Reid/Male/21-25. Lives in Germany/Saxony/Dresden/Altstadt, speaks English and  . Spends 80% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Rock Climbing/Politics.
This is my blogchalk:
Germany, Saxony, Dresden, Altstadt, English, , Reid, Male, 21-25, Rock Climbing, Politics.

::Journal::



 

Old.Reid.pre.2001
 


10.31.2002 :: Mir geht's nicht so gut

Tuesday night I went to the international bar. Had a single beer. Started to feel tired, decided to go home at 11. Got home. Went to bed. Stomach starts hurting. Naseua. Got a pan and put it next to my bed just in case. Body gets called, suddenly I can't stop shivering. 104 degree fever. Puking. Feeling a little better. Going to sleep. Waking up an hour later, puking some more. Puking some more. Puking some more. Wandering around in a half dream for 2 hours, puking some more. Repeat. 9am, stomach still hurts, but I manage to fall asleep. 4pm Wednesday: Wake up, after missing all my classes. Still feel like crap. Walk to the grocery store and buy some coke. (Matt told me once that it settles your stomach. And some baguette. Takes me one hour to walk to the store and back. Usually the whole trip (walking, shopping, paying, returning) takes 15-20 minutes. But my body feels heavy and sleepy and I can move but slowly.

Eat about an inch of baguette, drink lots of coke, stomach hurts a little, feels full. Odd, because I threw up everything I ate on Tuesday, and I didn't eat anything Wednesday. On my to/from the grocery store I felt like Alfred Packer. Back to sleep at 6pm, wake up at 8am this morning (Thursday) feeling refreshed. I guess after sleeping something like 40 out of 48 hours, you're bound to feel refreshed, though.

I haven't been this sick since I was like...ever? Maybe I was too young to remember? I remember as a child getting sick and throwing up now and then, but usually it was just once and there was never any actual sickness with it. I think I got food poisoning from the new variety of veggie burgers I ate. Still not entirely sure how a veggie burger can be poisoned...Anyway I threw the rest of them out, along with my bread, salsa, soy milk, etc etc. Not really sure what was infected, but I'd rather not eat it again :).

Today is Reformation Day in Germany, so yet another national holiday. Good thing I got my visa already :). Now I can go run amok in Germany for a while. Speaking of running amok, Canada has issued a warning that its citizens should not visit the United States. Anyway if I ever do move back to that part of the world, I'm heading to Canada...

And could I say a word, if I may, about Big Scary Terrorism? Why is the US trying to stop terrorism using law enforcement? That just reaffirms its role as a police-state. It should be adopting new policies that get rid of people's reasons for blowing shit up in the US. There are, you know, reasons that people suicide bomb other people. Craziness is one, sure, but craziness is never so organized. It's people being pissed off that takes organization. Sigh.


10.29.2002 :: Rockin' Out

Don't click here.

Oops.

Anyway, I got my 1-year study Visa today, which also gives me permission to work. This is a very magical thing, as I was going to the police to get my papers and apply for my visa. I had a piece of mail a few weeks back that said I had to go to the police station and give them a passport photo, so I figured I'd pick up the application paper too. Turns out the letter said my visa has been approved (strange, because I never applied for one....). So I now have yet another piece of paper in my passport. Rawk.

So I'm pumped. Tonight is another International Bar Night on campus. So more beer, yum! I'll be going with Andreas and gang again. Speaking of which, remember Judith? No of course you don't. I met her while barhopping last week...so I went to her place and gave her and her husband/fiancee/whatever some english lessons. Damn shame she's on her way to getting married. She has The Nose.

My fascination with The Nose, along with a recent slashdot poll with Uma Thurman as a choice, lead me to discover a page about my weird nose fascination/fetish.

Anyway, I'm off to shower now so I can at least smell clean for dinner and beer tonight....

Tschuss,
Reid


10.27.2002 :: Travelling II

The last few days have been a blast. I finished up reading Catcher in the Rye. Scary book. Awesome. Funny. Depressing as all hell.

