City of Sadness

Nicholas Quirke was aware that he had deliberately sabotaged his body clock and though he woke at his usual 5.30 am he discovered an immense weariness overcame him and unable to get out of bed he went back to sleep. When he finally rose at 8 and was amused by some of the Objects D’Art their host had populated the apartment with, he felt refreshed. After a bath and some reading he set of to explore the Eberswalder Strasse area in search of some travelling essentials. He found the Germans engaging and friendly and managed to share  laugh with a couple of the people he conversed with. The sunshine helped fuel his sense of bonhomie and it was in this spirit he set off to enjoy the enticing surroundings of the Tajikistan Tearooms. He was expecting to experience a delicious tea drinking session, but after locating this beautifully situated cafe he was naturally disappointed to discover it was shut and didn’t open till 4pm. Despite his plans being thwarted and few minor upsets to his agenda he managed over his lunch in Humus and friends, to set more plans in motion. His first stop was at the impressive Brandenburg Gate and spent some time trying to visualize the Berlin Wall in place and feel the devastating effects such a intrusion into the city must have had on the citizens either side. He then walked to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of  Europe and again felt the overwhelming emptiness the Holocaust Tower had left him with. Being in city where a race had been expunged, had been rounded up and taken to death camps filled him with a deep misery. This state of mind was not alleviated by his visit to to The Monument to Homosexuals persecuted and murdered under National Socialism where he pondered the sad history of this city, a City that in the Thirties had represented liberty and fun and decadence. The final memorial to the horror of National Socialism was to the murdered Sinti and Roma people. He enjoyed some relaxing time in the Tiergarten and paid a visit to the Reichstag before heading back to the Tearooms where he and Kim would eat before the Theatre. They really were exquisite, and anywhere that made you remove your shoes and where you sat on the floor to eat held a great appeal for him. It was a delicious meal and when they finally left Nicholas had high hopes for the play they would see at the almost unpronounceable Schaubuhne Theatre, ‘Returning to Reims’. Anything had to be better than the tedium they had endured the night before. It ws not and easy journey and they got lost at the last hurdle and were 5 minutes late. The box office had closed and it seemed impossible to get the tickets he had bought. The play however had not started and Nicholas managed to rein in his rage when the lady at the box Office finally opened and said ‘ You should not leave it so late’. How condescending and such a comment would normally have elicited a tart and furious response but he let it go. The play was an intense political  and social history as well as an analysis of the march of the far right across Europe, it forced him think and he enjoyed it but really he wanted something light and frothy.  He felt drained by the feelings of Sadness he had felt during the day and it was with some relief that he closed the doors on the world and took himself to bed.

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