23 August 2007

Atheists and Christians and making the Twain meet? Part One of however long it takes me to figure this out.

So, day before yesterday I read this over at Blondesense and was freaked right out. This occurred for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the the serious hostility I perceived in the writing. I decided to ruminate/marinate on the subject before I posted a piteous and/or angry reply, and I am glad I did on account of what transpired in the comments, the upshot of which is this:
yes, we are bashing religion - we ALWAYS do. we are not dehumanizing religion. I don't even know what that means. Actually, if you think about it, religious beliefs are what cause most "believers" to be hateful of others and to dehumanize. AND, the catholics are the biggest bunch of racists I know.

What frustrates me and our gang here is that we could really use the majority of believers out there because most ARE good people. We need them to wake up to the fact that their leaders are using "faith" (religious beliefs) to get away with what ever they want to do. It's been working like a charm for a few thousand years now!


and

we get angry at "them, they, those..." and I especially get mad at the "good christians" who don't take a stand. THEY piss me off. Yes, I love most of them BUT THEY PISS ME OFF TO NO END. And there's nothing I can do about it.


Fair enough, I realised. Which, this discussion also led to a clarification on the use of the word "Christian." Bloggers on this particular blog coined a term a while back, "Christianistas" either in response to the use of the word "Islamists" in the media, or to differentiate from normal people who, unfortunately, seem to share a religion (though, in my opinion, not a faith) with these power-hungry crackheads. Which is a totally academic term.

I can completely understand where your average atheist, Atheist, agnostic, unaffiliated and unconcerned, or other nonmainstream religion practicer comes from on account of the Christianistas do the same damn thing to your average mainline Protestant. And also to your completely non-average, non-mainline, but still essentially Lutheran, Protestant. I am really quite sure that the Quad preachers will show up next week.

And Jersey Cynic, who was the author of the post in question and the above comment bits, raises an incredibly fair point: "good Christians" are being anything but "good" if we/they do not put the smackdown on this kind of BS. Of course, going about that could be vaguely frightening and inconvenient (and will probably annoy Amber if she is with me when it happens), but when people are preaching hate in public, it is necessary that the smackdown be put on it or it will just grow.

Martin Niemoller, who spent time in Sachsenhausen and Dachau, but fortunately survived, wrote this:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
It is incumbent on those who call themselves Christians to speak out for those who are NOT Christians (and for those who are not their denomination), lest something similar happen. And no matter what anyone says, if we just let it go, it WILL happen, because that is how it happened in the first place.

What does this mean for relationships between nonbelievers and Christians? I think it is a critical time for us to prove that we are, in fact, able to love those who may or may not love us back, who do not agree with us. If we are to call ourselves Christians then we most certainly make an attempt at behaving like that guy who we believe is the Christ. Otherwise, we can have all the faith in the world (as to move mountains, as it were) and we will yet have NOTHING.

If that happens, all the dogma and platitudes and feeling secure in ourselves will be for naught, because if the God in whom I put my faith does, in fact, exist, then He is going to think that we are full of crap and is going to let us know about it. Looking at the way that Christianity has evolved since the time of Jesus of Nazareth, I can completely see why people choose to turn away from it, and I honestly think the only reason why I have not is because I would rather try to fix it than give up.

Probably more later.

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Something Random.

I have returned from the land of the Great White North (last Wednesday), have fully recovered, eaten Mexican food, had margaritas, moved Amber from the Other Great White North, and school is starting. Has started.

Soon, I shall be back to my regularly scheduled programming. In fact, I have a post about the relationship between Atheists, atheists, general nonbelievers, and Christians in the works (and yes, there really are four major categories there, to be broken down further). In the interim, I have Hebrew Scriptures in an hour and a half, then the stupid communicating class (I really think it's going to be speech. Why don't they just call it speech? And why can't I be exempt?), and THEN I have Anglo-Saxon Literature.

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14 August 2007

Trip Blog. Day Twenty-EIGHT

jabba

Because it is ten to five in the morning. I'll be leaving The Bird's Nest in about an hour...getting something to drink at Victoria Station, retrieving my bike from the South Terminal, taking the tram to the North Terminal, checking the bike, checking my pannier, wandering off to find breakfast after security, buying NyQuil from Boots, taking a dose and a half right before I board, and passing the heck out, hopefully, until I get to Houston.

