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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The New Year's Story Part 4

Christine and Courtney (remember them from Part 1?) were due to arrive around 6pm on Day 3 (December 30th). This would complete our group. Conni was already there and was getting settled in. He brought Frosty a giant foxtail, meant to be worn as kind of an anti-bling fashion statement.



We had big plans for the day, more sightseeing and so forth. This time, we started at the Cologne Cathedral.

The cathedral is very large and very Gothic and despite living in very close proximity to this monumental structure for two months, I had never been inside.

So, we went.

And, as a group, decided to venture to the top.

Between the ground and the viewing platform there are a shitload of stairs. Five hundred and nine, to be exact. There's a sign that says that it should take about 15 minutes to get to the top, but with the crowds of people packed into the narrow, winding stairwell (going both up and down) – also the fact that it's 509 fucking stairs – this is a generous estimate.

Once you get to the top of the stairwell, you enter a large chamber... and then it's about another 7 or 8 flights of stairs (this time on a steel-grated staircase) to get to the viewing platform.

I made it up the staircase “slightly” out of breath (haha), but otherwise fine. The other staircase, however, proved to be more than I could handle. I made it about halfway up, took a breather and – big mistake – I looked down.

Through the grates, I could see straight to the bottom, which totally freaked me out. So, instead I looked over the side railing...which was even worse.

I began to a big way. I started hyperventilating, which caused me to feel like I was gonna pass out at any moment. So, I started to cry -- deep, heavy sobs. My feet were frozen in place and I couldn't move. Frosty was already at the top and people kept passing me by, either on their way up or down. I just stood there like a baby, snotting my face full of...snot.

Eventually, an older lady on her way back down noticed that I was fucking losing my shit. She asked me if I was ok. I shook my head no. Then she accompanied me back down the stairs. Twenty minutes later, I was back at the bottom. It was pretty embarrassing.

Later after we regrouped, we came across a little shop that sold East German nostalgia/products.

Although it’s a bit questionable just how much they remember about the GDR, everyone in the group (aside from me and Frosty) was born in East Germany. As such, we had to have a look inside. The shop sold outrageously priced beer that one typically only finds in the east. So, we bought some and went on our way.

The group was divided on what to do next. Oh wait, no we weren’t. We all wanted to go to a museum. That is, everyone except Atze, who wanted to go smoke weed.

Eventually, we decided that the most logical compromise would be to go to a movie theater that showed movies in not 1 or 2 or even 3D…but rather 5 whole Ds. 5D! Amazing!

For the curious, the fourth dimension is apparently moving seats and the more awesomer FIFTH dimension is smell-o-vision.

The movie we saw was about sharks. Poor, endangered sharks. It was quite a calm film for the most part, with only the occasional 3D hammerhead swimming towards your head. The extra two dimensions weren’t even really pulled out until almost the very end. However, all it really amounted to was jerking the chairs back and forth, some kind of little mechanism under the seats that caused little plastic cords to whip at your legs and a valve on the arm rest that alternately spritzed water and artificial ocean smell onto your face.

That was the 5D simulation of a shark feeding frenzy.

I really felt like I was being ripped limb from limb by a herd of sharks.

Thanks technology!

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