08/14 Heidelberg, Germany

14 Aug 1985, Posted by Scott An Chora in Travelogue, No Comments.

08/14 Heidelberg, Germany


It was a perfect day for drinking beer.  We found shade within the Hafbrouhaus.  While we downed a few beers alongside a couple of pretzels, our waitress dropped a hand full of mugs behind me and they shattered on the floor.  A few pieces of glass had jumped up and cut her ankle.  Since I’m a man, it was  my job was to rescue her.  I picked her up to the humming of the crowd and carried her into the kitchen.  They brought Jim and me a free beer.  Lowenbrauhaus was next on our list and there we matched our earlier consumption.  I wandered about feeling as if had drank a couple of bottles of bourbon rather than just eight beers.  I don’t recall much about our bus ride to the local hostel.  That night we were staying in a circus tent that accommodated somewhere around five hundred of us.  I remember having a cup of hot tea, playing a few games of Ping-Pong.  I discovered that I played the game much better when I was only thinking about keeping my balance.  Jim again adopted the characteristics of the lost puppy I hadn’t seen since Norway.  This time it was a young German girl, who based on the conversation I had with her, seemed to be a few cards shy of a full deck.  Perhaps drugs were involved.  She changed her top in front of Jim exposing her womanhood and that’s all it took to put the ring in Jim’s nose.  Once it got dark I went right to sleep.  Nothing could stop me.  Sleep? It was closer to passing out.

I was awakened very early to the un-orchestrated sound of hundreds snoring and/or other assorted noises, woke Jim up to set a meeting place for later in the day and headed out towards Englisher Gardens.  Behind a cup of coffee, I watched the labor force migrate through the city in their usual day-to-day patterns.  I wandered about and eventually ended up back in the park, planted myself under a set of trees and laid for at least an hour staring at the leaves until the warm sun came peeking through.

I could spend days and days beneath these trees, just staring at its images swaying in the breeze
The colors are brilliant, the patterns run wild and inside I’m laughing, a passionate child

Sun worshippers gathered along the canal that ran through the park waiting on the sun, waiting to discard their clothes.  Following my eyes, I migrated a little closer but let me warn you, people that have bodies that looked like that shouldn’t be allowed to walk around in public like that, it was scary.  It was a warm day and the water began to look more and more inviting. I was in need of a shower anyway, so I joined in, laid my clothes alongside its bank and went for a quick swim.  I’ve never been comfortable walking around in my bathing suit so once I was dry, almost dry the clothes went right back on.  It felt good to relax and I enjoyed doing nothing.  Our scheduled train ride was not that far off and I needed to track down Jim before the day ended.  I watched Jim and his new friend from a distance.  It was like this young German girl had put a spell on him.  The three of us took a walk back through the park toward the train station.  When we reached the main boulevard, we grabbed a set of chairs and spent our remaining time watching the pedestrians.  We said our good-byes and headed into Nurnberg.

I can sympathize with the locals.  I too would be upset if my streets and hangouts were infiltrated with foreign military personnel.  G.I. Joe was everywhere and not always on their best behavior.  The hostel we sought was an old converted castle that overlooked the city.  Everybody who checked in before we arrived found the grass hill out front as the place to hang out.  We decided to trek into the city rather than hang around.  Along our journey we came across a small church, ordinary in almost every sense, until I came across a wooded crucifixion that drew my attention.  I stood there and stared at Jesus, as if I were unconscious to time.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had been there before.  The pictures that ran through my mind were like seeing a river meeting the ocean for the first time.  They were a combination of clarity and disturbance coming together to create random patterns of emotions.  That image along with the undefined feeling remained in my head for some time.

We checked in among a group of young girls, yea schoolgirls.  There was one with a body Pygmalion would have been jealous of, a beauty, sporting her innocents amongst the men.  What fantasies she could spin.  Tempting thoughts ran through my mind, what would she see in me anyway?  Once we locked up our belongings we set out to find ourselves some nightlife.  There were few places that had live music and few assorted characters but really nothing to write home about.  After curfew we got into a game of cards alongside a coke machine in what I’d term as a game room.  A young lady recognized me from the hostel in Interlaken.  I was not surprised I didn’t recognize her.  Everything outside my hiking incident was a blur.  The conversation eventually chased me off to bed but in the horizontal position I discovered I wasn’t really tired.  I decided to wander about the castle searching in places I knew I wasn’t allowed.  I had opened a door on the tenth floor that lead to a pillar of stairs.  I found a beautiful spot to enjoy the guitar.  The acoustics were wonderful.  I convinced myself that I actually sounded pretty good.  I played gibberish until my eyes began to get tired and then crawled back off to bed.

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    Usually behind a cup of coffee waiting for the world around me to wake up I entered today’s thoughts about yesterday’s activities into my travel journal. I’m not a writer, so I’ll apologize in advance if I jump around or seem confused. These are just the thoughts of a young man who left his possessions behind and who believes that getting lost is how one finds oneself.

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