Also...five o'clock in the morning conversation:

Amber: they keep buying up the competition
[friend]'s store used to be an EB Games
me: Which used to be Electronics Boutique, which used to be Babbage's.
Amber: exactly
me: I think Babbage's is a better name.
But I am a fan of the Difference Engine.
so that could just be me.
Amber: but not as obvious what they're selling
me: Babbage == electronics.
Amber: not a connection I make
me: Charles Babbage built the Difference Engine, which was the first calculator ever and the precursor to all modern electronics.
Amber: ahhh
me: Somebody clearly did not watch 321 Contact.
Amber: um...
no
me: saddical
PBS shows back when they were good...
Amber: ahhh... the good ole' days of 80s era PBS...
me: indeed
Amber: even if I did watch it, I'm not sure I would remember that particular fact
me: I absorb random things.
Sort of like Choo Choo Bear.
Amber: and just like Choo Choo, you spit them back up at the most interesting times [wink]
me: Just another service I offer.
Amber: you are a woman of many talents

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12 August 2007

Not a Trip Blog. Rebooting.

"YOU have a problem with unexpressed anger. Come on! Get angry, Annie!"
(I didn't know for a really long time that that was Marcia Gay Harden.)

So I tend to go off on rants about random things at random times, but the thing is, I'm not really that angry. Angry happens when I see some serious injustice. Angry happens when I think about my grandmother's illness and subsequent passing. Angry happens when people I trust are being two-faced about someone whom I care about.

It is not really often that I get angry about something hideous that happens to me. In fact, it really takes a lot, and a lot of time, and a lot of time for me to think about it, for me to even realise how off-pissed I am about anything. So when I do get off-pissed, it is a really huge thing that sometimes takes weeks to get over, but I think I've discovered that the reason for THAT is that I do not get it all out of me at once because I am marinating on it to make sure that I really am mad.

I am fine now, but it is a very, very good thing that Whitney and Amber (bless them) were available for ranting night before last (evening for you people) or serious hideousness may have occurred.

This summer has been a weird one. There is a GREAT wealth of good that has come out of it (beginning with an A and ending with an R, likes birds and Guitar Hero), and a lot of really weird crap. And yes, I write crap in an incredibly scholarly and intelligent manner, herein. However, I do think that in this being a weird summer I have managed to eliminate a lot of the sources of drama from my life, and will now be able to focus rather on school.

Which is good, because this is going to be quite the hectic semester with applying to grad school and doing all the stuff to make sure that I actually graduate from undergrad within the next geologic age. I had a point.

Oh, I think it's that, sort of like Annie Paradis, I have a problem with unexpressed anger. When something vaguely annoys me, I just let it go, i.e. 90 percent of grocery store visits that take place prior to midnight. I know what I'm in for; it's annoying, but whatever. The other ten percent usually pass into moderately annoying, and so I tell James a mildly entertaining story about whatever it was and then move on. George Bush (actually, the government on general principles; my view of Bush has evolved to the point of "Poor George; he can't help he was born with a silver foot in his mouth") et al range from extremely annoying to rather bloody irritating, and so political rants happen.

So I get it out, and it does not ruin my day, my hair, my attitude -or- my bread. But when I actually cross the threshold into angry, seriously angry, I cannot get it out of me, except in small bursts of flame-throwing, but those are never effective on account of the the fire does not get put out. So it sits around burning me up, causing me to bake bland and crunchy bread, and just generally throwing off my concentration.

I'm not sure if this is a patently immature way of dealing with stuff because I do think it is better than flying off that handle at the target of my anger/disgust without thinking things through, first, but I also dislike carrying it around with me for the weeks it takes me to ponder the issue.

Thus, as I said, I think the only real solution is to eliminate all of the sources of drama from my life. This is not to say that if someone has something hideous happen to them that they are expelled from my hemisphere; quite the opposite. But I do believe that from now on if I notice that someone keeps having hideous things happen to them repeatedly and a) does nothing about it, b) is all helpless and annoying about it, or c) seems to vaguely revel in it, they are getting the boot.

I enjoy being happy. I do not enjoy harbouring anger; I feel comfortable with this plan of action. Being able to focus on the elements of one's life which are positive and important is always a good thing, I think.

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Trip Blog. Day Twenty-five.

