Thursday, September 06, 2012

2012 - The Final ChapTour part 2 - In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion

8/6 - Berlin

The plan is to get organized, eat the hotel breakfast -- competitive at 10e because there's an all-hours cafe right across Uhlandstrasse -- then repack and head on to Leipzig, arriving around noon.  I'm mostly adjusted to the time, and there's a decent amount on the schedule, so earlier is better.  Time to get moving.


Inventory (merchpack)
Untombed - 1x CD, 3x sticker
Darkwor - 4x CD
Nachzehrer - 10x CD
NEIWM I - 25x CD
Grue/Word of Unmaking - 2x tape
Kleptocracy - 4x tape
Sauriel - 1x shirt, 9x sticker
Herugrim - 1x shirt
Autumn Above - 20x button (leftovers from '09, still)
Rampant Decay - 5x button (leftovers), 24x sticker
Returner - 3x button, 2x guitar pick
Skull Hammer - 1x button
Dead Languages - 1x button
Scaphism - 1x button
I Am The Trireme - 1x button, 3x promocard
Sonic Pulse - 9x promocard
Blood of the Gods - 10x sticker
Faces of Bayon - 8x sticker
Coathanger Abortion - 11x sticker
Dysentery - 11x sticker
Naegleria - 16x sticker
Forced Asphyxiation - 1x sticker
Machinage - 5x sticker
Red Blade - 9x sticker
Demoralizer - 1x sticker
Abazagorath - 3x sticker

shirts - 2
CDs - 15
comp CDs - 50
tapes - 6
stickers - 111
buttons/picks - 34
promocards - 12


If you're going to pack from a checklist, everything really needs to be on it.  I messed up in this regard and as such have one fewer civilian-use shirt than planned, and it's the foul-weather one that's missing.  Nothing to be done about it but cross your fingers -- and plan better next time.

011. Doppelbierträgsystem.  This may be useful for moving water on the hike leg, but for now, it's just the easiest way to move my remaining Sternburg on to Leipzig.

Some things never change.  Even among non-Americans on German public transit, English spoken = headphones on.  Also, my bankcard is off again.  At Ospreisen, I probably have enough to get through to Party.San, but the point is that I went to the trouble of going to the bank to be sure this wouln't happen.  Still did.  Fuckers.  I'd appreciate the protections if they gave me a call or email in advance rather than after, or not at all.  As it is, I'm pissed off to the point of getting stabby, and that's a bad way to be when pointed at Leipzig.

The playlist hits "Faustian Echoes".  Fitting for today, I guess; there's enough Goethe/Faust targets to make an afternoon out of, at least.

- Leipzig -

The card works again, at least on the first try at the Volksbank.  Moderation and regularity -- and maybe changing banks on every pull -- will see this trip out financially yet.

012. Backside of the memorial in front of the Hbf.

Walking around the path in between here, I noticed that the guy in front of me had on a Celtic-cross hoodie with a pro-"Aryan" message on the collar.  Wieder in Sachsen zurück.

013. Front of the memorial, with garden and Hauptbahnhof.

014. Cool ironwork holding up a building by the hotel.

After a moderate chill-out period to get the dust of the road off my shirt and plan out a tourschedule, I hit the road for a late lunch at the moderately-renowned Goseschenken ohne Bedenken, which was closer, by time on-foot, than anticipated, and did not lack for interesting points en route.

015. Mural on the side of the Marriott.  See Berlin a couple years ago.

016. Genauso Ostmark.  This catches a lot of the history and halting dynamism of the whole region.

017. Old door of the Astoria.

018. Truly typical Ossi cladding on an apartment block.

019. Green arcade heading north.

020. Crossing the canal.  The water is this low due to being the summer more than drought; it's been raining a lot more in Germany than in the US this summer.

021. Interesting church at the end of Nordstrasse.

022. A little closer up.

023. Relics of the old regime.  The streets nach der Wende, in contrast to other changes of political system before them, mostly kept their names.

024. Einmal "Regenschirm".  Gose salted-spiced lager (salt and coriander) with a shot of Kraüter.  I still haven't had lunch.  This, too, is training.

Despite the "umbrella", I moved under cover when the rain picked up.  That alone I don't need to train; I'm pretty good at getting rained on already.

