June 13:  Berlin


10 beers, to bed 3:30, up at 7:30.  Home stretch.

I put a cough drop in my mouth last night when I went to bed.  Four hours later I woke up and it was still in my mouth, undissolved.

Mark claimed Kristian was picking up a 12-year-old last night and tried to unilaterally award him the Boob Shirt, but the offense was denied and uncorroborated.  I testified that I saw him doing nothing specific or different from anyone else.  The shirt did not change hands.

Our optional walking tour of Berlin was led by Henry, a young and peculiar English guy living in Berlin 2 years.  It was chilly and rainy, and I was wearing shorts for some reason, but despite the lost jacket I wasn't as cold as in Smolensk.

Marx and Engels statue.

Fernsehturm (TV tower).  It was tall enough (368 m, 1207 ft) to warrant consideration, but I didn't go up.  I was tired, it was raining and visibility was poor.

Remaining section of Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda.

The paved and grassy areas are atop what used to be Hitler's bunker.  COOL.  That was worth the 9 it cost me for the Henry tour.  The bunker site is unmarked since the government doesn't want attention drawn to it.  You know how those skinheads can be.

Another section of the Wall.

On the left was West Berlin.  On the right was the dead zone.  Further to the right was another parallel wall (no longer standing) and to the right of that was East Berlin.

Sign at Checkpoint Charlie.  After I took this photo Henry told us that it's not the original sign.  The original is in the museum, which I opted not to visit.

Checkpoint Charlie.  This was the third in a series of checkpoints; Alpha and Bravo were the first two.  There was no actual Charlie until we got to Vietnam.  The "soldiers" with flags are charging people a euro for a photo.  The administrators of the checkpoint don't want them making money off it, so they recently decided to wrap the whole thing in blue plastic, just on principle.  The American flag is still at half staff for Reagan.

I don't remember the context, but Henry somehow worked the Dirty Sanchez and the Donkey Punch into his routine.  Anyone still unfamiliar with these terms should refer to Dirty-Proverbs.com.

Most of the group went into the museum at this point, but I split off and did my own thing.

Hotel Adlon.  Recognize the balconies?  This is where Michael Jackson dangled his baby.

Brandenburg gate.

Reichstag.

I was planning a musical version of the socks announcement, but I couldn't do it at dinner tonight because the group was split inside and out, and also my voice was hoarse.  I'd have to do it at Rosie McGee's tomorrow night, knowing that the people staying in Berlin would miss it.

No Dave Morris on this tour, but still a connection to the first tour:  Becky revealed that she was a site rep at the Chateau when I was there on 9/11, and later on the same tour at Lauterbrunnen.  I was...uh...drunk at the time so I don't remember her.  (She in fact appears in one of my Lauterbrunnen photos.  Go look!)

After dinner we took the tram into town to watch the England-France Euro 2004 match at a bar.  The one Henry had recommended was too popular--it was sweltering and we couldn't get anywhere near a TV.  So we found another less-crowded bar and watched it there.  France tied it in the last minute and then won in injury time 2-1.  Fucking French.

Back at the Generator, it appeared that all the Lolitas had moved out.  The bar was empty.  Mark Stracey was singing show tunes.  There's another one who has changed.


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