Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Berlin the Weird...


Near our hotel in a not so nice part of Berlin, Catherine and I began to wonder if where we went to post, was the Internet Cafe in which creep nut cannibal, Lucca Magnotta got caught. 

In fact both of us were a little weirded out and thought we had seen the owner before. Was he the guy who was trying to sell the Magnotta chair?

Turns out it's not the scene of the take down but close to it.

Berlin is, as we remembered it from a few years ago: still weird.

We were crestfallen, for example, to find that our beloved 'laundry mat/wine bar' that served awesome drinks, showed great films and let you do oodles of laundry had 'turned coat' into (and I quote) 'Imperials Swingers Club': trust the Berliners to wreck fantastic clotheswashing facilities with a refocus to free sex unt Frauen swappen...
Checkpoint Charlie Haus, though a storied museum with a long history, resembles a church 'jumble sale' so we think that if you want a clear, concise and and thoughtful rendition of the Cold War you go elsewhere.

The what we can only describe as the 'Ode to the Glorious God Ronald Reagan' room will make any (small L)  liberal or moderate Canadian nauseous: apparently Reagan saved Medicare, gave to the poor and single handedly ended Communism.

Though I left the room before finishing all the 'exhibits', I think Reagan also had the personal power of flight as well as the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound...

Odd ducks abound such as elderly punks who ride the M trams, men in Fezs and strange women dance with their donuts...yes...dancing with a donut pastry.

I wonder if Kennedy is the cause of this. When he said 'Ich bein ein Berliner' he meant to say: "I am a citizen of Berlin". However by putting in "ein" apparently in German he said was a thing, not a citizen.

Thus he said "I am a donut": a 'Berliner' the name of  a famous pastry from Berlin.

At the Deustches Museum Franz Lebowitz's quip from the 1970s about why she prefers liberal democracies: "Communism is far too boring and Fascism is far too exciting" was was given full expression in the special "Focus on the DDR Exhibit" which is running currently .

It appears to have been curated by a former GDR museum director as it has to have been the most entirely boring show I have ever witnessed. The entire thing is a collection of pennants given to workers for meeting production quotas; busts of Lenin; farm tractors and food packaging. They actually had a quarter of an empty egg carton on display. The audio guide that accompanied it played excerpts from GDR party speeches which ran on and on and on.

Then compare that with the 40 or so rooms devoted to the rise and fall of Nazi Germany and you can see what Lebowitz was talking about. Far too much excitement...

Other odd things we noticed in Berlin. Someone had opened a "dark restaurant" which was apparently staffed entirely by persons with visual impairments. You would order food, not sure if you got to read a menu or they just told you, and then they would bring you food and you ate your entree, meal and dessert entirely in the dark.

Oh and the image above is from the Brandenburg Gate. I am not sure what on earth it is all about but it is either a business meeting or a tour of Berlin taken by way of segways...



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3:32 pm  

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