Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oliver and Company

My sincere apologies to those who checked this site multiple times a day over the last week.  I feel like a blog is a promise, and that I have been neglecting one of my (self imposed) responsibilities.  The only thing I have in my defense is that I've never before worked a proper eight hour day in my life, and the subsequent exhaustion of thinking for someone else has left me spent in the evenings.

Minecraft has been a small, yet significant, blessing during these times--it's a simple form of artistic expression, allowing you to make things out of polygonal blocks, yet is complex enough for talented individuals to craft fascinating spectacles (I'm certainly not spending the kind of time it takes to do that on it)--where I can relax with something not mentally challenging but still artistically stimulating (ultimately, Minecraft is a toy, like Legos, but just youtube 'lego sculptures' to see what, exactly, can be done with a toy).

Returning to the evening of the 6th, a Friday, we meet Oliver--my roommate.  Or flatmate, as you might think of it.  We have a rather spacious flat with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a large kitchen, a large living room, what I can only guess is a second story gazebo, a hallway that could pass for a dance floor, a mysterious locked staircase going down outside my room, and a staircase going *literally* nowhere outside Oliver's room.  It's a second story flat, overlooking the Netto and the Rewe (pronounced 'Rever'), and is rather nice.  It just doesn't have many pillows, a dryer, a wardrobe, or a tv, not that I'm complaining.

Oliver.  Oliver was mostly out when I arrived in Quackenbruck, but he was there Friday.  We talked some, and he wanted to go out to get acquainted.  I had been warned against the local 'disco' by Dr. Figura, who believed there might be some unsavory Russians hanging around the dark road home late at night, so I politely refused that idea.  Initially I rejected his other offer, it was crazy.  But I really did want to socially extend my hand to my flatmate, so I accepted.  We saw Fast and Furious 5 in German.

He led me through the eleven o'clock Quackenbruck easily enough, and we came to the Theater--nothing really special about it.  We met a friend of his, who wanted me to travel to another city Sunday, and wasn't sure when we'd get back Monday (the day I would meet my employer).  The potential disaster of being late to my first day of work is what gave me my reasonable excuse to Oliver later, at the moment I avoided it with my best, 'maybe,' meaning, 'no.'

We sat down in the dark, each row had a bar with dim lamps on it attached to the row ahead for setting down drinks and snacks, and the movie started.  It had only been one night since I arrived from my long flight, and the "The Rock" Johnson  and Vin Deisel were speaking in German with no English subtitles, so I nodded off.  During the parts of the first half I was awake for, you didn't really need words to understand what was going on.  These guys are mad at each other.  This guy wants that girl.  We love fast cars.  We love fast cars.  They like fast cars, but don't love them.  And so on with a few minor shootouts.

What I wake up in time for is the real reason people came to see the movie at all, an action scene so over-the-top it should win the gold in pole vaulting, that can be summed up by the words, "Wrecking-Vault-Car Fu."  Two masters of Car Fu lock their fast cars to a multiple-ton safe (large enough to house a small family) and drive it through the city, using momentum to crush pursuing police vehicles in the most imaginative manners.  I was downright impressed.  Even if I slept through half the movie, I got my money's worth.

Oliver walked us back, and all we saw were a couple of Russians riding their bikes at 1am.  It was a decent Friday.

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