albadger: (Lisa and Bart Screaming)
Now I'm in Germany, which usually has such high standards... take for exmaple the train ride here. First half was the Copenhagen-Hamburg train that goes on a ferryboat, which I did last February and is great fun, but I was in the "quiet zone" of 1st class, and instead of quiet, we got a constant BEEP... BEEP... BEEP... that would stop for a few minutes, then start again. I asked the ticket agent what it was; she listened intently for a few beeps, then with a big smile said, "that's a cell phone!" Really. Where is this cell phone, and more importantly, when somebody on a train asks you the ticket agent what a horrible annoying noise is, it really means HOW THE #@#$%@#$%!!! DO WE STOP IT." I was able to move to the "Noisy" section to get some quiet, but that filled up a few stops before Hamburg, and I had to return to my torture. At least by then I wasn't alone.

Best part of the day was getting a knockwurst at the Hamburg train station from a hot bearded knockwurst vendor who was totally into me, I swear, no way he flirts with all the customers like that.

The Hamburg-Nuremberg train didn't have an irritating beep, but it did have a tantrummy toddler with amazing lungs and enviable stamina. His long-suffering mother got off the train at Hannover, and, more importantly, took him. After which, another child was ushered in with her grandmother, and proceeded to... No, surprise! She was an absolute angel, and quite the My Little Pony aficionado

Now I'm in Nuremberg; after checking in and showering, I went down to the street to get some food; nearly did Burger King, but I remembered that I had standards, and had a Subway sandwich because I remembered what my standards are. Gosh, there are a hell of a lot of prostitutes in Nuremberg. Some of them are very pretty!

Tomorrow, Bayreuth, and the Walk Up the Hill. Das Rheingold to begin with. You can't bring cushions in this year, so it's good to get my butt broken in on one of the short ones.
albadger: (Smarf at the keyboard)
...because I never update when I stay home. Heck, I barely update status on LazyFace. I'm not lazy enough for Twitter.

Currently in the G102 gate area at SFO, waiting for the flight to Copenhagen. Actual destination is Bayreuth, in Bavaria, for the Wagner Festival, but the SAS flight into Denmark was about a thousand bucks less than any connection I could get into Germany, so more than covers the train ride (plus, I love trains). Added advantage, my friend Erling said "come a few days early and stay with me, it's Pride Week!" So that works out wonderfully. I even made a crochet masterpiece as a hospitality gift for him! No pictures yet since it's a surprise for him, I'll put up pix after he gets it.

Next stop, Copenhagen! And since I've already seen the Little Mermaid, Copenhagen's equivalent of SF's Alcatraz, I can go farther afield in the tourism department. Something exotic like Tivoli Gardens perhaps. We'll soon know!
albadger: (Krazy Kat)

Okay, we're winding down, less than 24 hours before I get on a plane and endure the 11-hour ride home, and, honestly, I was itching to go. I'd padded the tail end of the trip with an extra day, originally because I wanted to go back to the Munich Stadtmuseum and get a photo of the painting of the naked gnomes examining a human foot... not really practical, so I went to Cologne instead; but Munich or Cologne, my body and brain could feel the stretch, and were impatient to be home. For all the things I love about Germany, my inner grump would pop up with three reasons to love California. Even while I toured the Cologne cathedral (recommended) and the Roman/German Museum (even more recommended), the nagging inside kept getting louder... home, home, it repeated. I was starting to lose it a bit, frankly. And then a miracle happened.

My train back to Frankfurt was late. Oh, this wasn't anything special; over the course of the trip, the trains have seemed to get later and later -- on time on Wednesday, 8 minutes late on Thursday, 30 minutes late on Monday. But today, it was 80 minutes late -- for a 65-minute trip. And there's nothing that could make an Amtrak customer feel more at home than a train delayed by longer than the trip takes.

Odd how simple things can make one happy. I was happy as I ate a combo-preis meal of Schnitzel, Kartoffelsalat and soda of my choice, calm as the Regional train 7 lumbered slowly through the 'burbs (the stop right before mine? Zeppelinheim!), and whistling happily as I walked down Farmstrasse to the Albatros Hotel.

Which had overbooked & didn't have a room for me.

Oh, they found me a room & drove me 5km to a tiny place in nearby Mörfelden, and promised to pick me up tomorrow morning (hope so!). Apparently the Albatros got caught up in the same huge wave of financiers descending upon Frankfurt that had already booked every single downtown bed and was now engulfing the suburbs & displacing the less than aggressive and the not-well-connected. And you know what? I'm cool with that. But I probably wouldn't have been if the train hadn't been late. So that's kind of a miracle! Now I'm going to get a frankfurter from that dodgy stand down the street.


Oh, yeah, the title of the article. This place has 3 billion TV channels! Most of them are home shopping. Including Channel 178, it seems.

albadger: (Uncle Bud's Hospital Experience)
Day, what, 4 of semi-retirement? Feels like way more than that. I am trying to load the week up with stuff, so I don't get into bad habits like sleeping all day the way I'd like to. Today, dermatologist. As I am of northwestern European ancestry, and live in California, this is kinda mandatory. I got visually inspected all over, and then frozen on the forehead, left hand, scalp and... well, heck, I didn't even want to tell him about the mole-like growth down there, but it's not like it's anything he hasn't seen before. "Skin tag," he says with one glance, and freezes that too.

And while he's doing that, I'm thinking, it doesn't matter what it is, somebody out there has fetishized it... which means somebody has fetished this. And that burns more than the liquid nitro.

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