Thursday, November 25, 2010

The night train, part 3 of 10

Friday: As though we are trying to score the hat trick of my research venues, Friday we head to the German Hygiene Museum. I work in the library with the friendly librarian, while DH visits the two special exhibitions, Was ist schön? (What is beautiful?) and Kraftwerk Religion (Religious Energy).  I really like the exhibit on religion, which asks all sorts of interesting questions about faith rituals, the place of religion in modern society, and the history of religion in interactive displays.  My favorite parts were a cartoon about the Reformation and the opening of the exhibition, about how people are wont to take over and trivialize other religion's faith objects (usually without malice...or consideration).  I am hoping to write a separate post on "What is beautiful?," so for now I will share the images DH took with the lens filters, in the section of perception.  Can you image opening your email only to see one of these, with the caption, "Bin ich nicht schön?" (Aren't I pretty?)??  Don't worry, what's fair is fair.  I'll share my picture in that up-coming post!

For dinner I whip up a vegetables-beans-and-potatoes dish that is becoming familiar fare for me, and we pack for the trip to Austria.  While double-checking the departure time of I train, I discover it’s 10 minutes earlier than I thought.  So I ask the Dresden public transit website to give me a new itinerary.  We catch our first bus with plenty of time.  We even have time to nab a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cup from the Subway (open until 10pm!) while waiting for the Strassenbahn.  But in the heart of town, amid the construction, we can’t find the bus to the main train station.  With increasing desperation and less than 20 minutes to go, we engage one of the taxis waiting nearby for the 5-minute ride to the station, where further confusion ensues, as we try to match our reservation to the trains listed on the board.  At last, our train, wagon, and compartment are located, but not our seatmates: the first and only luck of the night is that we each get three seats to ourselves. (We were cheap and hadn’t reserved bunks.)  I’ll spare you a blow-by-blow description of what was a fairly unpleasant ride, what with the noisy beer-drinkers in the neighboring compartments, the seemingly random conductor announcements interrupting what was for DH a sleepless night, and the fact that we hadn’t purchased a ticket for the Czech portion of our trip.  I have to admit I wasn’t entirely blindsided by this loop-hole in our travel plans, but I was mightily ticked, as I had specifically told the Deutsche Bahn ticket agent back in Dresden that we had a German-Austria Pass and wanted reservations for this train, but she never asked if we had a ticket or pass for the Czech Republic.  So we paid on the train.   At any rate, if (IF!) we ever take a night train again, we’ll certainly pony up for the Liegeplätze in the hope of more comfortable insomnia.

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