I am staying in Cardiff until Tuesday now. I find this hostel exceedingly pleasant despite the fact that there is no room key...the people running it are nice and the kitchen is good and everything is clean. Being as I was not particularly impressed with the hostel in Bath, this looks like a plan. Tomorrow I'm taking a day trip to the west coast and might jump over to Ireland or something.

I've canceled my hotel reservation for the fourteenth down at Gatwick...upon reading reviews of it, it seems that I will catch some form of disease if I stay there. I do not care to be diseased. Also, apparently their airport shuttle is not terribly reliable.

So, I'm spending Tuesday night in Deptford and I'll just get up early (I might just stay up all night. That will help with sleeping on the plane). I am enjoying Cardiff; it is very sunny and pleasant, if a bit chilly after about four in the afternoon.

I am really quite ready to be home.

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10 August 2007

Trip Blog. Day Twenty-three.

According to my timeanddate.com Customised Counter (TM) there are seven thousand, two hundred fourteen minutes until I get off the plane in Austin.

But I'm not counting or anything.

I am now in the place of Cardiff, which I find extremely pleasant except that it gets cold by about four in the afternoon. I really do miss my nice warm Texas. There is a two thousand year old castle right here which I plan to visit on the morrow. I find it vaguely (not vaguely) upsetting that there is a Burger King right across from it.

Bath was really, really pretty, and I am still considering whether or not to hang around there Monday night and just go back to London on Tuesday. I was not a huge fan of my hostel's kitchen there (dull knives make me want to stab people. Oh, the irony), but Bath was really really great-looking, and I didn't get to do anything because I was so tired. I have photos from my trip to the grocery and back, though.

Today I bought Master and Commander at WH Smith's, since I've been planning to read those books for years...

I think that's all I've got for the moment. It's been a good and enlightening trip, but I am very ready to come home, and have plans to drug myself for the flight. Huzzah!

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07 August 2007

Not a Trip Blog. Walking the Line.

Despite my lack of going to Wittenberg, this trip has managed to be something of a religious pilgrimage for me, both physically and spiritually, with a healthy dose of mentally. It's also given me the opportunity to view things from the other side, literally.

One of the things I have had to deal with in my recently-acquired adult life is walking a line between faith and reason, which I think everyone does to some extent or other. I am in a fairly unique position, I think. I've been previously attacked by people who were previously closer to me than now for taking up a position of being victimised for acknowledging my situation, which is that I am sort of in between two worlds. Previously I felt more as though I was stuck between the mortar and the pestle and there would not be a whole lot left of -me- after all was said and done. But then, Wendy and Dwayne happened, and more recently I met Jen Austin and her wife, Angela, and things brightened up a little bit.

The feeling now is more of being pulled in two directions rather than being crushed between two forces, and it is considerably more comfortable. I think I can handle this one. I think my issue, not so much a problem, now is that my field of study is Religions. Not just mine, but mostly mine. The history of it. The development of it. My religion's relationship with the others around it. And I have begun to form some very important conclusions, academically and spiritually. The problem, really (here is the problem) is how my study is perceived: While my academic pursuits inform my faith (look, here is what I believe and this is why. Here is the entity in which I put my faith, and this is why. It's much more complicated than that, but these parentheses will get long), my faith does not cloud my academic pursuits.

Why is this? Well, I think it is mostly on account of the fact that I chose I while back (after seeing Dogma, perhaps, and mulling that over for a little while, and also mostly the way I was raised and by whom) to put my faith in the -idea- of a God (or a god) that would be willing to suffer for His (Her? God isn't really either, but the creator of gender, so He or she could really be anything) creation. And I think that that is a good idea on which to base a way of life.

The complication lies in the fact that I happen to identify with the Western idea of God, specifically with the God described in the Gospels which are found in the New Testament of the Bible.

