Dad says the produce in Berlin in June of 2006 was disappointing, that I should pack apples with me. This can’t be right. I remember how appalled I was at the available plant matter in Bergen in December… But wow we can’t grow much of anything here in New York City in late December, either, but we have access to much more than garlic and potatoes. Is it just that Bergen can’t support the import? There is not adequate market? Perhaps. That’s the self-reinforcing cycle of culture, I guess.
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.
It’s much harder to get by without cash here in Germany than in Denmark and so I am limited to the few places that take cards until I take myself to a place that will convert the magnets on mine into euro-in-hand.
I actually think someone told me on my way to the winter trip, Scandinavia is mostly cashless, and then someone else said something—in I think the last day—about Germany being part of Scandinavia, which can…not be correct.
Can it? Let this currency business be my ass-backward proof to the contrary.
I’m liking it well enough here, I guess, but where are all the Black people? There are very, very few, and most of the ones I’ve met are African immigrants to Germany, Senegalese and Nigerian men in Michael Jordan jerseys who sell me crummy weed at exorbitant prices because they are savvy and I am wide-eyed and high on novelty and fairly begging for the authentic! cultural!! experience!!! of being taken for a ride in a strange land, plus the bassist from the band from Madagascar that played at Carnival of Cultures, and one Jamaican rapper I encountered at same, the latter of whose black-and-green-and-yellow things I gravitated to for homesickness for Flatbush, one presumes.
I guess I’ve been looking for the Black people speaking and dressed more or less like this nation’s natives. African-Prussian Vernacular German, anyone? But how does a place come to have such a population if previous residents didn’t specifically travel overseas to the African continent and kidnap and bring back and enslave and force foreign names and language on enough African people that, over generations, a new dimension of civilization eventually comes into being? I don’t know enough about this. Someone told me I’ll see more Black people in the clubs, but who are those people, and where are they the rest of the time?