Monday, November 23, 2009

I Rather Like Dresden

All eating issues aside, I rather like Dresden. And I think I saw enough of it today to have constructed a very good understanding of the city – the way it lives, breathes, and carries on. Honestly – it's the type of city that I think I could live in. For a while anyway.

This morning, prior to the buffalo belly, I headed out to explore the city north of the river. But before I could go anywhere, I needed to shower. This hostel has five male showers. Two of them are together, two have no shower curtains, and one has a door. This hostel – to all those without European sensibilities, has one shower. Luckily it was unoccupied.

So after that time of cleansing, I was able to find cleanish clothes, and hit the streets.

Let me tell you, there is an amazing vibe North of the Elbe. That's a city with life. There are small shops, surplus shops, arty shops, and wall after wall covered in some of the best graffiti you will ever see. There's an entire car lot where the trees, the poles, the very ground itself becomes a living canvas, coming to life with each new artist's addition.

And strangely enough, one of them was of Dexter, from his eponymous laboratory. I'd not thought of him in ages, until yesterday's Dee Dee reference.

The streets here breathe. And once you leave the graffiti behind, you enter a district where the facts of houses have been turned into art pieces by the residence. Since the fall of the wall, the people have been taking the city back from the GDR ways, adding colour and spice where only grey strength and unity were placed before.

Here's a disconcerting thought for you: You know how you feel young right now – as if everything is new, and the past is just a backlog of stuff? A collection of memories – but all old, and gone – whereas you're in the present, looking towards the future with plans and thoughts and ideas of what to do? You know how you feel as if who you were years ago wasn't really you, and you're finally at that stage where you're grown and ready to embrace what you have planned for? Well – you're going to feel that way the day before you die too.


Like when the best ice cream store in Dresden is closed, due to it being Monday – that doesn't even make sense to me.

After wandering up and down and through the living city, I realized that I had to eventually leave it. I had to say goodbye to the urban expanse that I so loved, and cross down to the south of the river. I just wouldn't be a proper tourist if I didn't check out everything that was going on over there. On the plus side, this did mean a brief walk along the path beside the moving water. But then there was backtracking, and windy bridge crossing, and trying to make my way over to the main part of the city.

Just across the bridge I found myself in the main tourist square. It was here that I glimpsed the Ontario: Canadian Steakhouse. And, well – we all know how that turned out. Still – the buffalo burger? Very tasty – and with fries and onion rings, it really wasn't all that over priced at 10 euro 90. I mean, I wouldn't have been able to justify that price earlier on in my trrip – but you'd hardly pay more for something of that size, at that type of restaurant back home. And, you know, again – it was delicious!

So there I was, cold, stuffed, and aware the the sun was sinking – standing on the wrong side of the river. Well I still had a few more things I wanted to see, so off I pressed. Yup, there was the domed building, and there was the old church, and I think that is the castle, and over there is probably the theatre-whatever. Inside there's some porcelain. And, oh look, it's a jousting arena. Just like in that movie with that guy who played Joker and then offed himself. Ahh jousting. If only they were on ostriches, in space, and could fly.

[random interruption: “When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed. Say something once, why say it again?” - I agree Talking heads, I agree ]

So then off to see the nymph statues, and wander around on top of the public square, getting lost, and not knowing how to get down. Oh look – it's the group of Canadians again. Good for them, How can I justify the school board to send me on free trips? That sounds like a good idea. I'll have to talk to some of these international group teachers at some point.

From that point on, I had kind of seen everythign that Dresden had to offer. Sure there will be more random street walking, and more paths explored, and some parks to the south that I want to check out – not to mention the walk out of town to see Slaughterhouse Five – but none of these things could be done now. There was just one more thing to check off.

You may recall Ampelmann from Berline – well, here in Dresden, in one crossing only, he has been replaced by the Ampelfrau. Ah yes, she is a plucky lady who is willing to tell you just what is what, and ordering you around: walk now, stop walking, ok fine – continue to wak. Ys her word is law. It seems such a shame that the two will be forever separated in their own distinct crossings. Perhaps someone will join them together. I just had a terrible vision of rule 34.

Well, having seen that, and then briefly examining the shopping area, I was convinced that that was all I could do – plus, you know, I needed a nap. So rather than walking my wayback, I hopped on the streetcar, and rushed on back home.

I attempted to recreate the settings that placed the world in perfect order last night, but they failed – as right they should. The world was in perfect order last night, today there are slight deviations.

So, with the day being done, and ten thirty falling upon me (quite earlier than the three in the morning from yesterday) I will head off to leep.

As a final note, I'll let you know that I had my clothes washed today. I should have enough to get me through the next week, and a spare set for the flight home. All on the plane will rejoice at this news.

It's strange handing over your clothes, and being told they'll be washed – not actually doing it yourself. But, hey, who am I to complain? All is right and well. And tomorrow – well tomorrow I'll sleep in. Especially if it's raining. And that? That will be lovely.

[authors note: a group of Aussies and a Canadian girl are chatting across from me. By this point in my travels I can tell who will sleep with who within about a minute of the conversation starting – 85% accuracy. So why all the games? You don't care about what opera he saw – he doesn't care about what you bought for your ex (note the stressing when you mention eeeeeeeeeeeeex) boyfriend. Enough with the games. Just make your excuse, leave the third guy behind – or well, you know, and get on with it. Kids today.]

1 comment:

  1. I love the little girl crossings - that's too cute. I don't think I'd mind her ordering me around :-) Looks like a lovely little city to spend a few days :-)


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