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Day Eleven - A brush with fame!

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Day Eleven – A brush with fame!

Firstly, I apologise to my readers for not keeping up to speed with my travels here. As most of you know, that massive moment was approaching where I would get an audience with the woman I had fallen in love with and stayed in touch with for twenty-three years. The original plan felt like a farce—nine months of talking and planning to take Urszula and her daughter on a holiday around Eastern Europe. We were to keep things simple and work out, after all this time, if we had anything to follow up on, thousands of texts, e-mails, and phone calls between us. Nothing with Urszula is simple.

The trip I booked changed three times. I booked the original holiday for one month, and the more we talked about it, the more Urszula insisted it wouldn’t be long enough together. Could I possibly change it to three? A month's holiday is a different animal than three months, and it meant considerable change for me in Australia to arrange to be gone for this extended period. It was also a very different equation money-wise. It would mean I might have to seek work in Europe, which Urszula encouraged. I considered the time extension a massive step towards me and that she was seriously considering a future together. I know how this felt when I heard these words for the first time. I don’t think my heart could have grown any more significant. I remember crying in this moment, such happy tears!

I changed my tickets about a month out from the trip, and everything seemed to be proceeding when Urszula dropped the bombshell on me. About two weeks before I was to leave, she cancelled the whole trip. “Don’t come,” she said. I said, “I am booked to come and have made bookings for the first part of the trip. Are you not meeting me at the airport, like we planned? “No, Andy, I’m going to look after a friend's animals in another city.”

My world fell apart that day in late July. I had dreamed of meeting this woman at an airport for twenty-three years. It wasn’t just one dream about it, but many. There were hugs, tears, and realisation and a combination of all the years apart finally getting their chapter. Now, the chief editor had put a line through the whole thing. What was I supposed to do? Not go to Poland because I can no longer see the woman I have been in love with. The woman who I thought I was waiting for. The woman who said she loved me.

Urszula was ghosting me moments before getting on the plane to see her. I talked to the influential women in my life, and they all said the same thing. That no matter what, I needed to go to Poland. If anything, to bury the ghost. And if you fly all the way there, and she still doesn’t give you an audience, you have your answer anyway. A woman who truly loves you will not deny you the opportunity to meet, even if it is to say goodbye to them.

Urszula did grant me an audience. It’s tomorrow (17th August). When I landed, she contacted me in Warsaw and wished me a good holiday in Poland. I texted, ‘Where are you,’ and she replied, ‘Zaniemyśl.’ I searched, and it was a two-hour drive from Warsaw. This was the closest I had physically been to her since I left her at Poznan airport in 2000. I was going out of my mind. Was it an invitation that would mean cancelling all the booked plans, or did I ignore what she told me? For someone who had royally mucked me around like she had, I decided to keep travelling and not be tempted by the short drive. I was going on the holiday WE planned together so that she could watch and read about it.

That’s enough foreshadowing for tomorrow’s entry; we are up to the day before I am to travel from Berlin to meet Urszula in Zaniemyśl.

I did consider a few nightclubs to go dancing in in Berlin, though after I had been to DEVO the night before and climbed eighty steps to my Airbnb, the legs and feet were a little tired of the shoes I usually boogie in. Age is a bitch, kids, so get all the physical stuff out of the way before you start eating dinner at 5 pm and going to bed by 7.30 pm. I was at the kitchen table making a coffee and working on my blog and chatted with Katharina about where it was good to go clubbing. I understand that she likes techno music, which, if you’re not up with all kinds of dance music these days, think music, but everything is sped up to exceed 140 beats per minute. The 1980s had this part down-pat, and you went and danced to the music they played on the radio, so pop music. It was loud, and you all knew and sang the lyrics and did all the actions to the most ridiculous (but significant) dancing tunes.

I explained to Katharina I knew a little more than the average punter when it came to dance music, so we discussed a few clubs that would play the dark trance that German clubs pioneered. She pulled a few faces at some of them, and I couldn’t tell if that meant I’d find them weird or that they would think it was strange that I was going to one. She laughed and said, “Oh, you should try “Kit Kat!” I decided to Google it. Okay, kids, it’s time for bed.

