never forget

7/13/10   –   21:50

I told you today’s day-trip to Dachau was going to be a sobering trip. And it was. Maybe I should have done it after going to the Agustiner Brauhaus biergarten across the street from the hostel. I’m feeling a little awesome, but nothing to inhibit a serious portrayal of today’s events. I’m feeling bullets for this post. Haven’t done one of those in a while.

– Woke up around 8 and set out to go see the Deutsches Museum which is pretty much the largest science museum I have ever set foot in. It has fully interactive displays, lots of old things, and lots of new things in almost every area of the sciences you can think of. If you’ve ever been to the Museum of Discovery and Science in Ft. Lauderdale, picture that. But with 6 floors and probably about 15 times bigger. I had 3 hours there and I still couldn’t get past everything. By the way, Jesse, if you’re reading this, I took some pictures of the aeronautics exhibit for you because I know you could spend hours in there by itself. Full scale models! Oh and they had a Foucault’s pendulum in the middle of a spiral staircase. Ballin’.

– In the museum they had a room full of all the inventions that won awards for the “future of innovation” or something like that and one of them was a device called Verbmobil that automatically translated things spoken over the phone. I saw the little movie they attached to the exhibit showing it in action and I feared for my job. But I think machines will never get to that point where they can intuitively take over the job of an interpreter and translator. Still, though. These machines are giving me a run for my money.

– Afterwards, I went shopping for lunch, which was a pretzel, some passion fruit-peach [passion peach? passion pit?] yogurt, and a bottle of Mezzo Mix. I first tasted Mezzo Mix, which is a mix of cola with a slight orange twist, at the Coke station at Epcot. And I can now verify that they do indeed drink a lot of Mezzo Mix in Germany, which means that Epcot wasn’t lying. And this also means that there is Vegita Beta in Japan, manzana Fanta in Latin America, and watermelon soda in China! Oh, carbonated beverages. Your variety is stunning and makes me wish they served more kinds in America. Speaking of which, Germany has its own ridiculously awesome kind of Fanta that they don’t serve in the states. It’s even better than orange fanta because it’s TANGERINE fanta. Oh lord. I love tangerines and I love tangerine fanta. Good job, Europe. You need to export these flavors to the US, I’d buy you out of business.

– Lots of this entry is going to be focused on food, because it’s a lot less depressing than when I get to Dachau. But yeah. German food is so heavy. I don’t know how these people do it. It’s a lot heavier and somewhat greasier than the fare in southern Europe but it tastes great, nonetheless. I really wish I could remember the names but it’s so hard because they’re all just so long and there are little to no cognates. ;_; There’s lots of potatoes and lots of wurst which, contrary to how the name sounds, is sort of the best. I passed by a shop called Lord of Wurst and it made me lawl.

– I went to lunch at the Viktualien Market, which also made me lawl because it has the word ‘alien’ in it. [Don’t judge me]. There are about a million kiosks there selling all sorts of bread and sausage and I ordered a [get ready for this]: Kartoffelsalat und Munchner bratwurstl mit susser senf . The susser senf was the best part. It’s a sweet sort of mustard and I feel like it would taste good with pretty much everything.

– In the middle of Marienplatz is a carillon tower [like Century Tower at UF] and at 11, noon, and 5, it plays and there are figures that dance in and around the tower. There’s also a simulated joust with the figurines and the Austrian always loses to the Bavarian knight. I almost forgot that I’m going to be learning how to play Century Tower in the fall. Haha. I guess it fits that I made a pilgrimage to one of these rare instruments.

– I also stopped by an ice cream place to get some himbeer ice cream which sounds horrible because beer ice cream just doesn’t sound like a good idea. Luckily, the word for ‘beer’ in German is bier. Beer means berry and himbeer is raspberry. I love raspberry ice cream.

– They sell tiny 0,25 liter baby bottles of Jager. It’s pretty much the most b’awwwwwww thing ever and I think I’m going to buy one tomorrow. Yes. This segues into the fact of the day. The word for ‘liquor store’ in German is Getränkemarkt. This is funny because it is pronounced like saying: “get-drunk-market”, which is the entire purpose of the establishment.

So the title song is a Bulgarian song about how this woman wants her lover to come home from the war, and this is the second movement from Poulenc’s flute sonata. Whenever I performed this one, I always thought that it should be in a movie like Schindler’s List or something. Here’s its time to shine in all its heartbreakingly depressing glory.

World War II left a whole bunch of scars on Germany’s land and people. Munich itself has shrapnel scars and bullet marks on its older buildings. The rest of them, about 70% of the city, being completely destroyed during the fighting. [This isn’t even the worst of it. The most destroyed city was Warsaw, followed by Manila.]

Dachau was the first concentration camp and although it was more of a work camp than an extermination camp, it served as the model for death centers like Auschwitz. The grounds contain a museum, several exhibits, models of the barracks, and the original crematoria and gas chambers. It was really creepy stuff walking around inside the gas chamber and the prison [within the prison].

There were just horrible things going on. I mean. We probably all read Elie Wiesel’s Night in high school at some point and that gave you a good idea of what went down, but seeing the grounds with your own eyes is a different matter. I can’t imagine being one of the American liberators. They had videos of all the bodies piled up on each other playing in the museum and it creeped me the fsck out. Reading the explanation of the human experiments was probably the worst part for me. They did a whole series of tests, intentionally giving inmates malaria and phlegmon. There were worse ones done for the Luftwaffe [german airforce]. There was one experiment with hypothermia where prisoners were placed in ice water to see which of their organs stopped first. And  to simulate the conditions at high altitudes, the doctors placed inmates in a room and lowered the pressure to experiment ith the formation of an air bolus in the brain. They had photos of the inmates during the experiments and I almost couldn’t take it. 1940s-50s expeirmental medicine freaks me out so much.

After touring the whole complex, I sat down outside the museum and unwrapped my pretzel. However, I felt like I was committing a wrong to the universe by stuffing my face where so many people starved to death. I waited until I got on the bus.

~

Back in Munich, I decided to chill at the hostel for a bit before going to another biergarten. I got another stein of Agustiner Hell Lager [Yeah. That’s the name] that was bigger than my head and got more bratwurst with sauerkraut. I’m still full from the meal and I’m really tired.

Tomorrow is Fussen and hopefully I can go get to see the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles without a reservation. We’ll see how that works out.

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