Friday, January 06, 2006

Nuremburg I

I left Berlin not really having seen much of anything. Sure, I had a great time, and I saw stuff, but not nearly as much as I wanted. I’m afraid I fell victim to the amenities of the Adrema. I found myself addicted to Sadam’s trial and a huge shower with hours of hot water (that is not to say that I was somehow in need of a hot shower after watching said trial coverage—that is not to say that at all). I rolled into town around 6 p.m. Unlike the directions David’s of Berlin gave me, I found the Lett M Sleep Hostel very easily. It is located inside the old medieval city walls and about 400 meters from the train station (or one Underground stop), right next to the wall, in fact. I checked in, paid 3 euros for sheets (why didn’t I bring my bag?), and 30 euros for 2 nights. I was assigned a bed in the all-female dorm, “Vive La Trance” (I have no idea).
After spending close to $400 in Berlin, I was eager to pinch as many pennies possible, and headed, next, to a grocery for supplies. I picked up some cream cheese (!), deli meat (!), bread, a couple mangos, a couple tomatoes (the veggie section was less than spectacular), chocolate, and sour cream and onion chips (!). I didn’t realize how much I was missing certain items in France.
Getting to the supermarket, I had exited the city walls and walked around them. turning, I decided to walk along the inside. The inside perimeter is quite and dark. Not scary, but peaceful. I was enjoying a few chips and the fresh night air when I almost walked into a black patent stripper heel dangling on a toe connected to a bare leg hanging out of a window. I looked up to see a half-naked woman falling out of her bra, smoking a cigarette, and glaring at me. She heard someone coming and thought I might be a potential client. I snapped out of my little world and looked up and down the wall. I was not alone in the street. It was full of loitering men avoiding eye contact with each other and horrified to see me. In the buildings opposite the wall, scantily clad women were hanging out of every first and ground floor window. One block was home to young white girls dressed as everything from a naughty Christmas elf, to school girls, school marms, and Bavarian barmaids. The next housed black women wearing white and fluorescent colors under a black light, after that, a mish mash of the old and toothless, to the fat and ugly. I was compelled to stop, at one point—against my better judgement, and stare as an old whore with tits around her waist attempted to mount a bar stool. She kept (in vain) jumping to hoist herself up, and in doing so, launching her breasts over her shoulders, a couple times coming close to hitting her chin. I found myself, mouth agape, gawking at this woman for several seconds, until a man, eyes averted, bolted across my path. Um…er, eeww.
I dropped off my food at the hostel and headed to the famous Christmas market in the center of town. The thing is, it’s not really in the center of town. It is in every part of town—okay not the red light district part of town, but everywhere else. Booths and booths, block after block. All carrying homemade arts, ornaments, nativity and dollhouse furnishings, flowers, vegetables, food, food, and more food. Oddest of all? Little doll-type people made of dates, prunes, and walnut shells mounted on round chips of wood. Thousands of them every two or three booths. Apparently, they are unique to Nuremburg, and each one handmade by the proprietor of the booth from which they are sold. They ranged in price from 2.50 euros to 30 euros for intricate wedding toppers and were clothed in quilting scraps, with hair, button noses, etc. At first glance, I was horrified by these little novelties, but after shopping around for them, I think they are adorable. After finishing my souvenir shopping* I headed back to the hostel for a mango and bed.

*I typically stay away from buying souvenirs—especially when backpacking. There just isn’t the space. Also, I really find it hard to justify spending money on crap to give as gifts to other people. Postcards and pictures: that’s my motto. But as this was Christmas, and as several people I know have always wanted to see the Nuremburg Market, I did splurge a little.


Blogger Serena said...

Why, yes, that would be a dog atop an accordian being played by a drunk Santa.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

That's funny. I can see myself wandering through the red light district and never catching on...

3:53 PM  

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