On Thursday night, I went out with an International Something-or-other party. It primarily consisted of Germans seeking hot people from other countries. So I gave it my best.

freaky-sky (23k image)
Beginning our evening, a colorful sunset of sorts

I went to the gig because Andreas said I should. Met a lot of neato people there, too. I didn't take so many pictures of them, of course. We did, however, go to a Spanish bar, so I took a picture of the "urinals."

pissing (13k image)
Seems a little more like Mexican, ya think?

I got some names and email addresses and phone numbers and what not, of some future friends to call. I revel in the fact that my new cell phone makes me more accessible...to people who will probably just piss me off and ask me for computer help.

Friday meant rock climbing at the gym. I climbed with my now-regular partner Ferri. Afterwards he noticed the button on my bookbag, which says "Linux is the shit". He was a little confused by the quote, he asks "Linux is shit? But I like it." I explained to him American slang, he understood. "So, you're good with Linux? Could you take a look at my computer sometime?" Sigh. Actually, it turned out to be good. The two problems with his computer were easy to fix, and one of them was a problem with DNS server at my university. So we called the system administrators and told them the problem. They were probably impressed that I figured it out.

Ferri wanted to thank me for fixing up the computer, so he invited me over for coffee. Really freaking strong, blacker than the dark side of the moon coffee. You put the spoon in this coffee and, after it's 1mm down, you can't see the spoon anymore. Yeah. Saying that this stuff was strong is like saying your mother is older than you. No shit.

So I drank the coffee and we made a date to go hiking through the Sachsische Schweiz. That date was Saturday. We got on a train at 8am and headed south....

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A rainbow, when we got off the train

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Strange rock formations

The Schweiz (the Saxon Alps) are sandstone. I made some comments about them in an earlier post...how climbing is quite challenging. We did some bouldering, when I discovered his unsafeness :). We were going up a bouldering path, and after doing a few moves, before you realize it, you're hanging over 30' off the ground. At that pound I decided to screw that and started downclimbing, so he followed (thankfully). I didn't photodocument things so well, probably because I was in awe of the cliffs. I think too many people do things just to take pictures of them...I wanted to be sure I was getting the right things out of the hike.

The weather proved interesting too. In America, we get these storms with "Gale-Force winds." As you might have guessed, Gale-Force winds are called that because the winds are similiar to a Gale. What's a Gale? I'm glad you ask. We've been having one for the last two days. It's basically a series of fast showers with 65 mph winds the whole time. It made the hike interesting....

We hiked for about 3 hours and finally came to a restaurant in the park, and had some lunch (about noontime). That was a relief as I hadn't eaten breakfast. We finally made it back to Dresden at about 4pm, so that was a good 5 hours of hiking. The stretch after the restaurant was the worst...I hate hiking downhill.

I came home and have been playing guitar for the remainder of the weekend. My skills improve every day it seems...pretty cool. What's annoying? Well, there's this song that I haven't heard in a long time, and I've got the chords to it, but I forget the rhythym. I would be using some Napster-like software if there was anything good for linux/ppc (anyone know of anything? Let me know!). I read this Don Henley story, though, which is interesting. Need more artists like him....


10.23.2002 :: Going for a jog

It was a particularly gorgeous day out today...about 14 degrees celsius (awfully warm for around here...). I opted to go for a run, and went about 8k...not too shabby for a guy who hates running. Of course, I brought my camera along the way....

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The river, starting to flood again

It rains every day here in the fall/winter. The Elbe has gone up 2 or 3 feet since my brother and father were here...

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Today's artsy pieces, Solace

ancient-history (48k image)
Ancient History

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The Girls Who Made the Previous Two Pictures Possible

Okay, I'm through being a tool for a few days, I promise. And I realize I promised pictures of my shithole^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hapartment. Those are coming too. For now, more sleep so I can go barhopping with the Internation Student's Club, and then go rock climbing again on Friday....


