Thursday, April 07, 2005

I left my heart in Deutschland

Ich bin zurück in Deutschland! Oh, wie ich dieses Land vermisst habe! And since my last post, I’ve been reunited with Kristina and already separated once again. Schade... But let me start at the beginning.

Well, I flew in to Frankfurt-Hahn airport, which is actually nowhere near Frankfurt and is so inconveniently located that they provide a bus service to cities as far as three hours away. Again, I was all thrilled that I was traveling outside the UK again, and even more thrilled that I could more or less get by with my language skills (“skills,” some would say, but not anymore because I have killed them). This is the third time I’ve been to Germany, and it doesn’t feel strange at all to me anymore.

I took the bus from Frankfurt (“Frankfurt,” some would say, and they would be right) to the Köln Hauptbahnhof (central station). Kristina had arranged for us to stay with her friend Anna in a city near Köln called Wuppertal. I was under the impression that Wuppteral was a suburb of Köln, but in reality it was an hour-long train ride away. This is kind of like when Katie came to visit me and flew in and out of Edinburgh because she thought Aberdeen was a suburb of Edinburgh. Communication, people. It’s a good thing.

On the train, I actually had to use my German to extract information from another human being for the first time in two years. It didn’t really work. Mostly I just strung together some vocabulary words I knew and threw some “ccccchhhh” noises in there for good measure. Yeah. It didn’t really work. And I got off at the wrong stop, and it was pretty late at night, but Kristina came to my rescue and alles war gut.

Kristina and I spent today in Köln and tomorrow we’ll spend in Wuppertal. Both are very, very good cities for shopping. Also, there is a Schokolademuseum in Köln which has provided me with the design plan for my dream house which I will have built when I become rich and famous and rich. Wuppertal doesn’t have a museum dedicated to chocolate, or a magnificent cathedral like Köln does, but it does have a Schwebebahn which runs through the city and terrifies the shit out of me. Kristina and I rode it today.

There’s a story in Wupptertal about an incident that occurred when the circus came to town sometime in the 1950s. They put an elephant named Tuffi on the Schwebebahn, but she got really upset and jumped out the window and landed in the river. Tuffi was pretty smart for catching on that the Schwebebahn is a death machine, though also kind of a dumb-ass to think leaping from it would be safer. But then again, Tuffi is an elephant. She has a brain the size of a pea, what do you expect?


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