August 2nd, 2010

Medical emergencies, rockstars and dance clubs

My flight to Berlin was atypical. About an hour in, one of the crew got on the PA and asked if there were any doctors on board. And it's never a good thing to hear something like that, so I kind of knew immediately that things weren't gong to go as planned and that I should just accept it and go with the flow. I was sitting in the farthest back row, and the crew and two doctors (yes, thank god there actually were doctors on board) brought the suffering woman to the area directly behind my seat where there was an empty space. I offered my pillow and blanket, and they took them. The woman had had an allergic reaction to something and none of her medicines were proving useful. The doctors gave her what was available on board, but apparently it wasn't enough, so we made an emergency landing in Butt Fuck, Egypt Moncton, Canada. We sat on the tarmac as various officials ran around with papers, filling out forms, and finally the woman (who's reaction had generally subsided by then) was taken off in an ambulance and our plane was given a new flight plan.

I watched kids' movies the whole flight, the best of which was "How to Train Your Dragon". The woman sitting next to me was interesting and we had some nice conversation, but she wasn't a Talker (thankfully... you know what I mean), and slept most of the way.

Connecting flights were rescheduled, and the extra wait time wasn't so bad. My luggage, however, landed in Berlin ahead of me (I'm not sure how that worked out), and finding it was kind of a PITA, because they'd stowed it in an outside warehouse. But at least everything got here with me, for which I am grateful.

I got dinner and walked to the place where I'm renting a room. Martin (the guy renting it to me) and his girlfriend were waiting outside, and showed me inside. They made a dinner of pasta and pesto sauce with cherry tomatoes, and it was so good that pasta with pesto sauce is all I really want to eat now.

Yesterday, by the time 8pm rolled around I was exhausted from walking around the city, but was determined to hit the clubs, so I got all dolled up and headed out at midnight. My first stop was a club called Der Club Visionaere, but it was So Packed that after one beer all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there. The words "Fire Hazard" came to mind. So I left and headed over to K17, which is a huge gothic/industrial club.

Early in the evening I heard a girl speaking English with an American accent and she looked cool so I introduced myself and we started chatting. Turns out she was Johanna from the band the Crüxshadows, and they had played a show there earlier in the evening. It was interesting to hear their tales of life on the road and I was really impressed by how super nice and down to earth they all were. They mentioned a goth cruise they're going to be doing soon, and I'm going to look into it – something like a mini WGT on a boat, which sounds über fun.

I had a bunch of conversations with people between songs, all in German this time, and I was complimented on how well I spoke the language (!!!) and had people wondering how I had learned how to speak it so well (omg). It's funny because I couldn't speak German this well when I was in Hamburg...somehow it all just "clicked" in my head and makes sense. I can understand what people say to me, as well as easily reply in German without having to slowly translate things in my head before I say them. When I initiate conversations or deal with people in shops or restaurants no one ever immediately switches into English anymore, and although I still can't have deep philosophical conversations, I'm generally fluent – it's awesome!

Got home around 6am and went to bed. When I woke up and saw that my clock read 4:58pm, my first thought was, "AAAAAAAAAAAEEEEEEeee!" After which I though, "oh fuck, it's the Day of Rest after all, isn't it?" and took a shower.

I got dinner and walked for 10 miles around the city, checking out Freidrichshain and Kreuzberg. I'm currently having a glass of red wine up in my room, before trying to go to bed. I've been having a blast here so far ;)

Things I see

I walked around Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain until the bottoms of my feet felt like they had turned into bruised pulp and I took the train back to the neighborhood where I'm staying. Today's mission was to research studio space here in Berlin but I think I'm looking in the wrong places. I've emailed a couple people for advice, so hopefully they can point me in the right direction.

It's raining here now, and I'm having a chill night in. I was going to do laundry, but I forgot to buy detergent. I like to use "Denkmit" when I'm over here because the name amuses me. Same thing with Blend-a-med toothpaste, lol.

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