Saturday, November 13, 2004

just like three days of constant grinning, followed by intense throwing up.

it seems like light years away, that trip to bavaria, even though it's not even been a week since i left, and only 4 days since i returned.
it was lovely, even though the loveliness and relaxation it gave me is now long gone.
but more on that later: first things first.

so i finally saw neuschwanstein, so now i'm finally german for real, having seen the most german of all german castles that pretty much any overseas tourist knows because disney copied it so eloquently.
truth be told, it was lovely. it really was. much nicer than i had expected.

it is, by far, the most beautiful of all of ludwig II's castles.
as with all real estate, it's "location!location! location!". neuschwanstein is perfectly situated, looking over the plains of the schwangau, with a lake in sight and mountains in the back and that impressive steel bridge between two rocks from which you can get the best view of it.

it snowed last sunday, quite heavily, too, and that was perfect.
the sky was the same grey-ish white that the castle is, too, the snow stuck to the trees lining the pathway up to the castle, and it was perfect. as non-touristy as a visit to neuschwanstein can be.
in birght blue skies, i might have not liked the place that much.

inside, it's just odd, that castle.
consider this: ludwig built a medieval castle in 1870 and dedicated it to wagner. it has to be odd.
i think our dearest ludwig severly suffered from both a wagner and a swan fetish, and really really really wanted to get back into his mothers' womb: he built yet another grotto, even though this time inside the castle.
clearly, he wasn't quite sane.

i wonder whether all the international tourists ever hear about that. or whether they realise that castle is just about 120something years old. i mean, they had telephones when he built that castle. old ludwig was clearly trying to flee from the present moment, avoiding what was to come.
but so what: the final result of his obsession and escape from reality is rather pretty.

everything seemed very fairytale like, indeed.
the rooms had great views and i kept sneaking in photos out the windows, breaching their copyright law. take this, bayerische schlösserverwaltung!
the guided tour was crap, just like in schloss linderhof in summer, which was quite a dissapointment, but then: what did i expect? they use these tours to get as many people through there as possible, they lead it through 3 different souvenir shops, of course it isn't a deep insight into what's there, and fact is, there isn't much there to see any way, with only 6 rooms of the castle completed.

generally though, i'm very happy i got to see it. it was lovely.

unfortunately, our little off-road excursion made till, magda, vanessa and me be two hours late for the seminar.
it was partly self inflicted: it had been an ambitious plan to do it all on time, and then the weather made everything worse. in contrast to till though, i found it quite amusing to be late.
geez, that man was so stressed out for much of the drive, i kept wanting to give him xanax (had i had any). it was hard to bear, his over the top freaking-out-ness, about nothing, nothing at all. i managed to capture one of his evil glances into the rear-view mirror on film. he.

the seminar was good, overall. despite jan.
jan (the guy with the mac) annoyed everyone and totally insulted me on the first night. he had been trying to tip me off all night, getting involved in each and every conversation i was having, no matter whether it was about food or law or cycling (at one point, he shouted through the room that lance armstrong was doping), that kind of thing. i overheard him, mainly.
late sunday night however, as i was chatting with magnus, he totally got into the middle of our conversation (we were talking about cooking, and what we would cook to impress a date), scolding me for being vegan. he moved the talk to where everyone came from, and after magnus told him i was from the rheinland, jan said that that wasn't surprising.
i was just like the carnival celebrated in that region: i was like "three days of constant grinning, followed by intense throwing up". nice. uh, not.

i got up from the table, told him he had insulted me, asked him whether he had any issues we should discuss and whether he couldn't voice those politely. he replied that he must have hit a sore spot with me and that it was all just fun and games, some tribal fighting, to which i replied that i thought that was rather childish. i left the room, and ignored him for the rest of the seminar, unless i really had to speak to him. like to correct mistakes in his presentation. (ha!) i might envy you for owning that mac, but i still no more about "use" and what the eugh has been fucking up than you do, idiot.
and i used the impersonal "sie" with him. he. all rather satisfying.

he really was the odd one out for the entire seminar, and that was a shame, because that had never happened before, with anyone. but truth be told, i feel little compassion for him. it was all self-inflicted. that idiot.
even though he is a creative idiot, i have to admit. that was surely one of the more creative insults i have gotten.
i've realised he keeps a blog. and it's awful. one more thing i can feel superior to him about.

generally, the seminar was mainly repetition for me, but came in handy for my aural exam next summer. my presentation went well, if not as well as i had intended it to, as the prof rushed me a little, wanting to stay on schedule with everything he had intended to touch upon.
oh well. i was reasonably happy with it, overall.

unfortunately, it snowed almost constantly, so everyone was confined to the convent for the entire three days. the sun shone for half an hour on monday afternoon, handily during our lunch break, so everyone hurried across the island, taking in the scenery and fresh air. took some great pictures then. it's certainly one of my fave places ever, that island.

apart from that, there was no chance to be outside, really. quite sad.
you couldn't even see the alps because of the clouds and the fog, you couldn't even see the shoreline. it helped making everyone work hard though:
there was nothing tempting outside, so everyone stayed inside discussing ip.

life really was rather simple out there again: breakfast, ip, lunch, ip, dinner, ip, beer (optional), sleep.

there we're several presentations that were excellent, the best came from a girl i hadn't met before, catherina, who spoke about trademarking famous melodies, using music samples (and fabulous music samples at that!) to illustrate the problems this has.
lots of excellent discussion was had, more than during any previous semianr i'd say. apart from that, it was rather quiet. no extensive drinking on my part, no skinny dipping, no staying-up late.
so the socialising part of this was rather boring, even though i did get some good talks with quite a few people, especially catherina and magda, the latvian llm student.
i went to laudes with the nuns at 5:30am on tuesday though, and that was the only scandalous thing i did, really.
laudes was nice again, as usual. i admired the singing, i admired the calmness, i rested in the moment for a little while, singing along to the latin mass. how good i learned that all those years ago, even though these days i feel more connected to god singing om mani padme hum than agnus dei quitolis peccata mundi.
fact is, being in that quintessentially female catholic environment made me realise once more how much it is part of me, of my catholic buddhist yogini self.

but like i said: nothing else was scandalous.
christopher wasn't there, after all.
which was rather sad. i missed him. he would have served jan right.

on the way back from chiemsee, organised law folks that we are, we did some outlet shopping. at timberland south of munich for till, at wolford in bregenz (austria) for us girls. bought lots for my mother, too. geez, had i had the money, i would have bought lingerie en masse. what great things this company makes. what excellent quality. am just now wearing some of their knee highs, and seriously, this is the best quality sock i have ever worn. it feels as if someone's caressing my calves, all day. rather sexy.
one day, i want to be at that shop with a man who loves me, with plenty of money to spare. i'd go crazy.
even just shopping for pantyhose this time, trying on various pieces of lingerie i wouldn't be able to afford, i got all hot and excited and a full on sex flush on my face. funny. wolford outlet store bregenz: i'll be back.

so yeah. another three days on frauenchiemsee that were full of work and full of thought and full of snow.

they seem light years away right now.