You can always tell the measure of a good place and the people you meet within it by the amount of shit you learn. I learned quite a lot of shit during my weekend in Cologne so here we go….
When I arrived in Cologne I figured that I would be able to get around most of the sights in the space of the day so I would take a day out on Sunday and go shopping….. but no.
- Cologne’s shops and supermarkets are all completely closed on Sunday. This means that I had to do my shopping on Saturday instead and do all my food shopping for Sunday the day before as well
Whilst taking my Saturday out to shop, I learned a few other interesting things:
- German’s appear to have no idea what the English lyrics to the songs they are playing in their clothing stores at 2pm in the afternoon actually mean. It is here I find myself standing next to a 9 year old listening to a rap musician sing about ‘how dis nigga is gonna slam dunk some motherfucking pussy….?!?!’ I am both horrified and slightly amused at this. I later found out that my new German friend got told off when she was about 14 because the first song that she ever learned in English was about ‘sucking dicks’ and was found singing it very loudly in public when her mother had to stop her and explain. And I thought all German’s had pretty good English… well they do except for the vulgar and inappropriate.
- It doesn’t matter how many Primark stores I visit, or in which country that the Primark is in, the people who shop in Primark all totally shit me to tears. (For those not familiar with Australian slang… they annoy me very, very much.
- I have an obsession with shopping for earrings and underwear. 7 pairs of earrings purchased in one day… we won’t discuss my penchant for underwear.
I was also fortunate enough to learn that a blast from my past (a friend from my old school days of working at KFC when I was 15 now actually lives in Cologne with his girlfriend. We met up and went out with some others from the hostel. While the rest of us stared at him like he was nuts, my friend told us about this game in a bar where you sit around a circular tree stump and take turns at hammering a nail into the wood with the small end of the hammer. We went. We played. I learned that this is awesome and I want one in my backyard! I also learned that while in Australia, we do our best to remove all kinds of weapons from bars, including glass bottles. In Germany, all you need to do is give the bar a twenty Euro deposit and they will give you a hammer…..
The Sunday we got up and went on the walking tour around the city in the snow. Walking tours are always full of learning and this one was no exception.
- Given that the Dom (the most impressive Cathedral in Cologne, and that I have ever seen) was built by those from Dusseldorf, and that those from Cologne and Dusseldorf hate each other, that when the city hall was build, they decided to make a salute to the Dom…. In the form of including statues baring their naked arses oriented in the direction of the Dom. One of them even looks like it is giving itself fellatio. Hmmm…. what a way to say fuck you!
- Speaking of phallic symbols, some random artist guy decided that to give his seal of approval to art galleries around town that he would randomly paint bananas alongside the art galleries doors. This caused huge outrage (of course) and then people started painting their own bananas. Which aren’t the original bananas, so this is stealing. Of all the questions though, there is this…. why bananas? Well apparently the banana is like life….. nothing about it is straight.
- Cologne is from cologne. Yeah I probably should have figured this one out already but I never actually took the time to properly process and think about that one.
- There is a gold painted Ford Fiesta on the roof of a building…..
- The lock selling industry here in Cologne must be out of this world considering how many people have locked their hearts to someone else on the bridge. Wonder how many regret that now?
Mostly what I learned in Cologne is that it is really great to catch up and reminisce with old friends. I also learned that sometimes life will massively surprise you and send you exactly what you need, especially in times when you feel like you are in a drab routine you can’t get out of. Anyway, the next adventure is up and coming in a couple of weeks! I shall let you know what I learn on that one! Til now, happy learning!