The Toasters in Köln
Well, the last few days have utterly rocked. The first night I got here we went out drinking, and my friends being German, they basically drank me under the table. I wasn't too hungover on Tuesday, but we did get up pretty late...
I mostly walked around Köln the last couple of days, seeing what there is to see and taking in Germany. It's a lot like France, only with less dog shit. And the people speak English, in general, much better (probably because the accent is easier for them).
Tuesday night we saw a live blues concert at this bar in the town where Bayer, the aspirin, is based. It's one of those crappy little towns that depend almost entirely on the company that is based there for absolutely everything. After the concert we came back home and watched, "Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei" which means, roughly, The Fat Years are Over (fat as in plentiful, not obese). You must see this film. The basic premise is three young people, in the spirit of the youth rebellions of 1968, breaking into über-rich people's homes and rearranging their furniture, leaving a note that says either, "The fat years are over", or,"You have too much money", signing it with, "The Edukators". There are some excellent discussions within the movie about the commodification of counterculture, which is something I've been thinking about recently, and resistance against the fetishization of capitalism. I will be burning a copy for viewing in the U.S.
Last night I got to see The Toasters, an NYC ska band, in Köln. I skanked an almost unreasonable length of time, and was very, very tired afterward. I must say that the Germans know how to skank better than the French by a longshot. I also think I was the only American in the crowd, which made me feel "special".
Today I'm going to the Ludwig Museum and up to the top of the cathedral in Köln, and then tomorrow it's off to Prague for a week to do, er, something?