10.23.2002 :: Ich komme aus den USA

On Monday, I met a German dude named Andreas in my ICL (Introduction to Computational Logic) course. He asked if we could hang out tonight so he could practice some English. Sure, why the hell not?

Neuestadt (21k image)
The Saga Begins: Walking into Neuerstadt

We had a few beers at a bar uptown, then headed down to the International Club.

Full-moon2 (5k image)
My psuedo-fascination with the moon

When you walked into the bar, they gave you a nametag which you wrote your name/country on, and then gave you a little flag for your country. They had some pretty obscure flags there, I didn't recognize half of them...

Andreas (27k image)
Andreas hanging with his girl Enya, all fly

Josef-sylvia (23k image)
Two more of my classmates, Josef and Sylvia

Flag-burning (12k image)
After talking for a while, I decided to demonstrate how I feel about my country by burning my miniature American flag

Pirnascherplatz (19k image)
Walking home under Pirnascherplatz

ich-bin-on (13k image)
Seeing the first sign of Germany's dot-com burst

Yes, the bottom of that sign points to a website. Unfortunately, you'll need a flash plugin (which they don't make for linux/ppc...). Who knows what it's about? The web address sounds stupid enough...very dot-bomb era domain name. Lotsa luck to you all.


10.21.2002 :: Myoho renge kyo

It's autumn, my right wrist is dying of carpal tunnel, the weather has gone rotten (raining), I'm sick for the first time in over a year (some kind of vaguely cold-like sinus pressure, and I've been sleeping 12 hours a day too).

Autumn (62k image)
Ah the colors

Probably rock climbing for three hours on Friday morning didn't help my vague sickness condition. Yeah, I was still sore from all the climbing and bouldering and crap. I was a little bit afraid too...these Germans don't know how to climb safely. While at the gym, I watched a guy take a 20' fall because his partner didn't know how to belay right, or wasn't paying attention, or something. He looked like he sprained his ankle something terrible...I checked my partner out before climbing, though...He was an Austrian that spoke pretty decent English...climbed up about 5 or 8 feet and hopped off the wall. He stopped me right away so he checked out.

On the recommendation of my friend Stephen, I decided to read Siddhartha the other day. Interesting little book, took me only 3 hours to read. I've had a mild interest in Buddhism before, but tonight I actually called the local folks and hope to meet up with some Dresden Soka Gakkai. The more I read the more questions I have, though...language is such an arbitrary thing so why bother choosing any particular construct as a chant? I have my doubts that they'll explain that one to my liking...

So yes, I have found an (actually several) bookstore with an english section. So I bought Siddhartha, of course, and also The Catcher in the Rye, and a few Shakespeare plays. The bookstores do have English language sections, but they're outrageously expensive unless the copyright has expired on the book. The Catcher in the Rye is funny because it has little notes in German on the bottom of some of the pages.

I think I found a dying bird, too, while I was outside the bookstore.

Bird (33k image)
He barely even flinched

So today I slept mostly, and I'm tired again at 11pm. Maybe I got mono from the Apfelschorl (some kind of very large very alchoholic beverage that tasted slightly of Apple, my roommates and friends were passing the bottle around before heading the Werkpalast last week..).

Drippy (8k image)
The bathroom

By popular request, I'll be posting pictures of the apartment for the next few entries. This is a close-up of the bathroom sink. It drips a drop of water, about 2 every second. Tightening down the handles has stopped working...so I'm going to take it apart and replace the washers soon. I already rewired all the switches in the kitchen and hallway so they work again. Not too bad to be slightly handy...

When I'm better I'll make a real post, I promise.


10.18.2002 :: Pardon me

Forgive me for not updating enough lately. My wrists have begun to feel something similiar to Carpal Tunnel I guess. I'm trying not to push them too hard. I guess it's been too much typing, too much playing guitar, and too many manual overrides (and yes, I am doing a lot of math even in the first week...plus I love that book).

