Friday, 19 August 2011

Back in Berlin

I like Germany. Some people can be pretty harsh about it. AA Gill wrote a particularly bitter thing titled 'The Hunforgiven'. But for me, the only thing remotely Gothic about this oasis of calm, of bicycles occasionally gliding by, of sitting in the same bar with the same people in it eating the same sausage pondering only the minor idiosyncracies of the shower, the toilet and the locks, and dreading only the effort of climbing those four flights of stairs up to our apartment, is the gutteral accent. It feels mighty comfortable. Mind you of course, for AA Gill comfortable is probably trecking through Kalahari without so much as a Bitburger. Pathologically calm, yep that's this place, Charlottenburg Berlin, seen far too much fuss ever to be interested again. It positively seethes 'leave me alone'.....burger off!
But I'm supposed to start on The Goth's for my 'Unauthorized History of Architecture' and the distinct lack of wandering violent hoards is not exactly inspiration. They're all back in England. When Gibbon first found himself in the ruins of the Roman forum 'just after vespers' he recalls, he was transported by the image of the ancients, enraptured by what was missing. Guess I'll have to get more in to the spirit of it, and less comfortably numb.

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