Tuesday, 25th September 2001.
I returned to my room after breakfast to discover an Australian couple in there
having a first-degree domestic about something unimportant. It was one of those discussions
that ended up being a "battle of the sexes" thing. She said something about men having
shorter life expectancies than women.
"That's because we have to put up with women!" I said, slinging my backpack on my back
and getting the hell out of there.
Leaving the battle of the nimwits behind me, I checked out and moved to another hostel
nearby. (The fools had only reserved my bed for two nights instead of three.) As I sat
in reception completing one of several forms that had been thrust upon me by the
receptionist (who had an air of bewilderment about her), a gaggle of Americans burst
through the door.
"Do you have any rooms?" one of them demanded of the receptionist without so much as a
do-you-speak-english. To her credit she remained calm and addressed them in her own version
of English. Turned out they were from Alaska, not that that excuses anything, but
it could explain why the female member of their entourage was wearing sandals in this
not-so-warm weather. "It's the only footwear I have," she told me. Uh-huh.
I left pondering what fate might befall the Americans, who gave the impression that they
wouldn't know if their arse was on fire. I indirectly went to Alexanderplatz, a desolate
wasteland at the centre of the old East Berlin, uninhabited except for groups of German
teenagers who wheeled this way and that like flocks of pigeons chasing feed in the town
In the afternoon I ambled over to the Jewish Museum. The basement contained one of the
most humane exhibits I'd ever seen. The upper floors had a whiff of propaganda about them,
but wherever I went there were groups of these German teenagers.
Let me tell you about these German teenagers.
In the major cities of Germany there are always hordes of 16-year-old kids looking bored and
stupid wandering around and shouting in the museums and the hostels. How do they get
their teenagers to look SO bored and SO stupid? It truly is remarkable.
Pimple-ridden teenagers of the world - capitulate now! The Germans
have bred a new race of Super Teenagers! UberTeenagers!
I'm sharing a room with a bunch of Koreans. The poor blokes
were confused as all buggery when I left earlier in the evening. Not
confused because I left, I think even they had worked out the whole door
concept, but rather they were perplexed by the locks on the lockers. I
didn't tell them how they worked, I thought it would be more fun for
them to work it out themselves.
I returned to the room later to find that they had worked out the lockers and had draped
their washing over the entire room. It was like a bag of underwear had been placed in the
middle of the room and blown up.
(no addition to the falafel count today)