28 May 2007

Aachen: a dialogue

Upon leaving the train station, I saw a sign for the Dom and Rathaus, and went in that direction fot a bit before deciding to turn.
It's raining today, and there's no one in the streets.

Part First, in German
Self, to young woman wearing horse-riding pants: Bitte, where is the Dom?
Fraulein: (makes pfft noise and directs me to the right, the left, and then right again.)
Self: ok, danke.

Part Second, in English
Self: Do you speak a little English?
Fraulein: yes, a little.
Self: Is today a holiday?
Fraulein: yes.
Self: What is the occasion?
Fraulein: Ah, this is kind of difficult to explain. It has to do with the Holy Ghost. He is supposed to come today or something.
Self: danke.

So, -10 points for being a bad Catholic, and also for forgetting that the day after Pentecost is also a holiday. -10 more points for not realizing this earlier when I saw that the post office in Köln was closed, or when I got to Aachen and saw all of the stores were closed beyond the normal Monday-closedness.

I write this in a bakery while eating something magical called butterstreussel and having a cup of coffee on Willy-Brandt-Platz.

...Slightly later, having another coffee because I can't get into the Dom until 12:30: This is kind of turning into a comedy of errors. All I want to do is see this Charlemagne-built church, and that's about all that's even possible today owing to the holiday. I've taken the scenic route through Aachen to get here, and if I felt like walking another 5,5km through the rain, I could also go to Vaals, which is in the Netherlands. However, walking 5,5km through the rain is slightly too Pride and Predjudice for my taste at the moment.

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