In the end of October my family took a three-day-outing to Frankfurt. We had wanted to go to Berlin originally, but since the Berlin Basketball team did not have a home game that weekend and a visit to a game was a precondition for the trip (for the 14-yr-old), we ended up in Frankfurt.
It was much colder when we arrived than had been predicted, and it rained, which had not been predicted either, I was absolutely not prepared for this, and so the first thing we did was buy an umbrella.
Not that we don’t have an abundance of umbrellas at home, but it was cheaper to buy an umbrella than to buy yet another rain jacket. Of which I have a few more at home than one actually needs, too, and I am determined not to buy any more rain jackets in the next 20 years. Or unless all the ones I have already have been worn out.
Anyway – I had said I wanted to go see the Paulskirche, (link in English here) one of THE important places in context of the beginnings of a process of German unification (the Parliament of the Paulskirche in 1848, which led to the foundation of a German unified state in 1871) and which I had never been to before. On the first afternoon we stood in front of closed doors because the site was not open on November 1, but when we went in the next day (mildly coaxing a slightly less than interested 14-year-old) it turned out to be quite a disappointment. I could not believe the shabbiness of the presentations, the outdatedness of the whole appearance and could not blame my son for not developing a lot more interest for the site than he had shown before the visit.
|View of the conference hall today - nothing like what it used to look like|
when the 1848 parliament was in session.
With all the broohaw going on these days about 30 years of German Re-unification and how happy are we that this took place (brushing over the many problems we have nowadays which arise from the mis-conducted annexation that it really was) I was appalled that there had not been put any seriouis thought into updating the presentation at this particular site.In terms of the importance in the development of German history this place is probably more important than the Wall. But the events along the Wall of course bear much more drama.
|This is what Paulskirche looked like right after WWII.|
My husband and I also went to the Museum of Communication, which used to be the Musem of the Postal Service. They still have a bit of that connection in their display of the evolution of mail boxes from different ages. It made me think about how much our mode of communication has changed over the years. I still like to write letters, and to receive them. But how many people actually still do write letters? And how often does one receive a letter in comparison to bills? And how often do we communicate digitally in comparison...?
On presentation a small display on spinning.
And a rather techonological section where artworks were being created by the visitors as they were moving and these movements were being caught by cameras and then transformed into changing arrangements of small wooden slabs or shadow dancers or creepy figures. Couldn't be captured well in a picture and unfortunately I don't seem to be able to upload the small video from my cell phone, so you just have to take my word for it.
They also had a fun art exhibit standing around: a herd of sheep made from the cables that used to connect the receiver to the phones, way back then when phones were still cabled and not mobile or smart.
Including a black sheep, outside the fence.
That made me think a lot about that saying about a black sheep of the family. How many people are out there who for whatever reason have been marked as that black sheep of a family, and what kind of interactions that may have caused, the wounds it may have wrought, and yet that would not have been necessary because there is no ‘normal’ anyway and do we really all need to be looking (and acting) the same…?
P.S. I wrote most of this post four weeks ago on my way back from Friedrichshafen on the train. And then just never got around to posting. And have been writing posts in my head, probably four or five of them, and yet. Work was busy, creativity a bit on the reduced side (mainly knitting) and November is just not one of my good months anyway. Hoping I will get back into the swing soon.