19 people died and over 300 were injured yesterday at a huge techno music festival – “Love Parade” – in my metropolitan area. I heard the news about a mass panic, stampede and deaths in the early evening yesterday, but I have to admit it took some time to completely register in my brain. Like it probably always does with sad news of this magnitude. Or maybe that was due to the alcohol level in my bloodstream yesterday and the fact that I was busy at our annual dart & barbecue event.
I might write about that and today’s day at the zoo tomorrow. (How many times recently did I announce to write a post later and never get around to do it *wonder*?) But I’m rather exhausted right now because of the busy weekend and right now I’m watching news reports in which they try to analyze the catastrophy and how this could happen and who is responsible
My Bro1’s girlfriend’s nephew went to the festival, but Bro1 texted me this morning that nothing happened to the boy and that he got back home safely, thank God.
A few days ago I already read on some news sites that quite a few persons were concerned about the safety issues. The festival ground could accomodate max 500.000 people, but over 1.000.000 were expected. Authorities and the police said, they had plans to deal with the mass of people. Sadly enough they obviously didn’t :-(
What’s really infuriating right now is, that nobody wants to assume responsibilty for this catastrophy. The press conference today at noon was such a joke and as a usually proud inhabitant of this metropolitan area, I’m rather embarrassed by this kind of behaviour from the people in charge! They didn’t give any real answers but hid behind the police investigations that are going on.
Such a sad weekend for our metro area, state and country…
I don’t want to complain about the weather. Not that I like the temperatures at the moment, far from it. But everyone is complaining about the weather this days, that’s nothing new. And I’m blessed with a apartement where the temperatures don’t rise about 25 °C, no matter how tropical it is outside. I just can’t open the windows during the day, but who would want to do that anyway these days ;-)
But seriously, this weather is messing with my brain. I feel even less motivated to post anything here. To even think of a topic to write about. Except the weather, but… see above. I’ve got a few half-written posts on my computer or at least in my brain. Sometimes I wonder if there really is a difference between these two ;-)
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I was and still am planning to take the bike to visit the “Still-Leben A40” event of the RUHR2010 next weekend. If it’s as hot as it this weekend, I won’t go there after all, but I’m hoping it will only be moderately warm. For the sakes of everyone involved. On Sunday 18th July , the main motorway in our metropolitan area will be blocked for traffic for 6 hours and there will be “the longest banqueting table in the world”. A 60 km stretch of road will be lined with 20,000 tables to create a meeting place for different cultures, generations and nations. It sounds crazy and it actually is, but I want to see it anyway ;-) (More information in English on their website) The tables will be on northern lanes of the motorway, the soutern lanes are the ones for bikes and rollerskates and every non-motor- means of transportation. It’s won’t be allowed to take your bike with you on the trains, metro and busses that weekend, because there will be so many people using public transport. So I have to get to the motorway on bike in the first place, which is a 30 kilometre distance. I’m planning to cycle for another 20 or 30 km on the motorway, which will probably feel really weird (but that’s the whole point of it *g*) and leave the bike at my office building in Essen to take it back with me on Monday. I’m really curious how the event will turn out and what kind of groups will have organized what kind of celebratory event at their tables.
I spent yesterday at the volunteer training for the “Shaft Sign” event of the European Capital of Culture. There is extensive website (unfortunately only in German) www.schachtzeichen.de but there are also quite a few details in English about this project on the RUHR2010 Website.
In short: For the last week in May 350 large yellow ballons will hover high up (up till 80 metres) in the air above former mineshafts. At every mineshaft a company, an institution, a sportsclub, a churchgroup, any kind of assosicatiion will provide a stage for all different kinds of cultural program or exhibitions. But the real attraction will be the 350 yellow ballons up in the air all across 4000 square kilometres region of the Ruhr metropolitan area. These ballons will hover right above any kind of residential, business or industrial settlement, because coal mining took place everywhere in the region. It’s what made us what and who we are. And I just love the idea of bringing this back to our attention with this kind of visual image.
There have to be at least 5 persons on the ground of every ballon site all day long, because you need 5 people to get the ballon up or down, so there are a lot of volunteers needed and I gladly signed up for this. Because, like I said, I totally love this project. It’s too bad I couldn’t sign up for that many shifts during the 9 days of this project. I’ll plan to meet book232 some time on the first weekend (are we still on, by the way?), there’s the LOST finale to watch on Monday, I’ve got important work meetings on Thursday and Friday and friends of mine gave me a “Shaft Sign Picnic and Day Out” – Saturday as a birthday present. But on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Sunday I will help to get a ballon up (and down) somewhere.
