The art of conversation

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Germany  ,
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Today feels a bit heavy, for more than one reason.  I can't shake the awkwardness I'm feeling, the sky's over Berlin are grey and rainy, and we're visiting the Jewish holocaust memorial.  It all comes together to make Stuart an unhappy boy.

I'm not going to labour the point about how emotional the museum is; you've heard it a hundred times before.  I'm also going to be visiting Auschwitz, so I'll probably fall apart there too.  I do tend to have a thing for 'dark tourism'; apparently a very real phenomenon whereby people flock to scenes of disaster and great heartbreak to wallow in the macabre.  I'm not alone in my melancholy.  If you are to visit the memorial, I recommend a box of tissues and something nice to do after.  Maybe an ice cream.  Whatever mood you're in, whatever you're going through in your life, however trivial your burnt toast this morning was, this'll slap you round the face and tell you to stop moaning.  Utterly heartbreaking, but so very necessary to visit.  There are a few politicians that could do with reminding.

It's still coming down in buckets as Katty and I part ways with one sister and friend and walk the wet streets alone for the first time.  There is an uneasy silence.  I break it by suggesting a beer, when really I just want to smoke about ten cigarettes to take my mind of things.  She does not share my desire for hitting the bottle at lunchtime.  Nonetheless I'm having a cold one and contemplating just exactly what is wrong; when she asks me what is wrong.  This is a very good thing.

Over the course of the next half an hour, three beers and four smokes, I think we've managed to talk things through.  It was all a bit 50/50 by the looks of things.  I'd not been going out of my way to make it easy either.  Anyway we've cleared the air coincidentally enough as the air is clearing, and the sun peaks its cheeky face out from behind the rain clouds.  After a morning with a lead heart, it's a welcome relief to have smiles back on our faces.  Conversation really does work wonders.  It's just a shame my ex girlfriend preferred throwing plates and beating herself in the face with a shoe.

Germans like sausage, just in case you weren't aware, and Katty has demanded I try Curry-wurst; a German sausage covered in curry.  Obviously.  Unfortunately we visit a very touristy place where it's too expensive and nowhere near as good as a greasy spoon cafe, but it's nice sitting in the sunshine beside the river enjoying each others company again.  As much as this particular dish wasn't very good, I recognise the potential, and make a mental note to gorge myself on a better example as soon as possible.

The horrendous butchering my hair took at the hands of a blind Portuguese barber with no hands needs to be addressed, but it's getting a little late and we can't find anywhere open.  Tired from an emotionally and physically exhausting day, we return home early, and as the closing credits of the evening DVD roll, a couple of glasses of red later; I'm pretty thankful we managed to have that talk.
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