Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Riots? Oh no, just a street fair!

Ah, writing.

Today I am moving notes 64-79 (so far) from my digital recorder into the written Word. One that I want to share with you is a conversation we had in Berlin with the Hotel desk clerk. I swear to you this is true and not embellished.

May first is riot day in Berlin.

We come back from a day of tourism and see Beya and her husband in the lobby. We ask them about their day and they ask about ours and we notice they have suitcases with them.

"Oh, we're leaving the hotel. Each year on this date there are riots in this area so we're moving a safer distance away. Like, outside the city."

How fascinating.

Wendy goes up to the desk clerk and asks about the impending riots.

“Breakfast? Oh yes, we will have breakfast right over here in the morning.”
“No, no. Riots.”
“Yes, because there are demonstrations near here. We heard they sometimes riot in this area."

“Ohhh. No, no no, that’s just a street fair." Pauses. "But sometimes they get violent after midnight but generally it’s just a street fair.”

“So, we’ll be fine here?”

“Well, sometimes they come up here" and he punches his fist into his hand "and we fight, but generally it's just a street fair with music.”

So of course, since we are insane, that night, Wendy and I head into the thick of it.

We have a great time until things appear to be spiraling out of control and head back towards our hotel. As we are leaving, an army of police officers are descending on the area we were just in. Okay, it wasn't an army. more like a platoon. We walked ten minutes and didn't get to the end of the line of police sttreaming into where we just exited.

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