Saturday, June 27, 2009
Past the solstice
The trip was excellent; had very different imagery and events than I anticipated. There were blunders, such as my search for the site of the bunker where Hitler committed suicide. Based on the Lonely Planet guide to Central Europe, I went up and down Vossstrasse in Berlin, puzzled when nothing leaped out at me. Finally I decided a piece of vacant land might be the top of the bunker, but was still bemused at the absence of a marker. I asked a guy who looked Roma and/or Eastern European (he was selling "Soviet/East German" memorabilia, gas masks, medals and the like on a table) where the fuehrerbunker was. The seller responded in a mixture of English and German, indicating the directions, but I couldn't quite follow what he meant. Gave me a poignant feeling when I reached Wroclaw/Breslau -- I was the first member of my family to go to that area since the 1940s, at the latest. The whole reverse immigration dynamic realized.
On my last evening, in Frankfurt on Main, going for a casual stroll, ran across a Thai Cultural Event, hosted by "Miss Germany 2009" (I believe) and featuring blasting dance music and graceful, completely uninhibited Thai female impersonators (pictured -- the other photo is myself on Jomfruland Island, Norway)... Lots of Thai women with old German men in the surrounding crowd.... I wasn't sure if I was in Germany or Patpong road in Bangkok (no, I haven't been to the latter). The event was capped with the sight of a guy collapsing on the street, drunk out of his mind, eyes switching different ways, wielding a bottle of liquor, surrounded by people calling for help. Finally ambulances converged on the area.
Posted by Jonathan at 4:26 AM