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I wanted to see someone in a viking hat

Written on: Friday October 5th, 2007

A journal entry from: Fall for Germany

so, before I go on another long weekend, I wanted to update my blog.

 I've been resting this week, trying to recover from the 8 day trip, yet here I am at 2am updating my blog 2.5 hours before leaving another trip.

 Wednesday was a day off for German Reunification, so I slept in before my friends came over so we could plan our long weekend and start planning our other long weekend and 12 day travel.  Pretty much everything was crazy expensive (and no wonder because we were planning a trip 2 days away).  Vienna (Wien) has been a place I've been wanting to go for a while and it was one of the more feasible options to go to (not insanely expensive and not too far away) but most people were trying to keep a super small budget for the weekend and backed out.  I thought about it, but I don't see any other time to go and I really want to go here... so Mike and I leave in about 2.5 hours to catch a bus to catch a flight to find a bus pass to find our hostel to explore Wien.  

 On Thursday, we went to see Heckmann's Kommt ein Mann zur Welt in Duesseldorf.  It was really good.  First off, I understood most of the play because we had all read it and discussed a good portion of it, and second, it was produced really nicely.  I did have one major annoyance with it though: the sound board was operated by the actors on stage.  For most of the play, this was no problem.  There was one girl that was obviously in charge of it and it was handled fairly discreetly.  Until the last line.  She happened to have the last line and I felt like she cut off her words and then ran to the sound board to start (or maybe it was stop) music.  There was no savoring and thinking about these last words because she was off and running.  There was some random German dancing, bubbles and smoke during a part of the play where the main character becomes famous singing a song called Bruno's Lied (which made me want to get out of my seat and pop a few bubbles.  I restrained myself), and a lot of laughing.  While we were reading in class, Whisnant helped explain some of the jokes and some of it was more obvious on stage.  Other things we completely missed (like one of the chorus speaking as capitalism, something at least 2 of us were specifically looking for) and some parts were played up with physical humor that transcends language.  Oh, and just for clarification (Whisnant thinks I didn't make this clear in the last blog when I said Fassbinder was the only play I had understood so far), I volunteered to go to Medea which we had never read.  Don Karlos was still forced on me, though.

 Today i didn't have class, but we went to Koeln.  We had a guided tour of the Opera House (which was semi-interesting, but I've toured a lot of stages and stuff.  I have some cool pictures though) and then saw Nozze di Figaro.  It was beautiful music, beautiful costumes, beautiful set, beautiful language... and I didn't understand a word of it.  That's ok, it was in Italien.  There was a running translation into German projected overhead, but I didn't understand that very well either.  It helped some and I understood the main plot of what was going on.  I really liked it, but it was long and I knew I had to get up early so I was kinda anxious for it to be over.  And I kinda wanted to see some fat lady in a viking hat and braids.  It is the opera.  I did, however, understand why soap operas are named after operas.  It felt a little bit like watching the heartache and backstabbing of your garden variety teen drama (the soap opera of my generation).  One Tree Hill... The O.C.... Gray's Anatomy....   

 Ok, now for Wien.