes later we arrived at my stop; the driver announced it over the loudspeaker; he hadn't announced any of the previous stops. i thanked him as i got off the bus.

i'm currently sitting in the hostel lounge. i paid more for my bed than the site had advertised. my narrow room has six beds in it; two three tier bunk beds, the lowest a tomb. my bed is on the top, a long ladder climb to the star spangled ceiling. as i sit here typing this, i hear americans, many, and i want to get away; i'm presently drowning them away with music. i want traveler isolation. i want away from the 'where are you from? how long have you been traveling? where have you been? where are you going? how old are you?'. like a competition, a culture unto its own. i want to be surrounded by others; to meet others, different others. when i began this trip, it was comforting to hear americans. no longer. [thinking about traveling north to the arctic circle. having bad thoughts about visiting amsterdam, no doubt teeming with them.] it seems to me that american travelers have much less to say than european travelers. concerned more with partying than experiencing. wow, i'm old.

some creepy guy keeps asking 'how the fuck do you sleep at night with a frozen dream and a borrowed hope that died?'
and i sleep with both eyes open.
: filth pig, ministry

posted by paul at Wed 29 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 EST (-05:00) | comments (0)

28 June 2005

28 june

sachsenhausen concentration camp. heavy. moving. crushing.

posted by paul at Tue 28 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 EST (-05:00) | comments (0)

27 June 2005

27 june

admin day. photo processing.

posted by paul at Mon 27 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 EST (-05:00) | comments (0)

26 June 2005

26 june

shachar departed. trip down to potsdam. sanssouci park. great day.

posted by paul at Sun 26 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 EST (-05:00) | comments (0)

25 June 2005

25 june

berlin museum of technology. RAMM. STEIN.

posted by paul at Sat 25 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 EST (-05:00) | comments (0)

24 June 2005

24 june

a lot of walking with shachar. fernsehturm. currywurst. german history museum: excellent. checkpoint charlie. ripoff shirt. topography of terror. reischtag. subway to subway. hostel. out for berghain... no luck. dling dling.

posted by paul at Fri 24 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 EST (-05:00) | comments (0)

23 June 2005

23 june

my third transatlantic flight at night, and this time i was able to sleep a bit. i'm sure the sub.two.hour nap the night before [spent most of the time repacking] had some influence on my ability to sleep. the meals on these two delta flights have been very tasty and the flight attendant crews have been great. seemed they were busy throughout the night. i arrived at berlin's tegel airport a little after 8am and passed through german immigration and customs without even one question. this time i hadn't shaved and i was sporting a night's worth of against the window bedhead. the agent didn't seem to mind, although he did stamp the arrival stamp in the departures column of my passport. waiting for the pack to arrive... the first half of the plane's luggage came right through and those lucky enough to have claimed their bags departed... the luggage belt stopped... and the remainder of the plane's passengers waited another half hour. security delay? ok. i found my way to the bus stop more slowly than i would have liked. finally, bus -> s-bahn -> more s-bahn -> u-bahn -> hostel. i checked in and crashed for six hours. wow, didn't expect that. i woke up and met shachar, an israeli, and we went on a walk. brandenburg monument. wurst. pool. crash.

posted by paul at Thu 23 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 EST (-05:00) | comments (2)

22 June 2005

22 june

goodbyes to my sister and her husband early in the morning [thanks for letting us stay guys!]. needed to be at the raleigh-durham airport by 9am. flight to jfk and a six hour layover. i wandered the airport extensively, rocking the air train. i'm now a jfk expert. finally the overnight flight to berlin.

posted by paul at Wed 22 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 EST (-05:00) | comments (0)

06 April 2005

nin ticket


i forgot to mention... my nine inch nails ticket for the show on 15 june 2005 arrived in my post office box the day before i left!

posted by paul at Wed 06 Apr 2005 at 20:57:25 EST (-05:00) | comments (0)