Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Things haven't gone exactly as I'd planned---a wandering, desultory phillipic on why I haven't... what's that, now?
So the posts below promised a bunch of previously mulled posts would all be forthcoming shortly, and they promised it ... well, longer ago than can be called "shortly." My bad; travel obligations have eaten into posting, and I'm now not so sure this blog was really a commitment I could keep to, what with my busy schedule of waking up in or about the morning and then later going to sleep, with two or sometimes three meals filling the remainder. My apologies; no excuses; hope to remedy it son, but in this case at least, past results probably are a good indicator of future performance.
I've been away from the city, and fall came to Berlin before I returned. The air is chilly, and it has that almost-scent that cold air in the fall gets, where you think you smell fireplaces and frost-damp leaves but when you sniff again you can't quite be sure (the olfactory nodes in the brain are the closest related to memory
I've done little since returning other than buy a proper drip coffee maker (the Roommate prefers the superior European coffee you get from a stovetop espresso maker; I can't live without the American-style quantity pot); although I went running again yesterday. (My trail regimen while on the road was interrupted by several injuries to my feet. And also laziness: Fat, drunk, and stupid ain't a way to get through life, but it suffices quite well to get through vacation.)
My new favorite trail is a riverside (well, canal-side) pathway---it's a fair ways away from my house, but it's possible to bike there and chain my Fahrrad to a fence or a street sign, then jog on the path as far as I feel like. It's called Mauerweg, literally "Wall-way," and it follows part of the old Berlin Wall. Right at the beginning is a monument to Chris Gueffroy, the last person shot while attempting to cross into West Berlin, just a few months before the Wall came down. Google Maps doesn't mark the monument but you can spot it here; the small white court and the shadow of the monument are visible in the satellite pic. Certain American conservatives have a weary tendency of accusing their liberal countrymen of being apologists for Soviet abuses, and while I'm leery of validating that narrative, Berlin retains a presence of its history---which in the last century has been an unhappy one---and the immediacy of these sorts of reminders make me feel like I never appreciated the full extent of human misery perpetrated by the SSR governments before moving here. And, I'm sure, I probably didn't.