Thursday, June 17, 2010

Looking Down from her Hotel Room

You know you're oblivious when your professor has to tell you about the girls who were checking you out in the hall.

Aaaaaaaaand... first night in Berlin!

I'm staying in a hostel called East Seven. Like the name suggests, it's in a pretty bad section of East Berlin. Bad section as in don't go out alone bad. I'm considering taking the U-Bahn down to Schoenberg in a little bit to visit a friend of mine though. But it's okay, because the closest station is just two blocks away.

So, the music store affairs continued rather smoothly. I returned the next day and made sure NOT to ask the owner how he was doing. It worked out a lot better for me this time - he didn't seem to remember me from the previous day, and I more clearly clarified what I meant by "test out" the guitars. Apparently the owner thought I meant I wanted to meticulously look over every single one for dust and scratches. Which, on a normal day, I'd be absolutely fine with... but I was in a hurry that day. So I just bought a harmonica (Hohner Blues Harp MS, for those of you keeping score at home) and tested two of the guitars. Lemme tell you... for a 200 euro guitar, one of the ones I played sounded and felt AMAZING. It's by Yamaha, but I can't remember what kind. I'll have to go back and check, then see if I might be able to find one in Munich for the same price.

Speaking of guitars and harmonicas, Joshua Gloster and I went out busking for the first time last night. First of all, we must have gone out at like 9 PM on a Wednesday. Let me tell you something. When's the last time you saw something that was empty? And I mean empty?You may be thinking to yourself: "why, surely he can't mean the streets were literally empty, i.e. devoid of all matter. That just wouldn't happen given the governing characteristics of density equilibrium in the universe, let alone on Schillerstrasse in Weimar." Well I'll have you know, sir or madam, that you're DEAD WRONG.

If I may introduce a picture to prove my point:

Pictured: Schillerstrasse on a Wednesday night.

Even with the complete lack of matter and energy hanging around, Josh and I still managed to find a bench, play blues for 3 hours, and make 13 euros. And that brings me to my next point: The world needs more people like Anne Heisig. Who is that, you might ask?

It was dark. The road was a ribbon of moonlight tossed upon the purple moor leading to Weimar, Germany. Anne Luise Heisig was walking up the street. Her shadow played tirelessly in the empty store windows, fighting for space with the gnarled black cloaks cast by the willow trees overhead. Schillerstrasse is an empty place on a Wednesday night, but for Anne, it was just another evening. Except for one thing.

Without warning, the soft sounds of a blues guitar began to ring out in the distance. Anne's ears perked up. Was soll das denn? she thought to herself. Kein Musik gibt es auf Schillerstrasse, besonders nicht um mittwoch Abend! She increased her pace, her heart starting to pound. The sound of the music became louder. And then a second sound joined in: what sounded to Anne like a Hohner Blues Harp MS in the key of C (of course, modulated to G in cross-harp) playing over the guitar! Was ist das denn? Anne thought to herself. Das Geräusch... es klingt, als ob jemand einen Hohner Blues Harp MS spielt, C-Dur (natürlich ins G-Dur in Cross-harp umgewandelt). She walked faster.

And then... she saw them. Two dashing gentlemen, the one playing harmonica slightly more dashing and better-dressed, of course, and just an all-around great guy,  playing the guitar and harmonica. Anne stopped walking. She let the sound of blues wash over her, creating a metaphor that would only be described and analyzed in a middle school literature book, the kind that the teacher would always leave in the desks so you wouldn't have to put them in your locker, but citing the excuse that the county just doesn't give the teachers enough literature books, and the ones they do have are in really bad condition anyway but the new edition is scheduled to come out next year so there's no point in buying a brand new set right now.

Anne took a seat on the bench across the street from the two buskers and listened for the next twenty minutes. By the time they ran out of awesome busking power, Anne was inspired. The guitar player, Josh, walked away to find a bathroom. Anne walked up to the harmonica player and asked to play a song with him. They played music for the next three hours. And made 13 euros. Not bad.

Man, for someone studying in Weimar, I certainly have a lot of traditionally American things in my possession.

Pictured: some of the things in my room.

And then today was the train ride to Berlin. They say that in the first 7 seconds of meeting someone, you've already gotten a first impression. Well, in my first seven seconds in Berlin, I managed to get yelled at for talking about polka music, stand in the way of a train full of commuters, and agree to start drunken brawls in as many places as possible (double points for museums and art galleries). Oh, and tonight, we went to a cabaret.

Let's talk about that.

Now, for those of you who have not attended the... thing... I attended tonight, let me say that it opens up a whole new world of awesome. Imagine 8 French acrobats, a few ropes, a pulley system, a bunch of ribbons, and the world's greatest light and sound crew. Now throw in free drinks and a ridiculously emotional storyline, and you might come close to what I experienced tonight. It's amazing what a well-trained French acrobat girl can do with a rope hanging  40 feet from the ceiling.

Off to sleep now. I have to go on 12 tours in the next 3 days. I don't know if I'm annoyed or excited by that fact. Furthermore, Joey Slater is a super dude. Nothin' Better.


  1. Wow, this is the most interesting and entertaining blog I've ever read. No fake! Also, I sort of feel like that veranda comment you made several days ago was for me. Even though it probably wasn't. But anyway, you should be a professional blogger. Also, make me a sandwich and tortellini?

  2. Furthermore, it took me five different captchas to decipher it correctly and post that comment. And this comment is just going to cause another struggle, but I just wanted to tell you.

  3. Was Josh mad that only you and this Anne person made any euros?

    Have fun and STAY SAFE in Berlin!

  4. I like the picture of busking. Also, I think you meant looping the purple moor.

    Yes, I know you knew I would.