Spa resort -- last weekend
The "ambling hall" (Wandelhalle) is hosting a crafts market. I go to the "drinking-glass-dispensery" (Glaeserausgabe) get into the "blue"-glasses-line and when the old gaston showed up I shouted: "blue, one hundred sixty five". From the round karousell he selects the right clear-glass-mini-mug (with big numbers for milli-litre volume) and hands it to me.
"Dankeschoen" I say in a non-commital way. "Bitteschoen" he says in a committing fashion.
I fill my glass at the stainless steel fountain push-taps and proceed to promenade amongst the mummies through thr hall and past stalls full of the most tasteful kitsch for sale.
There are 98 per cent geriatrics here, most of these mummies are overweight, but not in a US-american sort of way (fat beyond belief), but big, old and ugly all the same. Oh the humanity of it all.
Monday 17 Oktober 2011
I saw the doctor today. News not good, lets ignore it.
Tuesday 18 October 2011
Day of departure. Hectic in the morning, vacating my single room, train station, then the local diesel train. Later while waiting on the platform for the Frankfurt train two freight trains race past, seems with more than 100 km/h.... The combined weight, the awesome momentum, is freigthening ;-)
Inside the "regional train" -- which is like a bullet-train compared to New Zealand's standard -- there are a group of bilingual, good-looking german-afghani farsi-speaking girls talking about having hair-extensions ("Haarverlaenderung") for 150 Euro and listening to arabic-bollywood indian music on their mobile phones.
Five freight trains wizz by during my 63 minute trip from Wabern to Giessen, through a hilly area, criss-crossing through valleys with views of endless forests, fields, fortified villages on hill-tops, industry and - amazingly - lots of homes and commercial buildings with acres of solar panels.
In Marburg our double-dekker carriage fills up and a merry crowd converses loudly to an afghan-indian pop-trance stinky-grooves soundtrack.
Everywhere there is construction work going on, Germany is booming as ever.
Upon leaving the train i said "tschuess" and 4 young ladies give me a perfect unisono "tschue-uess" for good-bye.
Giessen main train station, platform 11, yellow sunshine through hazy high cloud, maybe 11 degrees and a bit of cold wind.
I am sitting on the middle seat of a three-seat metal-mesh bench, to my left a gnome who had difficulty ascending onto the seat "boy, the seats are high" ("mensch, die dinger sind aber hoch") and to the right a 12 year old black skinned boy who speaks bad german.
In the train there is again a foursome of young women next to me, this time they are germans and unlike the afghani girls they wear no make-up and they are talking about university, study, flat rents and how to succeed in careers. What a contrast, I thought, how rational and level-headed! When the ticket controller came the girl with the highest school-grade average (1.2, with 1 being the best - out of 6) was caught without a valid ticket. She did not have any identification, nor anything with her name on it in her big bag, so she was told that she would be expelled at the next station.
The comptroller then relented "this time only I will believe you" and took her details and explained that she (Nina Bartsch born 14 april 1991) would have to present her "semester ticket" and pay 7 euro extra at any german rail ticket counter. They all were totally relaxed about it, so much so that I asked them later if she had given her real name. "Natuerlich" ("but of course") she said, with a deadly look of utter digust at my implied suggestion.
Just before we reach "Runkel" (awesome castle ruins!) i went to the driver's compartment for a photo. He tells me that we went past a pure marble bridge and we are travelling alongside the river "Lahn". Totally pretty towns here, must come back to this area for a long visit, there is oodles of historic attractions and stories. The people here seem relaxed and talkative, and very much tongue-in-cheek.Stumble It!