So I probably won't be making another entry for a few days. Sorry about that, but I'd rather save my wrists. Guess this means I'll have to cut back on the guitar time too. Sigh. I did find some English language bookstores here, though, so I can go read.

So what's news? More pictures of course!

altmarkt-church (25k image)
A church at the Altmarkt. The moon is off to the right

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This one I call Moon Reflecting in Window

Dresden definitely is a great city for night photography. Tons of old Baroque buildings with floodlights attached. I really need to get a tripod though.

And, I finally bought a phone...

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My new cell phone

For those curious, my numbers are: At home, (0351)7991618, mobile, (0179)7771139. If you are calling from outside Germany, you dial the international code for germany (which I forget), and don't dial the leading 0 in the area code. I must say cell phones are, I think, cheaper than anything in the US. I signed a two year contract (chuckle). The phone costs 8 euros a month. With that, you receive as many calls as you want, for as much time as you want. You have to pay between .07 euros - .30 euros a minute for outgoing calls, depending on who you call (these fees are while you're mobile). When you're with a half a kilometer of your house, your cell phone switches phone numbers (see my "At home" number above) and then it's cheaper to make calls (.03 euros - .07 euros a minute). I never owned a cell phone in the US, but this seems to be cheaper....Oh yeah, and this allows 150 free text messages a month, after that it's .07 per message.

Anyway, reading my friend Doug's blog as I often do (we've linked back and forth between each other more times than I've had sex. Well okay maybe not.), I came across this entry. Looks like a cool idea. Too bad I live in Germany, where that sort of thing would be pretty pointless(?). Doug has a serious fascination Vietnam...I wonder why he never talks about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, though? That's something I've thought about ever since September 11th, 2001...and the reason I'll never trust a politician. Well, okay, if Doug became a politician I'd probably trust him. But only for a few years. Like I said, political office is like the One Ring, corrupting all who even try to wield the power for good.


10.16.2002 :: Moving along

Getting settled more in Dresden. I bought plants. I caulked the shitty construction of my wall. So now I don't have to smell smoke. My room is very Feng Shui.

Classes are good so far. On the whole. Two look like they're going to be pretty tough, falling-asleep type classes that used to be taught by my old professor Dr. Howard Blair. Funny that...he's the reason I came here.

My acne condition is being subdued by proper eating, finally. Salad material, tofu, veggie burgers, soy milk without sugar, organic cereals, organic fruit, etc, have been obtained at a little vegan food store a bit south of here (about 10 minutes on the tram). The place is small, the woman running the shop is young but doesn't speak English. Still, I said to her, "Hier ist difficult sein ein vegatarischer." She understood it (so I guess she knows enough English to know what difficult meant, said "Ja ja, ist terrible!" So we shared a moment. Or something.

So I'm back on my proper diet of tofu and bread and peanut butter and jelly and bananas. And soy milk. Without sugar. Since I've been suffering from a lack of excercise, I've started doing my karate workout again. 300 jumping jacks, 250 push-ups, 500 sit-ups. I'm trying for every night, but it's more like every other night. Still it gets my heart rate going and gets my arms pumping for a little while. I also managed to sign up for the "Advance climbing" course. I'm not an advanced climber by any stretch of the imagination, but the beginner class was full, and the advanced class said "required to have your own harness and shoes," which I have courtesy of my dad.

I've been playing guitar every day too, for at least two hours each day. I am getting...well, I won't call myself good, but I'm sounding better for sure. And I'm mastering the art of playing and singing at the same time. Who knows, maybe songwriting *is* in my future? Anyway, busy day again tomorrow so I go and get my beauty sleep now.


10.12.2002 ::

So yesterday I went out and bought more things for my apartment. The best had to be my ficus, and some variety of ivy. They look like they'll be pretty good at surviving low-light, low-maintenance conditions. This is good as my window faces West...and the sun (and weather) have gone South for the winter, leaving it rather cold up North. The temperature today is 34 degrees farenheit with a wind chill of 29. We're expecting snow tonight.

