The getting to Berlin was easier than anticipated. I didn’t get nearly the amount of sleep on the plane I had hoped. I’ve now been up for many more hours in a row than could possibly be considered a good idea, listening to Rasputina in my hotel room because I just learned about Amanda Palmer but Itunes won’t let me buy her music because it doesn’t like that I’m in Germany and Rasputina is the closest thing I have. So I’m giving myself permission to make even less sense than usual. You’re welcome.
Also, everyone at my home could use a spare good vibe if you have one to give. This is a massive understatement. I wasn’t going to post, but me being dark will help even less than me being in Berlin. Besides, I don’t censor myself when I’m sleep deprived, so that should be fun.
Clearly, this airport is vegan:
First we went to Checkpoint Charlie, now brought to you by McDonald’s.
I have a total, morbid fascination with all things Soviet. I’m enthralled by them in the truest sense of the word- being in thrall– and I’ve stopped asking why; I just embrace it now. I’ve read an embarrassing amount of Russian History and I have been known to become somewhat evangelical about the evils of Communism. I was beside myself to get out to this site today. Checkpoint Charlie has both an indoor museum which was closed today, and an open air museum that displays the history of the Wall. Up the street a ways is the Brandenburg Gate, where everything happened.
God, I remember being absolutely riveted to the TV when Reagan said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” and I remember those people climbing up, pulling the pieces down. And I couldn’t look away because I was moved to tears, I never thought it would happen in my lifetime, we all thought we were going to blow each other into nuclear winter first. I still get teary when I watch those clips.
The guy that drove us in from the airport today was telling about his experiences being a West Berliner, and how the city just flooded with people when the wall came down.
I decided this is Charlie:
I liked the reflection of the taxi in this one:
Something written in Russian in tile that I can’t read, plus Corey’s film noir shadow:
Regarding the naked baby angel butts, we also went to Berliner Dom today. Shortly before this is when my camera battery died. It was my own fault. It was remarkably short-sighted of me, but it’s a new camera and I wanted to see how long the battery would last between charges, how much warning I would get before it died, all of that. It strikes me now that this knowledge could have waited. All the rest of this would be far more interesting with pictures, but you’re gonna have to work with me.
The Berliner Dom is pretty freakin’ cool. It’s a big ass church. We walked in on the middle of a tour in Germish and of course didn’t understand a word, but got to check out the amazing details and art and of course, the Huge Organ. There were some enormous cranes and Corey said he was pretty sure the tour guide was saying they were recent additions. There was a guy in one of them vacuuming the ceilings. He could totally do my house and wouldn’t need a crane nearly that tall.
I was so tired by this point that I leaned back in a pew and let my head hang all the way down to look up at the dome, and the giant stained glass dove in the center of the dome looked like it was a mutant- and, yeah, I’ll say it, Nazi- dove from some B-horror movie that was coming down to pluck my eyeballs out now. So I alerted everyone in my party.
Then we climbed approximately 696,729 steps, in circles, to go to the top and walk around the little walkway that encircles the dome. Halfway up we passed the statue hospital, where they take headless saints and wingless angels for repair. Around the dome walkway you can see all of Berlin. I was struck by how it seems like all the highest points of the city are church spires. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what it looked like. You can see the naked baby angel butts from the back when you’re on the dome walkway. I started to lose my sense of where I was because they all look the same from that angle.
Then we went back down. Further down below there’s a crypt. Like my thralldom to all things Soviet, I have a fascination with all things death. I loved this crypt. It was pretty much all royalty and the coffins were like four hundred years old. There were far too many baby coffins, much like home. It ripped me up, in a beautiful way.
You had to pay for the bathroom. I didn’t have any Euros and the attendants wouldn’t let me in. They reminded me of the ushers at my theater. I was trapped in a German production of Urinetown. One of the guys had to talk them into taking an American dollar, and front it to me so I could pee.