On the subject of dissatisfaction... I'm feeling really antsy for no good reason. Of course, I have papers to write and to grade, exams to prepare and all that, but I'm not feeling stressed about them. I am naturally feeling procrastinatory, but what I really want is to have some totally random, totally surreal, totally weird experience, like I often do when in Europe. Last trip, it was the squatter bar. In my Cologne year, it was so many things... Amsterdam and stumbling around the red light district with Dan, Aachen and the Feuerzangenbowle, that one night I was out with Dan and Crispy and we ended up in some swanky bar doing really sweet shots, (my birthday that year was the underbelly-bad-version of this phenomenon). In Hamburg it was also a lot of nights... any choice of Kiez nights, stumbling to the Fischmarkt at dawn or going to the Golden Pudel the first time, or that night with the white wine and the boys from RLH or, even, translating Red Hot Chili Peppers at 3 in the morning with a totally un-surreal Spießer-boy.

I read about things like Ruby Town and the bizarre-o things that happen there (thanks, Paul, to whom I link quite often) and I wonder why everything here seem to have to be done under the auspices of a university or everything needs to be already established as Important or be, at the very least, easily digestible to be shown as art. I'm no huge art buff, but I do really appreciate the kind of mild discomfort encouraged in the art world I've glimpsed in Germany. The cool thing about it is that you can go and have these surreal experiences without much effort at finding your own surreality. Here even the supposed bastions of the avant-garde aren't even avant-garde any more.

To do something here that gives the same surreal feeling, the same kind of out-of-body feeling, you have to go a little more out of your way, a little more into territories that seem less safe. Maybe I feel this way about Germany because of its unavoidable foreignness. No matter how well I know the place, it's still going to be foreign, barring exceptional circumstances like moving there and staying forever. But even then. But what I mean is that no matter how normal the things I do there would seem in Boston, say, they seem odd because of the inherent foreignness of being there. I mean, I could maybe seek out some underground bar in Chinatown and have that same feeling, but I'm not at all sure it would be safe.

I wonder if it is just this city that is staid and rubber-stamped and whether I'm getting more boring and old because of it.

Or maybe I just need to write my papers and stop whining. Or just go get trashed somewhere weird tonight.

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