I thought I'd post a picture of my hand status.

Blistered-Hand (25k image)
Hooray for blisters!

While I can't go on comparing this to Justin's penis injury, I felt I had to share it nonetheless. Besides, guitaring is better than sex. Well okay maybe not.

Chiang Li-Ying (aka Johnny from my earlier post) and I met up last night for dinner and drinks. We went to the only authentic Chinese restaurant in town. Our waitress spoke perfect Cantonese *and* Mandarin (well, this according to Johnny). She didn't speak much German though, that was obvious. People at other tables would ask for something, and she'd look at the menu and say "Nummer XXX?" and the people would say "Ja." I let Johnny handle the arrangements for our food and tea.

Afterwards we went bar-hopping. First stop was the Sushi/bar we went to earlier. We were served by a pretty cute vaguely Asian waitress, who spoke a few words of English, but not Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, or Spanish (the languages that Johnny and I have between us). Then it was back to Katy's Garage (we're told this website is going up Real Soon Now) for some beer and foosball.

Foosball-reloaded (29k image)
Attempting to capture the spirit of the game

We played a couple of rounds and invited some girls to play with us, but it was obvious that they didn't understand English. Funny, though, because when an Oasis tune came on the sound system, they could all sing along flawlessly.

"People can sing along but they don't understand the words," Roland tells me. "Isn't it annoying to know English so well? You understand all the songs. That must suck," he says. Well, in a word, yes (my apologies for having so many shitty links in such a small word).

We got bored with the foosball and pinball, so started wandering around more.

Queens (12k image)
I guess it's a gay bar?

When I got home, I was attacked by a rabid case of acne. I want to believe it was the teriyaki sauce from my Chinese food (the waitress poured it on the plate at my table, which made it sizzle and shoot teriyaki and oil up in the air, some of which splattered on my face). The realist in me says that it's all the greasy food that I have to eat here. Will have to start cooking more of my own stuff now.


10.10.2002 :: Making Music, not Babies

The journey continues...

For the last 3 days, I have been a good little consumer, helping Germany's economy out.

Good-consumer (24k image)
New computer, new guitar, new blanket for my bed

Stupid-Keyboards (19k image)
I hate Russo-German keyboards though. Note the placement of 'Y' and 'Z'

I burned through more cash than I wanted to, but that's okay because I have more left than I thought. The computer there is a P3-500Mhz, 256MB RAM, Adaptec 2940UW scsi controller, 2x10000rpm 9.1GB scsi hard disks, scsi cdrom, riva tnt2 video card, 2x3c905 NICs, and a BT848 video capture card. The whole system (minus the capture card, which I got in the states) costed me $300. I got the monitor out of a dumpster downstairs. So it's quite a nice ltitle system. I'll probably buy another one or two though, naturally.

Oh yeah, and I bought a toaster.

Wednesday night, we all (Roland, Martina, Andres, Thomas (new person) and Franciska (also new person)) went out to a Goth Club on the East Side of town. The place was called the Werkpalast, I think. It was pretty cool. I consumed 3 Liters of Ale.

Roland-Martina (12k image)
Roland and Martina sucking face

I actually found out that Roland and Martina are ENGAGED. Scary shit to be engaged at 21 years old, I tell you. She showed me her ring, which lacked a diamond. I think that's a good thing.

The club started pumping at maybe 1AM. Suddenly I looked up and there were people everywhere (it was empty when we got there).

Goth-Dancers (11k image)
With the hippin' and the hoppin'

Andres continued to regale me with tales of growing up under communism. He's a smart guy, I think he's going somewhere.

Thursday was downtime. I've been looking into work on the GNU/Hurd. I'm hoping to collaborate with an old friend at Syracuse University on the project. I will be working on software verification of some parts of the Hurd's microkernel probably, as that's the sort of things Computational Logicians do. I've also been playing my guitar a lot. I'm starting to get some serious calluses back on my left hand.