In short, I am a Christian, so now I am automatically part of the oppressive majority. The irony is that I am a member of the oppressive majority which is oppressing people like me. And I cannot really un-identify as a Christian, because I really am one, in the strictest sense of the word, for the following longwinded reasons:

-- It happens that I find it plausible that Jesus of Nazareth did in fact exist and was the mortal incarnation of God (God being the omnipotent force that binds the universe together). I also find it plausible that He (Jesus of Nazareth) died and resurrected His bad self, thus putting the smackdown on Evil, and becoming the Christ.
  • Subpoint: I do not believe that it is necessary that all of this actually happened, I just see no reason why it did not. May I stress that the IDEA of a God suffering for the good of His or Her creation and putting the smackdown on Evil is the large point at hand.
-- Aside from the question of whether or not Jesus of Nazareth is God, or an incarnation thereof, the man made some very excellent points on how one should go about interacting with the rest of society. Again, whether or not the man actually existed is not important so much as the motivation behind his speech. I happen to think that He did.
Thus, I am a follower of the teaching of Jesus (Christ) of Nazareth. So now what?

Well, a lot of my fellow homos aren't. Can't imagine why. The problem (and this is a big problem) is that my obvious Christiantasticness (cross pendant, on since I was fourteen) tends to a) put people off or b) make them uncomfortable. And it's not like I can't just not talk about it (which might be akin to "hiding my light under a bushel," but I don't think so because I think it is how you treat people that proclaims love/God than anything else), because not only does it affect my life a lot spiritually, but I happen to study it. So if I start going on about Saint Augustine and blah blah blah, your average homo starts vaguely twitching (and there are those among us who have a weird superstition that they are going to be struck by lightning or burned by my pendant or something, and no I'm not making that up).

And it sucks because really, I don't care what faith anyone does or does not follow, and it does not affect how I am going to treat people. Respect mine and I'll respect yours, no worries. But I still think that I get treated differently on occasion and I do not know how to deal with that properly.

I think that what brought this up is the Duggers of Arkansas, who are the people with the clown-car-uterus. They have a website all about how God has blessed them with 39483743928 children and Every Sperm is Sacred and all that. And in the interim, I am not allowed to adopt children with any spouse I may acquire in the future.

Not that I want children at this time. I have a cat and a fish. Thanks.

But it is the principle of the thing, that these people, who allegedly have faith in the same God that I do, get to behave in a manner which, in my view, is irresponsible, but it is their right to do so by the law; I, however, am not allowed to even adopt the spare children of other people.

So what's that about?

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Trip Blog. Day Twenty.

Actually, I have had the interwebs -in my room- but I have not really felt blogworthy the last few days. Nonetheless, here is an update:

When I got to London, late at night, there were a billion people in the bar below the hostel. However, they all pointed me to the lady that runs the place and she was very kind. Had it not been so far from the DLR station, I would have liked it better than The Bird's Nest, I think. Well, except the Bird's Nest had better showers. Hmm.

At any rate, the next day I got up and wandered around London. It was sunny and nice. The day after that (Monday? Sunday? Sunday.) I checked out and went to Victoria station to catch the train to here, which is Canterbury. I got slightly lost once I got here, which was not helped by the fact that I could not remember the name of the street on which the hostel resides. I found an Esso station and bought a map. Oh, right. Nunnery Fields.

On this journey, I discovered the existence of Saint Mildred's Street. I took a photo of it. There is also an Ivy Lane here, but I have not found a street sign for it, so I just have someone's address plaque.

Anyway, I found the hostel, which it turns up is owned by the same people who own the Antigallican Hotel in Greenwich. The chick who checked me in was really sweet and all, and I liked being here almost immediately. I took a rest for a bit and then enquired after the location of a grocery, since there is actually a functioning kitchen here.

Later, when I talked to Amber, I realised that a great deal of my previous discontent was the lack of food in my general vicinity, and that being in a hostel with a kitchen has made a large difference in my life. I managed to find avocados and have therefore been eating turkey, avocado and tomato sandwiches for the last few days.

Yesterday, I went walkabout in Canterbury and saw the ruins of Saint Augustine's Abbey (nerdy historical note: this is not Augustine of Hippo, who is the purveyor of original sin, souls, Heaven, a fallen world, and sundry other theological ideas which the fundies now shove down our throats as Biblical fact. Not that I necessarily disagree with all of those ideas. I do think we, and everything else that's alive, have souls and I am also inclined to believe that there is some further dimension to which our souls travel once they are no longer corporeal. Heaven is a good name for it, but it could also be Kings Cross Station. I think it depends on what your Heaven would be. I think mine would be playing softball with my grandmother for eternity (well, and a bunch of other people, because two people playing softball still wouldn't work). At any rate, Augustine of Hippo lived in the century before this Augustine, who was the first Archbishop of Canterbury, and is responsible for reintroducing Christianity to the Britons).

