local shenanigans

Posted by D on Saturday, June 02, 2012

So behind on so many administrative things, just thinking about catching up is a little intimidating. Haven't been doing the best with recapping either...but I don't want to go too out of order. But here's week 3 (starting May 19th). Some of the memories already feel like they're receding into the past, pushed aside by new ones.

Taking a number of factors into consideration, I ended up deciding to stick around in town. On Saturday, I checked out the Flohmarkt (basically a gigantic flea market - they happen once a month in the summer and people from all around the region come with wares). It was certainly very interesting to experience. There were definitely thousands of people in attendance. Yet somehow, surrounded by so many people, it was one of the loneliest I've felt since getting here. Probably because English wasn't nearly understood by as many people here. A combination of close proximity to big crowds and seemingly insurmountable language barriers leads to a weird feeling of being surrounded but isolated. 

Nevertheless, it was a pretty cool experience. Things sold ranged from typical garage sale wares (think childhood toys, vintage clothes, old junk) to antique treasures (Polaroids, old cameras, type writers) to boho clothing to hand made crafts (jewelry, carvings, African statues, wooden utensils). All in all, it was pretty cool - kind of like seeing living German history on a more personal level. I would've really liked to have picked up a type writer, but it just isn't realistic to do so. 
Grabbed one of those German sausage + round bun things for a snack and then settled down by the water. Somehow, lying there in the grass among the ants and goose poo, was kind of nice and peaceful. (It really was better than it sounds haha.) The sky was a phenomenal gradient of blue; the photo barely does it justice.

But anyway, picked up some bio gurken and headed back. On the U-bahn, saw a couple stations advertising Ménage à trois - and what do you know, the next day was the last for the display! So of course I had to head over to the Bundeskuntshalle on Sunday.
Ménage à trois featured collaborations between and collections of three New Yorker artists - Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente. (I know, the irony of a Canadian seeing American artwork in Germany...) I'll admit - when I first got there, I kind of felt like a poseur, trying to decipher these pieces of art work like a pseudo-connoisseur, and failing miserably. (Elusive teachings from high school art weren't really effective.) But I really got into it after a while - there's something about the artwork and the atmosphere that really draws you in. 

Andy Warhol's iconic pop art was amazing, as can be expected. Basquiat had some pretty cool stuff. And I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking some of Clemente's pieces. There were a number of collaborative pieces that were great as well. Especially liked 'Handball' and 'Origin of Cotton'. Also checked out the Romy Schneider exhibit since I was already there anyway, and that was fairly fascinating as well. 
Had a couple transportation fails that week. For example, while not really paying attention (or expecting other buses to go through the stop) somehow managed to get on the wrong bus and ended up some place new... adventure! There was also one night where I was supposed to go check out a WG (flat-share) at 7:30, and possibly another one at 8:30, but somehow, writing down the addresses in a rush that morning, I managed to reverse them.

So basically I showed up at the 8:30 that I was maybe-going-to-drop-by-maybe-not at 7:30, only realizing my mistake upon arrival. And considering they were about 3km apart, there was no way to get to the other. *sigh* The people at the supposed-to-be-8:30 were all pretty nice. One thing one of the guys said kind of resonated - we were talking about furniture (and basically just the necessities of bed, desk & chair) and how living abroad, you learn to settle for a lot less and lower your standards. Which I suppose is true - and maybe not a bad thing.

^ This post reads like a fumbling mess. Whatever, it's 2 in the morning, time to crash. G'night!

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