Oh yes, and as per my friend Doug's request, I went over to Blogchalk, a nifty little place that's creating a blog search engine based on location and interests. So now you see a little icon guy way up there on the top of my blog. That's my blogchalk....

Anyway I may move my physical server from my friends' (Stephen and Steve) apartment to here. But, there's a 3Gig a week limit for transfers. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it adds up right quick, I tell you. Maybe I can figure out a way to defeat the system by doing tunneling? We'll see....


10.08.2002 :: Sprechen sie deutsch?

Saturday night, shortly after my last post, my roommates showed up. Yes, I said roommates. I'm only supposed to have one, but like I said, there were women's shoes in the hallway when I first got here.

My roommate(s) are Roland and Martina. Martina actually lives on the 10th floor of my building, but she spends all her time down here. They are both really cool people, as I've been discovering.

Sunday night, Martina made us a big and very tasty salad for dinner. Roland is not so big on vegetables, so he ate some sliced pork and bread instead.

Pork (28k image)
Yes, I definitely smell a pork product of some kind

Then, the mistake started happening. I suggested we have a little wine with dinner. I had already had a half liter of beer with Roland....he does not drink wine, and Martina had a glass. I drank the rest of the bottle. Then, they suggested we go to a bar, where I drank another 1.5L of beer (the good 6% variety too). I vaguely remember coming home, going to bed, then waking up at 6am wanting to hurl.

I kept my dinner down, though, and went back to sleep - until about 1300 (I went to bed at 1:00am). We had agreed, while drinking at the bar apparently, to go visit the Czech Republic on Monday to pick up extra cigarettes for R and M (you can only take back 2 cartons each, so my body along for the ride would give them each an extra tax-free carton), so we went down to the train station. Something sweet about being a student here is that we can take the Dresden Strassenbahn to the republic for free! As often as we want!

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The Czech Border

After the 1.5 hour train ride to the border, we found it was closed, sadly. The Border pictured above is across the Elbe River, and there was no ferry running. I suppose we could have swam, but 1) the current is mighty strong, 2) it was 4 degree celsius on Monday, and 3) good things always come in threes. So, we hopped back on the train, hung over, tired, and without cigarettes.

Roland (20k image)
Roland, trying his best to look cheerful on the train

I suppose I mind all the smoking in the house a little...as I said *everybody* here smokes, while the US is upholding cool lawsuits that may eventually kill off the habit there. Still, as I said, they're nice people. So long as I shut my door and open my window, I have no trouble hanging out in my room. Well, okay, maybe a little trouble.

Andres came over Monday night, after the Czech disaster, and we all chatted it up about what's wrong with America. Andres had very broken English compared to Roland and Martina, but he had the most to say. It was a very stimulating conversation even with him constantly asking them for words, and having to explain everything in small language. I too, was having to do the same thing...but I really enjoyed it.

Ungeniessbar (43k image)
Andres' Band

Andres is also in a two-piece German Heavy Metal Political Emo Band. They sing in German (and their website is in German, though you can invoke the 'fish by clicking here), but the music is very melodic for "Heavy Metal." A lot of their instrumentals remind me of Ted's old band. Weird thing for German music to remind you of, eh?

But Andres comes from East Berlin, literally raised under Communism in its stronghold. He longs for the day when communism works. "In practice, it will never work, you know," I said to him. His quick reply, "And democracy is working really for your country, ja?" Touche.


10.05.2002 :: Meandering through Dresden II

(23:57:28) AtariPete: reid, I gotta tell you. your updates have been real quality

Cool. Glad to hear some people enjoy my bitching :).

Today I wandered around Dresden some more. I bought an acoustic guitar...just a 6-string Ibanez a lot like my old one, but this one has a pickup built-in.

After hitting the guitar store, and going to the Istanbul Teller stand to get a sandwhich from my friend (er, I guess he's a friend mostly cuz I tip him so much, but ohwell), Sali (yes, I remember his name now!), I dropped my giiitar off back at the ranch, went out and bought myself some new used clothes, then went back to the carnival.