Those were very long parentheses, and therefore that is a one-sentence paragraph.

Right, then.

Anyway, after the Abbey, I sort of halfheartedly went shopping (I have recently discovered how tired I am of wearing t-shirts all the time), but then rediscovered why I hate shopping. I did get some lotion and masque, though, because one does get tired of being crusty.

Today I was going to go to Dover and lay around on the beach, but the guy who vacuums the rooms says that there is not a beach at Dover because it's a port and that I should go to Sandwich. So I may well do that. First, I think I am going to have a quick shower and make myself some lunch.

Today is Tuesday, so I am here for two more nights; Thursday at midday I am going to Bath, staying there overnight and then headed to Cardiff (which reminds me that I need to e-mail the Cardiff people again) until the thirteenth. Then I am back at the Bird's Nest for one night, and then the next day I am going down to Gatwick to stay at an actual hotel overnight because I have to be at Gatwick at about half past seven to make sure I don't miss my flight.

The End, for now.

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03 August 2007

Day Sixteen. Cologne/Bonn Airport

So, I managed to get my bike into the Oversized Luggage blah blah blah, and I had to check my other pannier on account of my shaving cream (I didn't realise that they have done that bloody stupid regulation here as well), and security eyed my bike tool, but they were not fascists about it. Fortunately, I also did not have to take the pedals off of my bike to get it into the bag because I do not have a pedal wrench.

So now I've got about half an hour till boarding (and half an hour of Interwebs left. I'm rather impressed with T-Mobile) so I am digesting the day.

I climbed -almost- to the top of the K├Âlner Dom. I counted my steps on the way down to see how short I was. There are five hundred seven steps and I went up three hundred ninety-two. Why did I stop so close to the top? Because the staircase to the -very- top was a two-foot-wide spiral staircase out of which I could see the the floor about a hundred feet below but with enclosed sides. So, it got my claustrophobia -and- my fear of heights at the same time. So I took pictures from about three quarters up, and I am very happy with myself for going that high. When I got down, my legs were twitching from the exertion. Nice.

Last night I had dinner with my cousins Martina and Lutz. I hadn't met Lutz as the last time I saw Martina was at Aunt Carol and Uncle Willie's wedding twelve years ago. They are really cool; we ended up talking about current events a lot, as well as random normal stuff. Martina told me that my grandmother spoke, as she put it "brilliant, but eighty-year-old German" which I had not thought of. Martina was entertained by the fact that Grandma had referred to her plane as "eine Luftschiff" rather than "eine Flugzeug." "Luftschiff" is the word for "airship" or a zeppelin, whereas "Flugzeug" is airplane. It makes sense, though, because Grandma was taught German by a father who had not been in Europe since the early twenties and a mother who was born here, and then did not come in much contact with more modern German.

Martina also says that the rest of the family ought to leave the Scheunstein and come visit her and Lutz, as well as Edgar and Ilse. I'm inclined to agree.

What else...Oh, apparently I really do look almost like Aunt Carol; I told Martina that to recognise me, I looked sort of like Aunt Carol, and she said that I look almost exactly like her. Sorry, Mom and Dad. At least y'all have Sarah.

So, my itinerary for the next week, about, is as follows:

Tonight and tomorrow: London
Sunday and Monday: Canterbury
Tuesday: Bath
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: Cardiff.

After that, I am either going to Inverness (home of Loch Ness and also a bunch of Scots history) or I am going to get a train to Pembroke and take the overnight ferry to Ireland and hang around there until time to come back to London next Monday. I really want to go to Inverness, but it will be a long train ride which equates with expensive. I'll have to look at my budget. Right now I have a mass of Euros that I need to change to Pounds Sterling, but Britain being Britain, I know it will be expensive. Glad I have more money than I need.

Also, Ryanair will fly me to Aberdeen for about twelve bucks, so perhaps I can get a train to Inverness from there. Or Edinburgh. At any rate, I know that I've got a week and a half before I get to be home, and in the interim, I get to move around a lot, and that makes me happy.

I have solved the problem of the bike, I think: I'm going to leave it at The Bird's Nest, which is the hostel I was at the first time I was in London, and the home of Sammy the Manager, who will likely let me leave it there on account of his crush on me. But, if I can find somewhere safe at Gatwick, I'm going to leave it there instead of lugging it around.

