Judaism

borrowed bike

My lovely Danish cat lady host and bike-lender is pushing a healthy Danish six feet tall, so the first thing I did today was ride the borrowed bike directly to the coffee shop out of which my friend the proprietor also rents out bikes and ask him to take a wrench to its seat height for me. Then I hung around a while, getting rowdy on a latte—I guess now commences a slide back into caffeine, as everywhere there is no other choice—and advice on how to live. He told me to seek out Jewish painters and/or musicians in Berlin, that they will anchor the energy I’m out here after. He said, Danish people are like fucking ice.

the Spanish look

Okay, so, here I am again in another new country where the weather is extremely amazing, which I know better than to catalog under anything other than Dumb Luck.

A portion of a family waiting outside this cafe on goodies from within is suggesting I also visit Munich, Nuremberg, Leipzig, Dresden.

When the son/dad emerges with what all they all wanted he asks if I am Spanish.

I’m American, I say, omitting the United States of, and he says, You have the Spanish look, which I cannot help but catalog under What Germans Have to Say About What Does and Doesn’t Look Jewish. 

missing manuel

My main friend here, Manuel—the German bass for hire with the baby face I befriended on the boat across the Baltic—dropped offline for the days remaining before he disappeared back into Denmark for the weekend, which was disappointing because I wanted to party with him and also because he’d left town with my sunglasses still on his coffee table, locked inside his apartment, seventeen stories above Kreuzberg. But also I am glad to have been forced by boredom-stronger-than-fear—after these days spent in the twee Prenzlauerberg cafés and apartment, writing and hustling for my next accommodations and clinging to the internet for comfort—to investigate the city alone.
Yesterday I made a friend I didn’t like as much as Manuel, a Syrian immigrant who worked in the vegan cafe where I had two lattes with mammal milk, and we made a plan for him to show me around today, but then he canceled. Instead I went to Tempelhofer Feld in search of a hike, and now I would like a word with whoever put that on a list of hikes, because it is more like a long walk on some bricks around some fields where there once was and may or may not still be ammunition. I did however sunbathe topless (!!! woo) in one of the fields. Also on the walk to the park from the U8 station I found a tomato, so now I have a tomato. Later I bought weed for twenty dollars American from a Nigerian guy on, I think, Hermanstraße, so now I have weed. Then I FINALLY went to an ATM—it had pizza smeared all over the screen, like someone thought that was a good thing to do with their time and pizza—and with my new euro got terrible Moroccan food at a place somewhere else in Neukölln where the proprietor addressed me in Spanish and I just rolled with it. Then I followed some signs for an English-language comedy show at the bar across the street and surprised myself by having a great time. Lots of jokes about the availability of drugs in Berlin (which is, evidently, ample), and some about the German sense of humor (which is, evidently, not good). I could tell that the last comedian was a good comedian, but I hated listening to him because he talked about dating in New York City and being Jewish on the USAmerican Atlantic coast, which is not what I came to Europe to think about. The bartenders were all Italian and didn’t like me as much as I liked them. I made another friend, an Anglo-Serbian voice actor, and I might like him as much as I like Manuel (unsure), except I think that what what I thought was a wedding ring might just be a ring, so now I have to play defense. He convinced me that Belgrade is where I want to be, except again for the cigarette smoke.
In his goodbye-until-Monday note, Manuel suggested I reach out if there was trouble so he could refer me to a friend.
I said, Like what? Again, all I can think of is nuclear winter, but I’m hoping that the only real trouble will be that I can’t wear my contact lenses because I only have my prescription sunglasses, which is when you think about it a pretty good life.
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