Yum-Brats (36k image)
The brat pits picture I promised

The carnival place was still jumping. Even at 10 in the morning there were people there drinking their beer. Something interesting that I probably didn't mention before -- beer goes with breakfast here (no joking).

As I mentioned, I wanted to go to the Symphony, so I started wandering across the river. I walked about 25 kilometers total today, walking up and down the Elbe, across, and back. In the central section of town near all the historic buildings was, once again, the horn section of the symphony...

Brass-Section (39k image)
Some young'ins in this group, eh?

Also went by the Frauenkirche to see its reconstruction progress since last week.

Frauen-Church (46k image)
Like watching corn grow in January

Granted massive stone buildings like this thing take forever to build. It took about 40 years to build the first time. Then February 13th, 1945 happened. So it goes.

Apparently there is some controversy over the rebuilding of the church and even the acceptance of the famous gold cross back from Great Britain.

Well, after wandering long enough, having a liter of the above mentioned beer (much better than the reviews give it credit for, though I had it unpasteurized, on tap), I wandered to the Kulturpalast to get my concert ticket. Unfortunately, the woman at the ticket counter didn't understand me when I said "Ein ticket, bitte." She just looked at me like I had 12 heads, and kept saying nein, even though I obviously had enough money. People behind me in line just walked right up and bought their tickets. I was dressed better than most of them, too...so I am not sure what the deal is. Very frustrating experience, as I stood there for a good 10 minutes before a very large German gentleman came up to me and, I'm guessing, asked me to leave.

I am going to try and go to the concert again tomorrow...all I want is a little Rachmaninov...is that so much to ask?

Wandering back through a different carnival, there was a beer stand with a rather funny sign.

PISS (21k image)
Hopefully that's not what the beer tastes like

Lesson I've been learning? Police are nowhere. I'm told by locals that there is no such thing as violent crime here. Sure, people's cars get broken into every once in a while, bicycles get stolen, sometimes even cars get stolen. About once or twice a year somebody tries armed robbery, usually with a knife or no weapon at all. Guns are extremely hard to get...hunting rifles require about a year of classes and several thousand euros to get a license for; hand guns are even more difficult to obtain (legally). Anyway, getting back to my point, the only police I have actually seen in town were twice: Once, a very large group of police in police cars at the police station (duh), and another time at the scene of a car accident on the east side of town. You don't see cops walking around, you don't see cops sitting around in their cars eating donuts. The cops are all young and fit, and the female cops are hotties. I would have taken some pictures but I haven't seen any police in the last week. Maybe I'll swing by the police station and get some pictures :-).

Compare the above-mentioned lack of violent crime with current events back home, and, well, hey there's a difference, isn't there? Maybe the US needs more to enlist the help of more hottie cops?


10.04.2002 :: Figuring out Dresden

Yesterday, October 3rd, was German Reunification Day, the day celebrating the re-joining of East and West Germany just 12 years ago. This weekend is going to be a crazy one, I think.

At the Altstadt Markt, there is a huge..well..carnival. Just no rides. There are beer stands everywhere, people running around at 1 o'clock in the morning drunk, eating cotton candy, listening to American cover bands playing the hits of the 80s. There are games, polka music...the markt really is a mixing of old-school Germany and American kitsch culture. The back end of the markt features these old "tents" made of wood, serving old fashioned bratwursts cooked over huge fire pits on these gigantic circular grill platters. I'll have to get some pictures of those out tomorrow.

American_Idol (36k image)
We want to be Americans!

