Gute Reisen


Today was better than yesterday. Today I took a little more control of my living space, and I feel quite a bit better. Laundry has been done, and the shower was much better today than it was yesterday. I think I will go ahead and just pay for the cleaner to do the bathroom myself, as it seems Ahmed is rarely here. I’ll offer to split the kitchen with Dan and Nick, and they are on their own with the cesspool that is their bathroom. The bathmat in there makes me want to wretch, but my clothes came out of the washer clean enough.

I’ve spent most of the day sitting in front of my open window, looking at construction, but enjoying getting things done. Nick gave me some speakers, and that’s made a huge difference. I do need a proper rain jacket, though.

The best and worst part of the day was cycling up to Giesing proper, and hunting for a place to print some documents. Maddeningly they were both closed, and it begin to rain. Coffee time, obviously. As I sat an waited at the light with my bike and old man came up to me and yelled over the passing police siren, “Mountain Bike, oder?” and I said “Nein, das hier ist ein City-rad.” He asked where I came from and I said “America” and he said “oh, Wyoming or Texas.” When I confessed Texas he said, “Hast du deine Pistole?” Obviously my reputation precedes me.

I laughed and rode to a tiny cafe/bar and ordered a Americano, but had to explain what it was in German to the befuddled woman behind the counter. I had been feeling shitty about my German this morning, but I navigated both of these exchanges well enough, and then through the little door of the cafe came the little old man.

He ordered an Apfelshorle and some Brandy, and he smoked Marlboros, but we sat together on the patio and talked. He asked to listen to my German podcasts that I used to help myself, and laughed at how simple it was. I understood him reasonably well. We talked about how Berlin is too international a city, he quoted me statistics on the numbers of Russians and Poles in Berlin and Turks in Munich. I sense we were wandering into territory that was going to make me uncomfortable. I changed the subject as best I could, trying to compare cost of living in America to Munich. He said Munich was expensive, but there was no way it was cheaper than living in Wyoming. 

I wonder if his Wyoming obsession has any roots in the Marlboro man.

In two weeks there will be a performance of The Ring cycle in an opera house on a lake in Fussen, Germany. It will cost me about 150 bucks to get there, stay one night, and see the opera. Seemingly a fine deal. We’ll be just a few miles from Neuschwanstein a castle filled with painting of scenes from Wagner operas. It all seems a little too good, but I suspect I will have to go and do it. Only one night though. The Valkyrie. I have seen Das Rheingold twice, and I don’t want to commit to a 4 night cycle with an unknown staging, cast, and opera house. 

The opera house in Munich? Done. The Festspielhaus in Bayreuth? Without a moment’s hesitation. However, I’ll have to wait for those.