Guten tag, meine lieblings! I am still in Germany, and I am terribly, almost terminally, bored. As you probably gathered from my previous post, I am basically here to see my ailing grandmother, so the visit was not supposed to be about fun & games to begin with, but the dreadful dullness still sort of brings one down. In order not to completely loose my marbles and commit seppuku thanks to the general madness and terror that is my family on my father’s side, I did attempt to get out of the house and explore the environs a bit.
Oh yeah, I guess I should say something about the flight here. It went great, just as well as I imagined it would, despite of all my the last-minute whining to my friends on IRC and MSN. Thank god for the free WiFi in the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. Booze could be a lot cheaper though, at least dad gave me two 50cl bottles of Napoleon Cognac to take with. The plane was an old Boeing 737-700, no winglets, and kinda dirty and dingy on the outside. It was quite normal on the inside, though. One of the flight attendants bore a striking resemblance to my girlfriend, which was funny, and even funnier after a couple of wine glasses. Never did say what I was laughing about though, which was probably for the best. I sat next to a young-ish German suit from Nokia, had a bit of a chit-chat, the usual airplane thing. So yeah, getting used to flying, definitely. Even some light turbulence did little to shake my (admittedly alcohol-enhanced) confidence. And the scenes one witnesses while aloft are often simply spectacular, out of this world. So anyway, landed, got baggage, drank a beer, boarded local train to Köln, got off, got lost, bought another beer, found myself, boarded the subway and was being fed and pampered at my Gran’s in under two hours.
First of all, after waking up the following morning, I went to town and tried to find a nice place with cheap beer and free WiFi. My regular place on the Hohenzollernring was closed, and I couldn’t find any other place that met all the criteria, so ended up in an alcohol free cafe, part of a Woyton chain. Great pastries and a good selection of coffee and stuff, but meh, no alcohooool! At least the prices are low, compared to bloody Finland with its idiotic prices. Anyway, luckily my grandma got herself connected to the interwebs during my lengthy absence. My aunt and cousin tricked her into buying a new laptop and an internet connection, but my granny has still to see the laptop, which got swiftly confiscated by the greedy paws of her daughter, i.e. my aunt. The net remained, however, as did the bitterness. Nobody, of course, remembers the wifi password (facepalm), so an ethernet cable has to be used… As for Köln, nothing much changed. The imposing bulk of the Cathedral is still there, looking, as it always did to me, like a Gigeresque monument to some long-forgotten evil. The streets are still clean, the Turks and renegade ninjas are still plentiful, the police still wear their silly-looking uniforms. It was very nice and warm, though, compared to Finland with its +5 and rain, around +15, and even sunny, on a couple of occasions! Lots of sweat was produced while I jiggled my fat around town, I must say.
But Köln, a pleasant city though it most certainly is, has long since exhausted its appeal in my eyes. I wanted something new. Last time it was Bonn, this time I would head to Düsseldorf for a day trip. In theory, Düsseldorf is not a “new” city for me to visit. I mean, I’ve been to the airport a couple of times, and I think I once switched trains there, but I’ve never been to the city proper. So I took a train, paying 7,60 for the privilege of a 30min ride (for some reason the way back cost 11e, and at no point was the ticket checked), and was right there. I liked the city straight away, with its green streets, the shops, the alleyways. And the magnificent banks of Rhein! I don’t get what’s with the sheep grazing on the opposite bank, though. The small pasture is still right in the middle of the city, after all, so it’s hard to imagine there being any farms nearby. So I was wondering, were they just for tourists or actually, you know, useful sheep? I walked about for quite a while, back and forth, and took too many photographs. Later I visited the Shipping Museum, where I watched a “Multimedia Show” that told about the history of Düsseldorf.
Kinda dull, but informative. I was the only visitor at the museum, btw. Probably because it isn’t free and is pretty empty. It is housed in the only remaining part of the old Düsseldorf castle, a nice small round tower right at the bank of Rhein. After trying to find some nice pub with working WiFi and once again finding only the ever-present Woyton, I bought a small bottle of wine and walked along the south bank to the Düsseldorf TV tower, also known as The Rheinturm, an impressive 240m high concrete constructions that towers over the city. The admission cost something in the region of 4€, and was well worth it. The views were great, even though the view platform under the restaurant, being situated at 164m above the Rhein, falls far short of the 240m, and the beer in the café on top surprisingly cheap. If only they had WiFi… I mean, it is a Telecommunications Tower, after all! I took a ton of pics, as I mentioned earlier, but will only post a few, since image editing on this netbook with its crippled VIA ULV processor is utter hell.
But yeah, that was about it for my trip. I am now waiting for the family to assemble, and then there’s gonna be drinking and eating and talking. I just hope I manage to go out afterwards, though. But we’ll see, we’ll see… Ok, link time, even though this has been a fairly lengthy post as it is.
- First off, check out Miss Homeless Belgium. They picked the old one. I first thought it was a mistake, but then figured it out: she must have no teeth! And while that might not look pretty, it sure is handy in other situations, like swaying the judge’s opinion. Oh, btw, saw many homeless people and beggars on the streets here. Most appear to be just “life-style” losers though, young people that just don’t want to do anything.
- And what will those wacky Islamists think up next? Now they are flogging women for wearing bra’s. Allahu Akbar, brothers, Allahu Akbar! That’ll show them bitches that Islam is all about respect, yo!
- Speaking of women, here’s Australia’s fittest lass! Or is it fittest ass? Well, those two usually go together, I guess. Try stuffing her in a burkha, mate.
- Now go do something useful. Like read the LOLcat bible. Educate thyself, heathen!
- Oh, and finally, “Balloon Boy’s” mother admits hoax. Sad, sad fuckers. BBC has a nice piece on this and similar cases.