1989 Trip Visiting Au Pair Daughter in Munich

(Just discovered small journal entries from my trip)

I began dreaming and planning a trip to Europe again after 30 years, when her father and I had camped Europe as students…I got my passport photos and my passport…I ordered my plane ticket and began thinking about videotaping abroad. And then I played m old trick again of  being disorganized and losing my ticket reservation because of failure to pay for it within 30 days of the trip. That fault in myself cost me some $. Hopefully the money will be worth the lesson.

Dec. 12, 1989: For awhile this morning my passport was missing–but Manono and Mandy found where Mandy had laid it–in my home office–while I held the phone at work.

Dec. 13, 1989: I understand Stone & Co. is selling pieces of the Berlin wall for $10 apiece. I wonder what it will run in Munich, if available. The person I talked to at Hocking Correctional doubted it was genuine.

Dec. 14, 1989: Waiting in Atlanta International Airport. My daughter requested American comic books but I failed to find any. Going back through I left my airplane ticket and fortunately it was found and turned in before I got too excited…I am flying with American Express checks but not even a dollar in cash.  Flight is 8 hours 9 minutes. We cover 4519 nautical miles. Movie is “Uncle Buck.” Dinner and breakfast served. About 54 degrees in Munich is tomorrow’s forecast…Here we go!

Dec. 15, 1989: We arrive in Munich in less than an hour! The only excitement during the night was a woman in red who was lying on he floor being ministered to  for some reason but got over the spell in about a half hour…

Dec. 16, 1989: Took a 2 1/2  hour sightseeing tour to the Nymphenberg Palace. Got inside shots of the painting and of the swans on the lake outside. That night we went to a concert in the St. Johan der Baptist Church, founded in 808 A.D.

Dec. 17, 1989: Sunday. Quaker Meeting, Monthly Meeting and Quaker Christmas party in my daughter’s livingroom…(They have a rental agreement). I videotaped the carol singing and lighting of candles in the tree. Then to a Christmas concert at  a large Protestant church–string ensemble, harpsichord, flute, organ, horns and excellent choir. Then “the control” got my daughter for transporting her bike on the subway. Got a ticket.  IN THE SUBWAY I saw a man going through the pockets of the coat he was wearing –and a wallet in the coat–as though he was seeing the contents for the first time–which I’m sure he was. There was the photo of a girl on a card that looked like an Ohio driver’s license, but could have been some other kind of I.D.  I had just pointed him out to my daughter when we all got off. I turned to look back at him and he was getting back on the subway with a duffel bag I’m sure he didn’t have before.  We went to hell and back to attend the monthly meeting of the Munich American Peace Group–mostly a group of intelligent older women who all seemed somehow familiar. Home about 10:50 p.m., my daughter led me in yoga and then to bed.

12-18-89: On my own this morning,  getting directions mixed up, confusing the U and S stations. Got Odeonplatz and Ostbanhauf  mixed up.  Dreamed about us weathering a tornado.  For awhile I was worried that the killing of a US serviceman in Panama might precipitate war, but no further news to indicate this.  Tea with a couple of my au pair daughter’s “families” who were very gracious.  Then attended a Bach concert in the Munich Cultural Center . There was an art exhibit there and dead trees instead of a Christmas tree commemorating environmental destruction.  (to be continued another day)…

12-19-89: Went to Dachau today. Stayed three hours.  Did much taping of photos in the museum, the crematorium, towers, memorials, the moat, gas chamber and a barrack. My daughter had bought a bouquet of flowers for me to lay on the memorial of those cremated at Dachau. I didn’t get a headache or too depressed, fortunately.  While there I looked at the trees and wondered if they had been alive to observe the atrocities years ago.  I thought so. When I returned to Munchen I went to Marienplatz and taped the carolers in the town tower.  Saw jubilant draftees who were getting out and St. Nicholas walking through the crowd.

Thursday, Dec. 20, 1989 continued another day…

 

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
This entry was posted in A mixed bag. Bookmark the permalink.

Please share your own experiences here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.