In same bakery I was in yesterday around this time. “Ice, Ice Baby” is on the radio. Got up at 6:58a. Spoke w/ Em a bit. Hot, puffy chocolate chip croissant steaming when I open it…mmm….
The Turkish man is working again behind the counter and it must be his daughter that’s working with him today. She is a beauty. They are laying out today’s pastries & baked goods. Her father seems like a nice man; he wished me, “Guten apetït.”
Went to bed around 12:30 ~ 1:00 after showering, shaving, brushing, reading a good piece of Richard Ford, talking with Oscar for a while about museums. The way he described both Bauhaus & Hamburger made them sound like a real riot.
Not really what it sounds like it might mean in English. Right now a cool breezy quiet spot to sit in a lounge chair on museum insel while I wait for Pergamon to open. Picture #16 on the roll comes from here. A canal in front of me. I’m sitting on one of many benches. Sparrows chirping at & around me. But I’ve got no food for them.
Left café after I went up to get a juice & a slice of the same cake I had yesterday. Gorgeous owner’s daughter helped me. I pointed & said, “Ein stück.” All was good. When I paid earlier the total was 1.90€ and I gave zvei, said “Zwei” and he was like, “Oh, guten, danka.” The total this time was 1.80€ and she was ringing it up after I gave her the money, a 5€ note, and I said zwei and she said, “Zwei?” like, “Zwei? (What in the heck do you mean?). And so I was like no, nevermind, no. Thanks. Minor debacle.
And she wrapped up my cake to go, maybe I asked for that or agreed to it somehow—who knows. So I decided to get the heck out, the time was right. Said, “Tschus,” to dad & daughter, the latter smiling big & I’d like to think amused/curious but that’s probably just good business technique. [9:26 a] As I later walked to check the supermarket on Buennenstrasse I was thinking I was not the first dumb American dazed by her in that bakerei. Gorgeous, just absolutely gorgeous. Dark skin, caramel-like. And blondish-brown gold satin hair that maybe was dyed but if so it definitely worked on her. I don’t think she had been working there super-long. They were a happy & content duo. I would think it to be, from an outside glance, a pretty good life they have, depending I suppose on how the business is doing. Maybe I’ll be back in there tomorrow.
Bells going off. The Dom here.
It’s the Altes museum I’m outside of right now, in the Lustgarten. The Pergamon is down a ways & I should get going that way. It opens at 10; it’s free today so it could be a gagglefest. Hit & run. See gates of Ishtar & get on S-Bahn to Bahnhof.
Hakescher to Lehrter. Not as far as I thought.
Just organized my things. Oscar & Wayne have moved on. Sort of a long day. Did a lot of walking, a lot of train riding. Did Pergamon, Hamburger Banhof, rushed to meet Em at Neue Galerie but first we ate at Andy’s Diner. Then we did internet at Sony Center, then the Galerie. Hamburger by far my favorite. Bought a new, smaller notebook there—a Moleskine. 10€. Also got a pocketbook album—I don’t know exactly what it is—there for Brook.
Tired. Don’t feel much like those who—don’t feel much like writing, I mean. Those who incur the rights of the strangled must also learn to breath without air, is what I meant to say. I don’t know what that means, it just came to me.
To save myself from going through this exercise on my very last night here, I’ll do it now, on my second-to-last night here. Things about Europe that I’ll remember:
There’s lots of spraypaint in places that, if I were in charge & I so spray paint there, I would have cleaned up. Lots of dogs—people don’t care about cleaning up the dogshit or horseshit for that matter.
When I walked the streets of Berlin this morning at 8:30a it was very, very quiet.
People know English. Some resent this fact, others don’t. When I bought the two moleskines today at Hamburger the guy roughly my age behind the counter seemed cheery & said graciously as I handed him my purchase, “Zwei moleskine!” Drinks all around. A bill of 20€. I had no cash. So I said, “Credit?” And, deflated, he accepted. The transaction seemed to take a long time—silent, empty, awkward, old credit card machine, slowly printed, will it be accepted, will it go through? He put the receipt down on the counter, asked me to sign, looked off into the store, I signed, said danka, & he didn’t look or say anything else to me.
On the other hand, my dumb ass went into the women’s bathroom (Dames?) today at Neue Nationalgalerie and the gray haired fifty something woman there, after saying something to me in German, and realizing it wasn’t getting through, said, “For ladies,” and laughed politely. I left red-faced, pissed off at myself, & ready to leave (Europe), but not mad at anyone or anything else.