I’m pretty sure all these ballons will be a unique image to look up to in the sky. Or to just look at from any height somehwere in the Ruhr metropolitan area.
Before another whole week passes I should post these few pictures from the “Coffee, Culture & Cocktails” Event on Saturday. Although there are neither coffee nor cocktails visible ;-) I’m not a huge “throwing a party” kind of person, so I knew I wouldn’t do anything big for my 35th birthday. I choose to spend it with just a few people at a nice location, doing something I planned on doing for a while: Visiting the new “Ruhr Museum” at the extraordinary former coal mine industrial site “Zeche Zollverein”. This site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and even though I’ve been there a couple of times already, it still amazes me every time. It’s just fascinating to see how nature seized back it’s place on this large former industrial site. And of course the industrial relicts are still impressive after all this time…
On Saturday afternoon I picked up Hai_di and we met oceans77 and ripper-girl on the site. First stop for birthday coffee and cake (well waffles in that case) was the Kokerei Cafe. It’s a very unique location for a cafe, beneath and among the relicts of the former coal mine. Unfortunately the service was unique as well. But not in a good way. I can’t remember ever having experienced such a unorganzied group of waiter/waitresses. Plus the one who served us in the end (after they had figured out who should serve which table) was rather grumpy and not the most friendly person.She forgot some of the order and she couldn’t do math. Oh, it was so bad. On the other hand, we had something to talk and gossip about and we’ll definitely remember that afternoon :-) I felt rather bad for some tourists from southern Germany though, because they waited over 30 minutes for their salad and in the end they left without having gotten any food, because they had to be somewhere else afterwards. I usually always tip the waiting staff, but this was the first time in a looong time, that I didn’t. Seriously, those folks did not deserve any tip.
Sunshine, blue sky and an extraordinary location to roam around made up for this experience though. We spend a lot of time just walking around, taking pictures, talking about movies and TV series and the internet, all those common interests ;-) And of course we gossiped a little bit about the guest of the several wedding parties which took place on the site that afternooon. In the end we choose to not visit the museum, because it would have been a waste of the wonderful weather to spend time indoors. So we just went up onto the top of the museum where we had a fantastic panaroma view of the Ruhrgebiet (our metropolitian area).
Around 7 PM we headed downtown for some cocktails and yummy, yummy mexican food. And more talks about movies and TV Series and and and… It really was a wonderful, relaxing, sunny, happy birthday. A few of my presents were in fact invitations to similar activities so I’m really looking forward to these. Getting a year older really isn’t that bad after all :-)
Here are a few photos I took at Zollverein that afternoon… Continue reading
Arrival: 9.40 am
Departure: 10.45 am
I took an unplanned detour through the central station until I got out to the main shopping street. Radio WDR5 was preparing for the weekly “Hallo Ü-Wagen” broadcast right there. It was supposed to start at 11 am, but I didn’t notice any audience yet. I don’t know if some showed up later.
I started this Starbucks Day with a christmas-y “Lebkuchen Latte” (Gingerbread Latte) at the store in the DU Forum mall. I immediately knew that I would have another one of these lattes during the day. Continue reading
Did anyone think this challenge wa a crazy idea? Well, so did I every once in a while today. But crazy doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing, right :-)? It was fun in its very own way. I didn’t think that it would be so stressful, but it was. Maybe because the schedule I had worked out was too tight? But for some of the trips between the location there were just two suitable times within the hour so I had to keep that in mind and hurry every once in a while. And I definitely learned a few things for any future Starbucks Challenge (which I or anyone else might do): Continue reading
While I’m listening to the hockey broadcast from Nürnberg, I thought I’d write a short recap of my weekend. It was pretty laidback, including a bit of the usual housewife-y things (@book322 I hope it’s ok to borrow that phrase *g*). During the usual grocery shopping and other errands I saw that “P.S. I Love You” finally is out on DVD. Of course I had to buy it and I hope Hai_di will forgive me, that I didn’t wait for her to watch it together. But I just couldn’t wait and had a comfy movie night last night. With lots of chocolate and lots of tissues. I think I cried even more than I did when I saw it at the movies in the spring. But the comedy parts of this film provided for the necessary balance, so I didn’t go to bed depressed. Not at all, because it’s a great movie and I had a great time watching it.
If it wasn’t so embarrasing I could have laughed about that misspelling on the DVD case. How did that go unnoticed in the process of printing that stuff ?!?! Continue reading