All in all, things seem to be working out; I'll be in London in about three hours, at which point I am going to find a Pret a Manger and get dinner. The End.

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02 August 2007

Trip Blog. Day Fifteen. Important Conclusion Edition.

I have come to a very important conclusion. And that conclusion is that my German is entirely too perfunctory to function in this country any longer. I know people who only speak English hang around here all the time. I know this, however, my complete lack of German will make me unable to function in Wittenberg, on account of the Luther museum is entirely in German.

Well, crap. So, the back up plan is thus: I am going back to the UK tomorrow and will go on a grand tour of Scotland and Wales, and while I am in Scotland I will investigate tensions between the Presbyterians, the Anglicans and the Catholics, thus still involving myself with religious studies and still having something to go on for my paper this fall. There's more to it than that, but the thought has not coalesced enough to really elaborate.

NEXT summer, when I have learned considerably more German (so I can actually function), I shall investigate Wittenberg (which will make more sense at that time because of grad school &c). I am a bit disappointed, but I am really not prepared to limp through Germany only speaking English at this time. Because I am a big chicken.

So, I am going to change my EasyJet ticket to depart from the Cologne/Bonn airport tomorrow, and I will likely be staying at The Bird's Nest in Deptford again. After that, I'll figure out what's what with going to Scotland/Wales and all.

I just really do not have the emotional/mental/physical what have you to do the stranger in a strange land routine anymore, and there's a lot more to Britain than London.

And then I'll learn German.

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01 August 2007

Trip Blog. Day Fourteen. Halfway Home.

Today, I went on a quest for a gelt-automaat (ATM), bought a cable lock for my bike, had a cheeseburger and a margarita at the Hard Rock, and went inside the Kolner Dom.

My legs hurt. Particularly the right one.

Right. So when I got back from the ATM (I really like gelt-automaat), I noticed that my bike was gone. I rolled my eyes, because I figured they didn't get far with it. It is not a particularly heavy bike, but you don't really want to be lugging it around anyway. The reason why it was carried (literally) off in the first place is because the lock is very unobtrusive and is mounted on the rear of the frame; the shackle is curved and hooks through the rear wheel when it is locked. It does not, however lock -to- anything except itself. So, I set off down the Strasse toward a large, filled bike rack, figuring that the perpetrator dropped it off there. About halfway down, there it is, in front of the door of a hotel next to a shrubbery.

Morons. Whatever. So, I unlocked my bike and walked it back to the hostel, came inside and asked where I could get a cable lock so I can actually lock it to the stairs of the hostel. He told me to go down the street, and there she blows. Three euros. So now my bike is locked to the hostel, and I took the front wheel and the seat upstairs with me so that some spiteful bastard does not just steal that.

Anyway, after that I did my laundry because I was so tired of wearing dirty clothes, and then I went to the Hard Rock. I bought a t-shirt. And a cheeseburger. I think I'm going to leave off with the margaritas, though, because they aren't very good over here. I am not sure Europeans understand about margaritas.

Thereafter, I walked around the Kolner Dom and took some photos, and then I noticed that the doors to the east transcept were open. Apparently they don't charge. So I wandered in.

Wow. It is HUGE, like Tall. People were taking flash photos, which annoyed me (how hard is it to turn off the flash? And with digital cameras, you can adjust the aperture to take photos without the flash. I have the flash permanently off on my camera. Jerks). But it was really beautiful. I am going to go back after dark when it is lit up again to take more pictures, but in the interim, here are these.

The last I took last night. I need to adjust my camera when I take them tonight, because it appears more blue than that.

Friday, if I can get the Lutherstadt hostel people to answer me, I am going to Wittenberg, and then Sunday to Berlin. If the hostel people do not answer me, I guess I'm going to have to go to Berlin and make a day trip or something, though I'd really rather not do that. I don't understand why I cannot make reservations online. Not everyone carries a cell phone to Europe. I am probably going to fly back to London on Wednesday and then spend a few days in Cardiff, Wales, probably go to Bath or something, and if I have time I'm going to Edinburg. This is freshman Europe trip, sort of a survey. More later.

Blogger sucks, by the way; hence the really odd formatting.

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