sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

January 7, 2016

What I Remember About Cologne

Filed under: Europe, immigration, politics — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 2:11 pm

The year was 1998, I think, and I was backpacking through Europe alone.  I took a train from Berlin and came out of the Cologne Hauptbanhof (a fun word, I love it).

I walked out of the train station and found myself in front of the majestic Gothic cathedral.  It’s generally considered the best in Germany, but by then I had seen so many Gothic churches that they were all becoming one giant pointy swirl.

cologne-640x480_zpsseucxzff

A sleek, modern train station across from the medieval cathedral on a clod, wet night is exactly how I remember the city.  The picture above accompanied several stories about the New Years Eve sexual assaults on indigenous women by migrants in Germany

I walked to my hostel which was just a block or two away.  I stayed there overnight and before going to bed spent some time smoking cigarettes and consuming modest amount of alcohol with the hostel’s German owner and some British guy who’d been staying there for a long time.  The German guy was nice enough, but the Brit was an annoying prick, not because of any kind of a male-female issue; he was simply a prick.

I had only two weeks of vacation left, and I was lonely and tired of Germany.  The following day I took a train to Belgium and from there a boat to the UK where I met up with a cousin.

My daughter will never have an experience like that.

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