As I sit in the Chicago airport, with a four-hour delay until my next flight to Düsseldorf, I am barraged by the sewer pipe. I learn that Obama now is opening up and growing up. Wow. I earn that there is a mess in Israel (Gaza strip), which is a very hard problem. I heard that phrase before when the intellectual elites discuss things such as medical ethics. It a really hard problem to tell somebody that their physician will not kill them(?). I don’t think so. If somebody were to go on a lunatic rage, all would have no problem identifying the person as crazy. But, what if an entire group of people go on a lunatic rage? Then whose fault is it? Why do we treat groups of people completely differently from individuals? There is such a thing in medicine as a Folie a deux, where two people are insane when together, but normal when separated. Can such a thing happen to groups of people? I think so. Maybe the world is crazy? I learn from the Gaza strip games that sane people do very insane things. Both sides! It is the worst setup for disaster.
I simply could not sleep on the airplane, but it was most delightful to Herbert waiting for me in the airport. The next day was spent at the Düsseldorf zoo, but I’m not sure on which side of the cage stood the most dangerous animals.
Monday AM. Woke up, the alarm clock was keeping time, but making no sound. Looks like I need a new Wecker. I eventually discovered that my iPhone has a clock in it with an alarm, and it is working just fine for that function.
It had snowed the night before, and there was at least 8 cm of snow on the ground. I couldn’t roll my baggage, and so had to carry it to the Bushalterstelle where one catches a bus. I needed one connection (Umsteig) in downtown Krefeld and then was off to Düsseldorf. The busses ran on time, though traffic on the Autobahn was at a standstill (Stau). The people at the Goethe Institut (from now on GI) were all very friendly, and I proved the efficiency of about B1-B2, so they decided to stick me into B1, which was what I preferred since I needed nothing but a lot of practice speaking, and Grammar work, so an easier class would suit me fine. I took the taxi to my Hausmutter, a very pleasant older couple, who had an upstairs room for my use–alles sehr bequem (very comfortable). So, tomorrow I start my German lessons.
The last photo shows the stairwell up to my room. It’s a fairly steep climb. The bus ride takes about 20 minutes, but it’s a 10-minute walk to the bus stop, and a wait from 5-20 minutes, so ties up about 1/2 -1 hour to actually get from “home” to the class and then the same time in return.
Lessons are with a middle-aged male teacher named Roman. He is actually quite adept, and much of the time is spent repeating and repeating various sentences, with many corrections. It’s nice to learn from the mistakes of other students. I spend a little time after class, which ends at 1 p.m. and study in the Media room. It is there that I am also able to make internet connections to you all.
I haven’t had much ability to explore the city. The temperature remains below zero, and it is really biting cold. They had a walking tour today that I skipped out of since it was too dastardly cold to consider staying in any longer than I needed.
Thursday 08.JAN2008 The temperature has finally warmed up a touch, though most of the snow remains. Here is the outside photo of where I am staying… it is still early morning and quite dark outside when I leave in the morning.
It was comfortable enough to take a walk downtown, and see Königsallee (Kö), the most expensive shopping district in Germany. It was. I didn’t buy anything.
This evening will be our first Stammtisch. You’ll hear about it next time. Until then, keep your stick on the ice. I’ll stay in touch. BTW, it is extremely difficult for me to write this is in English. Ich hätte nur auf Deutsch geschrieben. Bis bald.