Day 4 – Wall, Zine Fest, Hauntings, Train
Our last day in Berlin. One of our new friends who is a tour guide invited us to join him on a tour of a concentration camp. On one hand as a queer and someone of partial jih heritage I wanted to do, but as hard as it was to admit, I also knew that in the midst of tour I didn’t have the emotional stamina to experience that. It was intense to be in Berlin hen we were preparing to check out of our hotel, I read a plaque on a partially standing building -we’d been staying in a hotel the was literally across the street from what had been a train station that deported 9,000 people to concentration camps. Berlin is such an incredibly haunted city.
In the morning we walked around neighborhoods close to our hotel and found ourself at Checkpoint Charlie. I remember watching the news as a kid when the berlin wall fell – and attended schools with outdated maps that showed it still standing long after ’89. It was surreal to be there to see the places where it stood and think about what it was like.
We met up with Emma the amazing activist who set up both of our events in the city ate lunch and headed over to the second annual Berlin Zine Fest! As most folks know my background is as a zinester and I attended and tabled at the Portland Zine Sympodium for years though it’s been about 7 years since I was involved in zine community and it was really really excited to see what the culture was like in Berlin! The fest was great- it was held in a great old building covered in spray paint. There’s something I really love about this part of Berlin, the way that the spaces feel so much like how u remember the crustier parts of Portland 10 years ago- all underground punk kids creating and building spaces and communities- definitely nostalgia generating especially being here with Roving Pack (and knowing that unlike new York – no bedbugs). I’m trying to be careful about how much I get but couldn’t resist picking up a few zines- one of “badass my little ponies” and another hand stitched comp German/English zine of queer femmes.
We ended our day by saying goodbye to Berlin and settling ourself into our overnight cabin on a train bound for Paris! The compartment was super cute – we stayed up eating potato chips and gummy bears but all too soon the excitement of the past few days set in, and we drifted off to sleep staring out the window at stars and the dark shadows and lights of German towns.
Day 5: Paris! j
We woke to views of the French countryside as our train whizzed it’s way toward Paris- something I never in a million years thought I would ever see. We arrived into Paris around 9 and found our way through the metro to our hotel. The transit system was. Jch less accessible than Berlin and I got to really flex my author muscles lugging two suitcases primarily full of books up and down subway stairs. After we got our bags to the hotel we set off on some adventuring! We started walking along the Seine and suddenly looking up I realized we were waking towards the Eiffel Tower!!!! We had cheese crapes and took pictures in its shadow before continuing down the river. Our next stop was Notre Dame Cathedral where we got to go inside. Seeing both of these sites was perry mind blowing – they were both so huge! I couldn’t get over how beautiful the cathedral was! I feel really blessed everyday but some days, like one spent wandering Paris I feel extra lucky to have the life that i have but being on tour here is a whole nother level of gratitude. Im so grateful to Kestryl who is good at logistics and has kept me from being horribly lost. Im also just so grateful for the chance to be here in Europe in general- and then even more so to be here as an artist is pretty over the top for me. I never have had a passport until this trip and never ever thought I’d come to Europe!
Our gig last night was at La Mutinerie a dyke bar/feminist library/cultural center/performance space. Huge thanks to the organizers and everyone who came out!
Day 6: we’re up early and waiting o take a train to London!!!!! We’ll be exploring mist if the day then performing tonight at Bar Wotever. Hey folks in the US please vote today! Kestryl and I submitted our absentee ballots before leaving on tour.
Please forgive spelling/grammar errors – I’m blogging from my iPad