Since there was no square dance meeting on Thursday night and I went to see Viel Lärm um Nichts, I went down to Leipzig on Friday to get a tour of the city and then go to my square dance partner’s club. He told me to come whenever, without pointing out that the zoo would be the only thing open at 9am. Thank you parents, for teaching me to arrive at museums for opening bell…
So we spent the morning wandering around and looking at the lovely park. The only thing that was lacking was some critters to watch… Evidently it was a little early for the animals at the zoo as well. There were some really cute tiger cubs harassing mama tiger, and eventually the weather got a little nicer and the animals started moving around. It was cloudy pretty much all morning, and with the shortage of animals, I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked.
After lunch we went and saw the museum about the Stasi in the “Runde Ecke” which was really fascinating and educational, but terrifying. It was pretty much like being told that 1984 already existed. I never really understood where all these dystopia stories come from. I’m aware that governments watch us and censor us and everything, and that China and North Korea are really serious about controlling their populations, but I just figured dystopias were just written to be hyperbolic warning… Or at least, it had never been brought home to me quite so clearly.
I could never survive in a dystopian society… I’m not even sure if I could survive if someone told me I had to wear gray suits all the time, much less conform every aspect of my life to the party line.
I think I saw more of Leipzig yesterday than in my week of family stay. The inside of Nikolaikirche is one of the most beautiful churches I can remember seeing, but I didn’t really feel it would be appropriate to take pictures. The tour was nice, especially when accompanied by discussion of computers and Photoshop. :P Square dancing was okay, although I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get to dance as a man, as it looked like I was going to at one point. The caller called things fairly slowly and it was almost entirely Basic (and simple Basic at that), so if I were going to start dancing as a man it probably would have been a good time to start. Extra square dancing is good though. I’m looking forward to the square dance con in Suhl… all weekend!
I was also told at the square dance that I look like the American women you see in TV, and this is false advertising for the overweight majority of people in the US. I really have to wonder if Germans compliment each other this much… Americans definitely don’t seem to. If I seem puzzled/suspicious of the attention I’m receiving here, it might be because I spent years getting weird looks from people for my habits like wearing capes to school and giggling insanely any time anyone in my german class said “bäume,” and I don’t feel that different now than then. So I have trouble believing that people are serious when they say nice things like that…
I wrote a lot more about yesterday than I expected… That should say something about how much fun I had! sadly no german tarot cards acquired though.