I don’t know how he did it, but my advisor Daniel somehow tricked me into going to a real night club in the San Francisco Mission District. I haven’t been clubbing in ages which primarily has something to do with my age, but also with my somewhat twisted taste in music (see my playlists). Still, he got me to pay $20 for admission, which I found vastly overpriced until I realized that we had stumbled into the “Monster Drag Show” and a two meter tall queen was just about to sodomize a leather slave while singing “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. I cried tears of joy. Daniel cried too, but that was because he spent another $20 on two (!) cups of beer. But after the first sips of tear flavored beer we were both dancing to what I assume was a mash-up of Michael Jackson and Katy Perry, thoroughly enjoying ourselves. As the evening progressed I remembered why I didn’t go clubbing as often as I did when I was younger.
It’s the other guys. And by guys I mean boys and girls, because they both eagerly play their parts in what I call “The Spiral Of Sexual Despair”. Soon I was trapped between boys drenched in too much cologne frantically trying to catch the attention of one of the dance floor goddesses who pretended to be way too drunk on beer that cost more than the minimum hourly wage. I just wanted to dance. When that became impossible due to the pushing and shoving and making out I was forced to leave the dance floor asking myself if I was a party pooper (which I am) or if other people just suck (which they do).
I don’t have cable. A few weeks ago this sentence meant nothing to me, because even without cable there are some pretty decent TV channels to watch in Germany. Say about the GEZ what you want (please not here in the comments) but I have never missed Öffentlich Rechtliches Fernsehen (public broadcasting) as badly as I do now. It’s not like I only have a few couple of channels to chose from. Oh hell no, I have about 70! But half of them are in a language I don’t speak (Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish and even Hindi). Then I have a bunch of local news channels that show live web cam feeds of the traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge or have a slick guy in a suit explain the weather to me. There are some channels that feature reruns of TV shows from the 50s and 60s. Others have moms present their favorite meat loaf recipe. About ten are trying to sell me something. At all times there is at least one crazy priest, one aggressive lawyer commercial and for some reasons one really long AAA spot on air. The “Cool Channel” doesn’t play cool music. “Zulu – The Country Channel” does play country music though. One channel is for lease. The rest is divided into cartoons and crime. I’m glad I have Netflix and YouTube.
Even after almost a month on the streets of America, I’m still struggling to grasp the concept of “right of way” in the US traffic system. Today I was being honked at furiously because I declined to smash my bike into the oncoming traffic. I sometimes stop at a red light, even though I want to take a right turn. For which I am being rightfully honked at. But my favorite thing around here are the “four way stops” that just choke all flowing traffic to death. Every car has to stop and the first one to arrive can then continue to drive. This is silly, but the best part is when, after a series of four way stops on one crossroad, two of the lanes don’t have to stop. More than once I have narrowly escaped death because I assumed the other car would have to stop since I had to stop as well. Of course more honking ensued.