The oddity of Gose is less apparent to American tastes used to what craft brewers do to their summer beers, but in general, you do not get beer that tastes like this in Europe.  It's an interesting hike from the center, and the beer is certainly good, but the unusual Genuss is more of a draw for Germans than for Amis.

025. Rain, green, and Röst.  The beergarden here is nestled in among normal apartment blocks, hence the car behind the fence.

026. Garten logo on the lamp.  I desperatedly need to go get some solid food in, but I need a break in the rain.

The hike got back later than anticipated due to running across the Stasi museum, and so this is collected while stopping for an early dinner rather than a late lunch.

027. Trees and wall.  Just a cool composition.

028. Neat graffiti on the way back.

029. Detail of some metalwork while hiding from the rain.

030. Stormy skies over some open space.

031. Tower -- on an apartment building -- over some trees.

032. Dome of the aviary at the zoo.

033. Bamboo enclosure around the zoo parking garage.

034. Tower of the Kongresshalle.

035. Memorial for the victims of '38.  They did rebuild the synagogue.

036. Back across the Ring to the north.

- Stasi Museum -

037. Exhibit on the Monday demonstrations, Stasimuseum am Runden Ecke.

038. Original sign that used to hang out front.

039. The banality of evil: a mostly-unrestored storage corner.  As implied, this was formerly the Stasi headquarters before being converted to a museum after reunification.

040. The actual exhibit in the above turnout; a crappy office full of grey metal filing cabinets.

041. "How the Enemy intends to undermine and destroy us" -- with Iron Maiden.  Obvs.  Either even the Stasi was completely infiltrated by fans who got a secret thrill putting the Killers cover up all over Honecker-land, or even in the DDR, the German Tendenz towards metal was so strong that if Maiden wasn't explicitly on the front of the index, half the workforce would end up on the "politically unreliable" list.

042. Dzherzinsky quote.  I wouldn't've bothered a little later in the museum; the Stasi, as shown by their artifacts, had a huge crush on the founder of the KGB.

043. Starting 'em young.  Not sure if those are AKMs or built-down AK-47 airguns that the three-year-olds in the upper picture are shooting.

044. Quadratic equations for air defense.  Hey, whatever makes it stick.

045. Not a SGD supporters' clubb.  The Dresdner FC is just the sole survivor of the official Dynamo sportcult of the DDR (exported from the USSR, of course, the land of Dynamo Moscow and Dynamo Kyiv)...but yes, it did start as a Stasi team.  Then Mielke stole 10 of the first XI and took them to Berlin, because provincial clubs winning all the time was apparently counterrevolutionary.

046. State tifos -- not invented in North Korea.  We forget in the modern age that until recently it was pretty common for national governments to demonstrate their unity and popularity with stunts more appropriate to soccer ultras.

047. As noted above; more Dzherzinsky accessories.

048. When it can't wait to get back to the office; portable kettle fitted out to steam open letters.

049. Official Stasi disguise kit.  This is the "construction worker" example; the display mentioned an "Arab" set as well, but was silent on cop, sailor, and/or Indian chief.

050. Bugs in the furniture.  If you're not marveling enough at this, go watch Das Leben der Anderen and come back.

051. "Shooting case" from the border police.

Outside; looking for dinner now, not lunch.

052. Most of the Passagen of Leipzig are old, but not all of them.

053. Open air am Markt.  I ate here and regained the strength to get back to the hotel.  The lesson, as ever: if you're gonna drink, you gotta eat.

054. Church tower south of the Markt.

055. Steeple and colorful panels around the Ring.

056. Giant building on Roßplatz.

057. ...and a cool smaller building by the S-bahn stop.

058. Chunk of the Uni through some trees.

059. Even the East Bloc wasn't spared institutional Brutalism.

060. This is what people mean when they admire German graffiti -- the composition and wit to set up the Kom/Post commentary, and then the gorilla character at the right.  It's not all this good, not by a long shot.

061. Better view of the Uni building from 058.

062. Monument in the Uni courtyard.

063. Uni clock tower.

064. Waterfall feeding a pond by the hotel.

065. ...and a full shot of the building beyond.

I slept for a couple hours and woke up in time to catch some late 2.Bundesliga results, metal videos, porn ads, and KiKA's turn-off-the-fucking-TV-already loop.  Ah, German late-night.

066. Bernd das Brot mocks Apple hipsters in the "KiKA Chill-Out Lounge".

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