||[Oct. 14th, 2015|01:23 am]
Despite the quite sensible raft of "oh that's so cool!" I've gotten from family and friends about the vacation so far, it's been a somewhat rough start.
I want to like travel, I really do. I want to be that kind of person that's interested in other places and cultures and things, and is resilient and flexible and open to new blah blah blah, but the truth is I find it really challenging to squeeze out enjoyment that actually counterweighs the sleep deprivation and difficulty other meeting basic life needs ("being able to purchase food when I am actually hungry", "having a peaceful place to sit and think by myself") and so on and so forth. That being said, challenging oneself is healthy, I guess. It's just... more like eating one's vegetables than taking a vacation so far.
I might not be quite so grumpy if a couple of logistical happenstances hadn't gone negative in the first day, and indeed things may go quite a bit better tomorrow, just by regression to the mean or whatever. We got unlucky with the weather: about 5degC and drizzling most of the day, not ideal for strolling and looking at things, and it seems like that's the outlook for most of the whole trip. The previous week that I'd looked at the forecast it was a few degrees warmer and no rain. The good news is I packed enough warm layers for it not to be too awful.
The main thing that threw me off was getting super panic-hungry about 11am local time, (this being, of course, 5am brain-time, having been awake almost 24 hours, having last eaten about 5 hours ago) finding that the hotel restaurant had weird (= "not designed for my 24-7 food-on-a-whim convenience") hours where it was closed between 10am end of breakfast, and noon start-of-lunch. So I tell myself to just try my best to nap until noon or so --- and then go downstairs to find the ENTIRE HOTEL RESTAURANT is reserved for some group event or something and cannot squeeze two people in. Ok, K says quite sensibly, let's just go to that ONE open cafe in the otherwise-food desert neighborhood we saw when we walked here --- nope, it's closed now.
K kept her shit together while I freaked out a bit, and we ended up taking public transportation all the way to the city center and I finally got some Currywurst by like 1pm. Which was... kinda gross in a certain way, but filled my stomach and restored me to relative sanity anyhow.
After that we succeeded at getting a 3-day train-and-some-museums pass for the each of us, and saw the Pergamon- and Neuemuseums. Gotta admit I did enjoy myself in the warm, dry indoors looking at arts and such. Lots of good ancient carvings with cuneiform and some Aramaic --- a script I don't think I even knew was a thing before? Certainly I'd heard of the Aramaic language before, just from being raised Protestant and hearing eloi eloi lama sabachthani and the like in Bible stories. Also heaps of arabic inscriptions/carvings/calligraphy. Also Ishtar Gate, (= "Oh, that's where Tigris und Euphrat gets its playing-piece art from") an apparently famous bust of Nefertiti, and some really fun weird architecture in the Neuemuseum.
While failing to find the Hackescher Höf, we stumbled on to find a reasonably priced pan-Asian place where K got her Yellow Curry on, and I had some very nice spicy beef Bibimbap. The rain let up a little and we wandered around some neighborhoods a bit to the west of Alexanderplatz. Both of us started crashing around 7pm, had a bit of difficulty figuring out where the tram back to the hotel was, but K eventually figured it out, and we were asleep by like 8 probably.
Meh, yeah, so, I scan back to all of the complaining at the beginning and compare it to the fact that by the evening things were going pretty okay, and tell myself I probably just need to be more patient.