Posts Tagged 'czech'

Existential World Tour Part 13: Berlin and Back in Ann Arbor

Well, its the end of the road for me. I went West until it was East and I kept goin’ until I ended up back where I started. In short, I’m back in Ann Arbor, back with a vengeance.

I’ve been lying low in Prague for the past two weeks. I spent my time walking around, looking at Prague’s stunning, spooky and occasionally bizarre architecture, and of course drinking beer, which is literally cheaper than water and damn good to boot.

Last weekend, I went to Berlin. On Halloween night, I happened upon a bombed out (as in from WWII) department store that had been turned into a artist commune. The bottom floor was a disco and a welders studio, the second floor was a bar and movie theater (showing From Dusk till Dawn) and the rest of the building was either gallery space and/or other discos. The whole place was covered with graffiti art and the apocalyptic look of Blade Runner or a Duran Duran video. Across the courtyard in another bombed out building (there were lot in this neighbor of East Berlin, even though it was only blocks from Unter Den Linden and the Brandenburg gate) somebody placed a giant neon sign in puffy rainbow letters reading “Cry me a River.” I loved the place immediately. I started talking to some Anglo backpackers and soon we were doing Tequila shots. Later I found myself discussing Japanese film with a couple intense Belgians well into the morning. Anyway, I realized that after a liter and a half of beer and five shots of Tequila I felt stone sober. I think its time to go home now, I thought.

Soon checking into Betty Ford

Existential Panic World Tour Part 9: Off to Russia

This is going to be a regrettably short entry. In about six hours I’m heading off to airport for Russia and I haven’t really started packing. The primary object of this potentially wild and woolly trip is to aid my mother with her PhD dissertation research. Basically for carrying some bags and taking a few notes I get a free trip to exciting Russia. Of course, Russia seems to be getting more exciting by the day. The exchange rate there is fluctuating so rapidly that the State department is advising travelers not to change money into Rubles unless one plans make a purchase within the hour of the transaction. Moreover, a general nation wide strike is scheduled for October 7th. Yup, this is indeed going to be an interesting trip.

First we land in Kazan, the capital of Tartarstan, and stay there for two nights. Then Andrey, our burly contact, will meet us and drive us to Yoshkar-ola the capital of the Mari-El Republic (which is about 1000 miles north of Iran) where we will spend most of our time. Then on the 13th we’re off for Moscow on an 18 hour train. With luck, I’ll be back on the 16th to recount my experiences.

Anyhow, stay tuned.


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