I thought some of it was sad, in a strange way. Dresdeners do seem to like America, and are very eager to play catch-up. I've been formulating the idea in my head that Dresden really is the way the United States was 10 years ago (albeit with much better public transportation). Everybody smokes. The food hasn't caught up with the organic craze trends in the US. People trust their water, and they drink from the tap. Maybe they have managed to keep their environmental damage down, but I somehow doubt it -- there are still cars everywhere. To be fair, though, a car here with a 2.0L engine is considered wasteful, and folks make fun of the penis size of the driver. "He's driving a 2 liter. Must be making up for something." In the US a 2.0L is rather small and economical. Here, they have 0.8L and 1.0L cars for the economical/environmentally conscious. So maybe the water is safe to drink? I'd still be happier finding a water pitcher.

After wandering around the markt for a few hours and being tempted to try some beer, I wandered across the river to the Theaterstrasse district.

Dresden-building (41k image)
Which building is this again?

They had quite a few of the historic buildings lit up for the reunification festivities, and there were tons of people walking around it. It took me quite a while of waiting for the view of the church above to clear up. And it took a few tries to get my hands steady enough for the 1 second exposure time I needed to get enough light!

After spending some time sightseeing and listening to some music (horn members of the Dresdner Philharmonie were playing out in the streets), I wandered up to Neuestadt, to a little bar called Katy's Garage. My brother and I had gone there to play some foosball, so I thought I would try to go meet a few people.

I met a few people, but most of them weren't so hot at English. My lack of basic grammatical understanding of German keeps me back from just sitting down with people and trying to talk to them. Maybe as I learn a little more, I'll find some unwitting victims that will listen to me as I page through my dictionary...

Foosball (26k image)
The Foosball was pretty fun, though


10.03.2002 :: Hooooleeee Shit!

This is hilarious. Could you imagine a duel between Bush and Saddam? I think Bush should go for it (of course, so does Cheney...hehehe). Still though, I think if a prez wants to start a war, he should be ready to lay down his own life for that cause. Somehow I doubt Bush is willing to throw his own life against oil, but he seems to think throwing other people's lives against oil will work...


10.02.2002 ::

Food-Questionmark (30k image)
Food? I'm not really sure

Ah the sweet smell of cafeteria food has once again become part of my life. I dined on a fabulous lunch yesterday, of rice, salad, and a giant pepper stuffed with something that looked vaguely stuffing-esque and tasted slightly chickeny. My new friend Johnny (from Taiwan) insisted that it was vegetarian, hell even the food menu thing said it was, but I decided not to take chances, and stuck with the rice, the pepper itself, and the salad.

Johnny and I met the day before, while waiting for four hours for our student ID cards to be given out. He said he would stop by yesterday for dinner, but he never showed up. Who knows if we will ever meet each again -- it is a big school.

I bought...things...the last two days, and transferred money to my bank account here. Mostly uneventful stuff, but made more interesting by my lack of German.

I've been going to this Turkish Teller shop for lunch every other day or so, and the regular chef there recognizes me. I always tip, usually a euro for a two euro sandwhich, so he is amazed. Today we shared names (though I forget his already, sigh), and taught each other how to say "Pleased to meet you" in our respective languages (German and English...). It was a worthwhile experience.

I've been wandering around guitar shops and 2nd hand clothing stores, debating buying a 12-string guitar. I think I will buy some pants first, as I only have two pairs and the temperatures is getting chilly.

AlBundy (21k image)
Maybe they're right

I found the above graffiti in one of the underground tunnels, Pirnaischerplatz to be exact. Maybe the sign is right? It is highly entertaining that the US supplied the weapons to Iraq that it now wants to destroy. I mean, duh.

It is also starting to look like war on Iraq is inevitable. So, I'm heading to the Leipzig Consulate to register as a US guy living abroad, so that the helicopter will be ready to evacuate me should the Germans riot about my stupid fucking government.

And does anyone else remember reading that onion article when they read the news about the US issuing smallpox vaccines again?

Anyway, trying to take my mind off the modern political climate and the doom that hangs over my head, I've been catching up on my websurfing. A lot. I've spent 7 or 8 hours a night glued to the computer, for the last 3 days.

Dresden-laptop (18k image)
Thumbs up to the web

But, of course, I guess I should go to sleep.


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