Jul. 20th, 2012

Köln

Jul. 20th, 2012 10:04 pm
abouthalfthree: black on white lino print of a domestic street (Köln)
Final greetings from Köln, where someone has left their milk unlabelled, so I have some in my tea!

I have a private room, which is excellent. And I feel much better in a hostel than in a hotel, especially a fancy hotel. This is a private hostel, not a Youth Association one, so it has its own kitchen and a bar and free wifi. The wifi doesn't extend to the kitchen, but that's hardly a worry.

Slept in this morning, kind of. The Germans have a word for sleeping until you wake up naturally, which isn't always the same thing as sleeping in. I work up shortly after eight, and then at about nine thirty and then at a bit before ten. I was seriously expecting to sleep dead til about twelve. Just as well, though, because it turns out 1) there's a Käthe Kollwitz museum in Köln, 2) there are two book shops between the hostel and that museum, 3) I can't walk past a bookshop.

Käthe Kollwitz museum was excellent. Then I went the Museum Ludwig, where the expressionist rooms were sadly closed, but where they were having a major exhibition of Claes Oldenburg's stuff (giant puffy models of food and the tank with lipstick at Yale). Also excellent.

I did a bit of my uni reading as well. Francis Fukuyama's The End of History. To which I say hahahahahaha and evolution doesn't work like that! Seriously, he wants to claim that he can say it is the end of history because two philosophers have said it previously, Hegel in 1806 and a French follow of non-Marxian Hegel in the 1960s. Precedent doesn't work like that either.

I have my ticket to Frankfurt for tomorrow, leaving early. Then I will visit the Stadel Museum, eat something thoroughly German for lunch, walk along the river, buy a couple of things, perhaps eat another ice-cream beaker then catch the train to the airport.

There has been some confusion around my uni timetable, but it turns out that I do not have class on Monday morning, or at all on Monday.

While I am not pleased, per se, to be giving up my life of leisure or to be leaving Germany, I am very much looking forward to getting back home. Especially wearing different clothes and cooking and being able to have extended conversations with people.

The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is the great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death-ride with crouching motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle. The other half-city is of stone and marble and cement, with the bank, the factories, the palaces, the slaughterhouse, the school, and all the rest. One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off, transplanting it to the vacant lots of another half-city.

~ Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino