Danzig/Gdansk #1: Günther Grass

Arrived late at night, behind the train station (where KFC en MD are impossible to miss – I really don’t get how they managed to get their ugly neon logos onto this traditional building). I walked around in the old town, eventually asking some very polite Polish girls where I could find affordable accomodation. They took me away from the old town, to a house alongside the main road with a hostel in it. We woke up an American girl, who was actually an escaped cube slave, as I found out later, and a giant Hongkong man, who were both traveling alone. Silently, lit by my LED-light (O I love those little energy savers!) I sled into my bed and was away in minutes.

The next morning, I took a hot shower (showers were mixed in the hostel, so there tended to be a little gender confusion), ate breakfast, which they kindly offerd but consisted mainly of hardboiled eggs and bread with honey. Together with the coffee, it got me started though, and I walked into town to look around. What to see in Danzig: 1) something referring to Günther Grass, the native nobel prize novelist, 2) something referring to Solidarnosc, the union that made Leck Walesa famous and symbolizes the first steps of the collapse of communism. Well, for 2) the docks with the large cranes nearby and a few logos were all I needed. Instead of the Solidarnosc museum I walked to a small square where Oscar’s Bench was located. And there he sat, the little feller from The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) proudly drumming with his bronze drumsticks, next to two old Polish ladies that had a conversation. I sat on another bench observing the scene, which was really cute.

I walked back and took a tram to the old town. I walked around, bought a Polish-German language guide which I planned to study in reverse, and went to the tiny street where they sell amber, the product that gave Gdansk some economical importance. Finally I settled with another cup of nerve-broth and did what I like best: writing. Time went by quickly, and I managed to pen a few pages full (I was working on a German story).

Back in the hostel I chatted a little with the aforementioned escaped cube slave, who was very kind, and a really experienced traveler. I wrote a few more lines and then I went to sleep.

Advertisements

On my way

With hindsight I can say that the biggest hardship of my first week was related to trying to get out of Berlin. I thought it would have been easier, but I was a bit naive, to be euphemistic. I just shut the door, packed my infamous 70 liter blue rucksack and went. Hit the road. I ended up in the local bus station (ZOB), asking some Russians if I could buy my visa for Russia at the border. A younger guy told me, they have to be applied for way in advance, and that I’d been a bit silly. The Belarusian visa would be an even larger problem. What he didn’t know however, was that Russia was just an option for me, my mind played with it, and I really had no hard time rejecting it.

So I walked around a bit, a truck driver suggested I go hitchhiking. That didn’t work out though, and I spent the night in the heated waiting-room on a row of plastic chairs that made my back sore and my mind numb. But – as usual – in the morning I discovered a bus to Gdansk, the city I had in mind, and I took it. It took a meaningful “kssst kssst” to make the bus driver let me on for 30 euros.

So I started, enjoyed finally getting out of Berlin, feeling free and all that stuff. On our way the bus halted a few times, goods were exchanged and an instant I was afraid of my bag – with a lot of writings in it – getting stolen. So I pretended getting some food out to check the bag was still there, since it is a blunt thing to openly show distrust. Of course the worries were groundless.

The roads got pretty bumpy and small, and the ride through the early evening Polish autumn scenery was really beautiful. Full moon was yet to come, but the romantic spooky atmosphere definitely could not be missed. The bus arrived at its destination on time.

On my way

With hindsight I can say that the biggest hardship of my first week was related to trying to get out of Berlin. I thought it would have been easier, but I was a bit naive, to be euphemistic. I just shut the door, packed my infamous 70 liter blue rucksack and went. Hit the road. I ended up in the local bus station (ZOB), asking some Russians if I could buy my visa for Russia at the border. A younger guy told me, they have to be applied for way in advance, and that I’d been a bit silly. The Belarusian visa would be an even larger problem. What he didn’t know however, was that Russia was just an option for me, my mind played with it, and I really had no hard time rejecting it.

So I walked around a bit, a truck driver suggested I go hitchhiking. That didn’t work out though, and I spent the night in the heated waiting-room on a row of plastic chairs that made my back sore and my mind numb. But – as usual – in the morning I discovered a bus to Gdansk, the city I had in mind, and I took it. It took a meaningful “kssst kssst” to make the bus driver let me on for 30 euros.

So I started, enjoyed finally getting out of Berlin, feeling free and all that stuff. On our way the bus halted a few times, goods were exchanged and an instant I was afraid of my bag – with a lot of writings in it – getting stolen. So I pretended getting some food out to check the bag was still there, since it is a blunt thing to openly show distrust. Of course the worries were groundless.

The roads got pretty bumpy and small, and the ride through the early evening Polish autumn scenery was really beautiful. Full moon was yet to come, but the romantic spooky atmosphere definitely could not be missed. The bus arrived at its destination on time.

On my way

With hindsight I can say that the biggest hardship of my first week was related to trying to get out of Berlin. I thought it would have been easier, but I was a bit naive, to be euphemistic. I just shut the door, packed my infamous 70 liter blue rucksack and went. Hit the road. I ended up in the local bus station (ZOB), asking some Russians if I could buy my visa for Russia at the border. A younger guy told me, they have to be applied for way in advance, and that I’d been a bit silly. The Belarusian visa would be an even larger problem. What he didn’t know however, was that Russia was just an option for me, my mind played with it, and I really had no hard time rejecting it.

So I walked around a bit, a truck driver suggested I go hitchhiking. That didn’t work out though, and I spent the night in the heated waiting-room on a row of plastic chairs that made my back sore and my mind numb. But – as usual – in the morning I discovered a bus to Gdansk, the city I had in mind, and I took it. It took a meaningful “kssst kssst” to make the bus driver let me on for 30 euros.

So I started, enjoyed finally getting out of Berlin, feeling free and all that stuff. On our way the bus halted a few times, goods were exchanged and an instant I was afraid of my bag – with a lot of writings in it – getting stolen. So I pretended getting some food out to check the bag was still there, since it is a blunt thing to openly show distrust. Of course the worries were groundless.

The roads got pretty bumpy and small, and the ride through the early evening Polish autumn scenery was really beautiful. Full moon was yet to come, but the romantic spooky atmosphere definitely could not be missed. The bus arrived at its destination on time.

onderweg

Hiermee richt ik me nog eens vol goede moed aan de niet existente species der lezers van dit blog. De auteur is onderweg in het ‘buitenland’. Hier zullen onregelmatig anecdotes en lukrake commentaren over de wereldondergang verschijnen, zoals jullie, absente lezers, dat tenslotte gewend zijn. Want de wereldondergang wordt weer verkondigd door allerlei mensen met mentale zwaktes, ze kruipen bij het instorten van de banken en het stijgen van de olieprijs verwachtingsvol uit hun holen en prediken de apocalypse, nog in ons leven, bitte schön, alsof ze de uiteindelijke hegemonie van dove over alle andere zepen verkondigen. Ja ze kunnen het bewijzen ook.

Maar dat is hier niet aan de orde. De auteur schrijft over zijn avonturen on the road op een ander blog, kamielverwer.blogspot.com. Daar vindt de lezer een rammelig internationaal Engels dat allerlei anecdotes tracht aan den man te brengen, zoals het hoogtepunt van een verblijf in Vilnius: een boef gevangen samen met een Jesusfreak.

Ik wilde nog de groeten doen aan mijn tante uit Waddinxveen. <– dat is een bepaald type humor.

Correctie: banken worden tóch gered

De Amerikaanse senaat heeft het ‘bailout plan’ nu toch toegestemd. Om vooral de Republikeinen beter de stemmen hebben ze de nieuwe versie opgeleukt met belastingvoordelen en andere aardigheidjes. Toch zeggen analysten, dat de injectie van liquiditeit de geldmarkt niet gaat redden. Het blijft voorlopig dus nog even spannend.

Waarschijnlijk ben ik niet de enige blogger (misschien de enige ongelezen blogger) die in stilte hoopt, dat het één en ander lekker in elkaar dondert, zodat er eens écht schoon schip wordt gemaakt, en niet alleen dunne groene papiertjes met Lincolns worden bijgedrukt en herverdeeld, maar dat er spijkers met koppen worden geslagen. Ja, dat de banken niet gered worden, de mensen hun kredieten gewoon mogen houden, en de gevaarlijke speculanten uit hun holen worden gerookt. Inderdaad: dat op hen tenminste dezelfde retoriek wordt toegepast als op de bommenriem-terroristen, die met al hun kunst- en vliegwerk nog niet een fractie van de bedreiging vormen, die van deze beursmaniakken uitgaat.

Een nieuw Ebay-verhaal

Vandaag had ik veel bezoek van kopers die dingen van ebay hebben opgehaald. Allemaal aardige en correcte mensen, de één kwam voor een tafel en een broodrooster, de ander voor een plantje met pot, een derde nam een schoenenrekje mee. Toen tegen de middag weer de bel ging, verwachtte ik dus een koper, en zwaaide de deur met een joviaal gebaar open. In het trappenhuis stond een politieagente in uniform, en die zij “HABEN SIE SACHEN INS INTERNET VERKAUFT?” Ik werd een paar decimenter kleiner en stamelde “ja”. De agente moest lachen en vervolgde “Ich habe den Reiskocher ersteigert”. Opgelucht liet ik de agente in mijn woonkamer en legde haar uit hoe de reistkoker werkt. Nou, dat was wel even schrikken!