No, I didn't post anything yesterday. That's because it was Sunday. There was nothing to post. Sundays in Berlin are the Dead Zone.
First off, nothing is open. At least, nothing retail. The museums are open, of course, and they're packed to the gills, which is actually a good thing. To live in a place where people consider museums important to visit whether or not they have a blockbuster like the visit of New York's Museum of Modern Art to the Neue Nationalgalerie is, I think, a very good sign. There are flea-markets, but the one near me, threading along the bank of the Spree River on Museum Island, isn't nearly as good as it was when all the old East German stuff was in all the booths. I got my Mitropa pasta bowls there -- calculated to bring a grin to any German who eats here, thanks to memories of the food on the East German railroads -- for a couple of bucks apiece, and passed on more good stuff than I really want to think about, including great old signs for Berliner Pilsner.
Second, if it's nice weather, Berliners flock to the great outdoors. Actually, I suspect that the ancient nature religion never really left the Germans. They revere trees -- and number them in the parks and on the sidewalks so that there must be some repository somewhere that will, in the great German bureaucratic tradition, identify any tree in town. (Not that this stopped them from cutting down a whole pocket park just south of Friedrichstr. station and putting up a mammoth empty building nobody will rent for years and years, but that's another story). They also tend to take off their clothes a lot in sunny parks, a far less appealing thing than it might sound at first. So much sizzling flesh laid out on the grass isn't something I want to do on a Sunday.
Third, the few people I still know here will be elsewhere. There won't be any nightlife because everyone will be getting ready for the week ahead. Everyone, that is, except me.
Because my weekend lasts a bit longer, even when I'm working, which I'm not at the moment. I deal with the U.S., where the weekend lasts until 9am New York time and then rolls across the country. That means that the West Coast isn't awake until 6pm Monday, my time.
Which has made today even more frustrating: Compuserve died sometime yesterday, a fact Andy Horn reported to me today. The office in Munich assured him it'd go back up "during the course of the day," but the failure is in the U.S., and they couldn't even hazard a guess when that course would start. So I can't pick up e-mail to answer so that people will find it when they get into work today.
Add to that the fact that my phone is off for the want of €144.52. I can get incoming calls, but can't call out. I have to restore my service as quickly as possible, and for that to happen, one of the guys who bought my stuff on eBay has to pay up. Oh, and the work I did last week in a hurry for Kevin has to pay off. Kevin called at noon, and swore he'd be here by 1:30. Unfortunately, I knew what that meant, and I was right: he pulled in at 3, too late for me to go to the bank and pay the phone bill so that I could fax them the receipt and get the ball rolling. It'll be ten days before they turn the outgoing phone back on in any event, a little power-play Telekom uses to remind its customers who's boss. Fortunately, the DSL, being run by a different wing of the company, stays on a little longer. Oh, and there's the PayPal problem: I have $100 sitting in a PayPal account, but I never got any notification of it. Somehow, I blew the password and so it denied me access. Now I have to set up another account, but first I have to cancel the one I have and they have to transfer the money into the new one. But I can't assign my bank account to the new one til they cancel the old one. I asked them just how I'm going to get this done, and they may have answered but...I can't get my e-mail because Compuserve is down.
If I lose my phone and my DSL, I might as well just jump in front of a train. But Telekom doesn't care, Compuserve doesn't care, and so all I can do is sit here and type my frustrations out, hoping that something will give before I do.
Suspenseful, ain't it?
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Sunday's here in Britain are also lousy. I dread Sunday coming around and usually force myself to sleep to get the day over with.
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