This is Definitely Not the Daily News reporter Telly Vishun was recently given a three-day pass and a generous supply of meds by ward attendants at his Hamburg mental health care facility, allowing him to attend the third-annual whiney expat meetup in Dresden this past weekend.
by Telly Vishun
Dresden (DNTN) – Dresden officials held an emergency meeting late Sunday evening to discuss ways to protect the city in future from expat bloggers bent on having way too much of a good time.
“We’d been monitoring blogs for weeks leading up to last weekend,” moaned city councillor Pennsell Puscher after the session. “We thought we could sit back and relax, what with that locomotive driver’s strike and all. But they gave each other rides! They found alternate means of transportation! Most of them managed to show up anyway!”
Puscher reeled off a laundry list of misdemeanors the bloggers committed in their effort to get to know one another face-to-face instead of just through blogging.
Faces were stuffed! Beer was drunk! Fights broke out! Jokes were told! CO2 was produced!” he wailed. “Not only that, they spread salacious rumours about one of the founders of our city having fathered more than 300 children, bought cruise tickets for a dozen phantoms, trespassed on a boat, and if that weren’t enough, went on an aimless late-afternoon rampage through some of Europe’s most magnificently restored architecture in an attempt to locate Stollen, which – as anyone here will tell you – is available in Dresden in the months before Christmas from any retail outlet staffed by those with a pulse!”
Canadians there too, eh?
The Canadian Blogging Sub-committee Duo in Charge of Making Sure Americans Be Made Aware That We Don’t Say Aboot was also on hand. The better-looking one had the brains to wait ’til Saturday when the strike was over before hopping a train, while the eldest of the group – some guy whose blog’s photo is 15 years old because he just doesn’t want to admit he’s pushing fifty – found a ride Friday via mitfahrerzentrale.de.
“It was really easy,” he said. “First I typed in Hamburg, then Dresden, the date I wanted to leave, and ba-da-boom! One expensive phone call later I’d set up a ride with a student. Too bad I only found out later that she was determined to break the Hamburg-Dresden land speed record, despite driving a French-made four-banger through snow and heavy traffic with her mother along for the ride.
“I shit you not!” he continued. “At one point she failed to notice that traffic ahead was at a standstill. She tromped on the binders and skidded to a stop less than a half-car length from the next bumper, avoiding a rear-ender only through the quick thinking of a driver in front of us who zipped into the right-hand lane as we approached. “
Dazed, confused and feeling lucky to be alive, the geezer-in-training was later spotted mumbling to himself in the Dresden Verkehrsmuseum, which he’d first assumed was a wax exhibition of popular German sexual positions only to discover after buying his ticket that it was stuffed full of old cars, bicycles, motorbikes, planes, rail cars and Dinky toys.
“Not that intercourse and traffic are mutually exclusive,” he said, “but sometimes you have to be careful with the translation.”
Czech food and drink in great abundance
Those who managed to make it Friday evening gathered at the hotel before heading to a Czech restaurant which – to everyone’s astonishment – served dumplings.
Officials are analysing the tape from a CCTV camera to determine which of them may have caused a fight between staff members to erupt behind the restaurant’s bar.
“It was awesome,” said JeweledConcrete‘s boyfriend, who was seated facing the combatants. “I was just about to dig into my delicious plate of roasted lamb shank in dark gravy with vegetables garnished with fresh slices of crustless white bread, when I look up to see two of them flicking towels at each other. They were really going at it for more than an hour.”
“Oooh, I like the sound of that,” said That Queer Expatriate, announcing shortly thereafter that whatever it is men and women do to each other, he simply does not want to know.
Afternoon cruise and city tour
The mayhem continued Saturday after a noontime meetup at an Ice Cream parlour near the hotel, where Heidelbergerin, Ward, The Big Wide World, their spouses and friends and a few others joined the mob from the day before. Successfully repelled from a cruise ship they had attempted to storm after fording the Elbe, they boarded a neighbouring vessel and, after testing the seating arrangements offered on several levels, settled for the room where the tables were longest and heat set on highest.
“It was like a frickin’ sauna in there,” muttered one member. “It got a bit alarming at one point because the blue-rinse set by the opposite window started to peel off their clothing, and when that happens in Germany, ya gotta watch out.”
Lulled into a stupor by the oppressive heat and a tour monologue delivered in florid, Saxon-accented German by someone clearly in love with the sound of his own voice, they cruised past some of the most stunning regional examples of what the Prussian aristocracy used to do when they felt like stacking a few bricks into a castle, complete with terraced riverbank upon which to grow vines to sustain their alcohol addiction.
Streaming off the boat, the group invaded the old quarter only to find their first destination – The Church of Our Lady or die Frauenkirche – closed to visitors. An alternate touring strategy consisting of lurching en masse from one amazing landmark to another was quickly devised.
After visiting a Cathedral which had already attracted a large gathering of seated followers and soaking in the twilight atmosphere of the Zwinger courtyard, they were immediately seized with the idea of eating Stollen.
“…Must….locate….Stollen….” they murmered in unison, ducking down alleyways in lockstep. The sugar-coated raisin-stuffed bready goo safely tucked away, they then decided to fan out to commit separate acts of drinking and shopping, only to regroup later that evening for the final assault of the day: a meal at Mama Africa’s
After barging between seated patrons and settling in around the table placed at the furthest reach possible and thus thoroughly surrounded, they somehow managed to defend themselves by subjecting neighbouring diners to boisterous conversation interspersed with outbursts of laughter. The evening’s entertainment having deserted them
in search of more generous tippers, the expatriate bloggers waited for dinner to be served before demonstrating the proper way to remove one’s dental fixtures, as well as exchanging a brief string of jokes including:
What’s the difference between pussy and mashed potatoes?*
What’s the difference between a gay man and a straight man?**
After they all raved about the food, That Queer Expatriate wandered off to a Think Pink party, The EuroTrippens succumbed to a couple of the sweetest voicemail messages you’ll ever hear while the rest of them braved the wilds of Dresden’s nightlife scene in search of a bar with air you didn’t need to cut with a knife.
Because this reporter had to return home early to replenish his meds, you’ll have to consult any of the others in attendance to get the full report of Sunday’s mop-up activities. I’m sure they’ll oblige.
*Mashed potatoes doesn’t make its own gravy.
** 12 beer.
© 2007 lettershometoyou
PS: If having a good time and a few laughs isn’t reason enough, see The Blog Herald for a post on the value of meeting up with fellow bloggers. – I