I could yell out and say what this nightclub is about, but you may find a review of this place more attractive. Two women, both gorgeous friends, go to the Kit Kat club, and the man at the door says they can’t come in because they are wearing too much. So they dare each other in this club lobby (not on the street) to get much more naked. It wasn’t a creepy place, and this step to gain entry felt like a rite of passage. After both women were suitably undressed, though not wholly naked (which is also an option), they entered this club that was heaving with semi and nude people. The rules and the conduct of this club, in terms of both sexes not inappropriately touching one another, were enforced, but the women claimed it was the safest they have felt in any club in Europe. They had the best time, and whilst they said they wouldn’t make the Kit Kat club their go-to, they said you should definitely go and dance there once!

I couldn’t wait to go there and take my shirt off next to all those young men who spent all day in the gym. I have seen myself naked plenty of times, and it scares the bejesus out of me. Did I not have the insane courage and inhibition to go and rock the Kasbah? Pancakes for breakfast, or pancakes displayed in what might seem a tasteful man’s G-string from the front. Had I flown all this way to attend a modern Roman orgy? Or was the initial brief to “go dancing” a little better defined than going to the same club wearing hardly anything? Some parts of the travel blog will naturally have gaps. I don’t remember going to this club at all.

I walked the streets of Berlin during the day with my head full of what would happen tomorrow when I drove to meet Urszula. I had booked the whole trip until this day, leaving the rest open for something else to materialise magically—the hopeless romantic in me. I have been averaging about 15km of walking daily, so it’s excellent that Berlin is so flat. I stopped at an English Pub (of all things) and found a seat at a table outside. The UK bar manager spoke with a Northerner accent but carried the wrong attitude like someone had forced him to do this job. Not “Can I help you?” but “Whaddya want!” I think he thought he was funny or endearing. Tosser is a word I would use for him. He tried to make fun of me ordering a wine instead of a beer. One is fermented grapes, and one is fermented hops, though I passed on any discourse with said tosser about anything scientific. I did contemplate not staying there, but the seat was in a prime position on the street, and I sensed something would happen if I stayed.

I enjoy seeing or meeting famous people. I’m in Berlin; I don’t think anyone in history wandering past me would cause much interest, except for that moustached guy they don’t talk about. I keep hearing John Cleese, as Basil Faulty, saying, “Don’t mention the war!” The place had filled up outside when a table appeared next to me and four chairs. These three young men sat down, and I said, “Oh yeah, the privileged few?” the nearest one replied, “Not really; we asked for a table outside, so he moved it for us.” And smiled.

It's hard not to be part of the conversation when they sit you this close, and my interest perked up when they said two things. “The bass player was sitting over there, and the manager was buying all the drinks.” So I’m seated with part of the band, and one of significance as who drinks in a pub with their manager? I should have ripped open my shirt and offered a felt pen to inscribe something on my chest, but I know they are tough to read (especially phone numbers) in a nightclub mirror at 3:00 a.m.

I barged into their conversation to find out they were all from Sweden. I haven’t had enough Vodka for them to be ABBA, so I skirt around other subjects with them about their story. They are not forthcoming with who they are but want to discuss the similarities between Swedish people and antipodeans like me. I think I showed their band manager's geographical knowledge when I said I could see Sweden from my visit to the Baltic Sea and Niechorze, to which he agreed. The band's guitarist laughed and said he’s a good manager as long as he doesn’t have to work out where we are going! We both roared about that. A few more drinks, and I managed to pry out of them who they were—the Flavians. You can check them out on YouTube if you’re into Indie rock. I told their lead singer, okay, so if I ever rock up at one of your gigs, I’ll need a backstage pass. I will inform security to get a message to you and say, It’s f*cking Andy from Berlin. They laughed and shook on the deal!

Now, you’d think that was the best part of the night. Nope. For the first time in my life, drinking at any establishment on this planet, I have had. A barman (aka the Tosser) told me I was talking too loud. He said they must consider their neighbours. There is “doof” music thumping two doors down from us and plenty of street and crowd noise, and apparently, my voice is louder than all of that. It was hilarious. I laughed too loudly and could tell the tosser man was about to blow a fuse. So I walked inside to settle my bill, though I did consider I could easily outrun the rotund custodian. “You only had two wines,” he scorned, to which I replied in a calm voice, “I’d rather have had none here.” he replied, “What?” and I said, “You can hear me from when I’m sitting outside, but you can’t hear me when I’m standing in front of you?” He buried his face in the till with my change. “Probably might pay to get something to correctly measure noise if your hearing is the problem. Goodnight and I will never be back.”

End of Day Eleven.

Posted by Andy_in_Europe 18:57 Archived in Germany

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