Seriously, that boy works like...well...a Norwegian! Not like an exchange student at all! He was off to class before 9, leaving me to my own devices. You might think this gets tedious, but for me it truly doesn't. Jon was impressed with the distances I walk in a city, how much of it I discover, the markets, the churches; often when he'd take me somewhere to tell me its significance (he's a whiz at remembering stuff-- pick an obscure Norse "ting" and he'll give you 100 years of history about it in German, English or Norwegian!) I'd already passed it on a stroll; I just had had NO CLUE what it was. I gave the natural history museum one last try, but they were closed.
Leopold Art Museum instead. This was quite cool, because they had a sizable Klimt exhibit along with Christian Shand. Here are some of my notes from my run there (think: not-live liveblogging)
-Egon Scheile seems very ill, but uses blue well, lots of creepy people
-I like Schand's woodcuts! (Before the Ballet)
-REalism makes me real sad at times (Gypsy Children)
-Never let Otto Dix paint you ladies!
-I have little patience for expressionism
-the only between-war Austrain painter I really dig is Hauser.
-Why can't the east European families here keep quiet? -Does that ability like go away the minute you get into a place that echoes?!
-What does "--1945 (in Polen vermisst)" mean? How do famous painters like Seladeck go missing?
-I HEART blorps of oil on canvas.
-There's an exhibit on psychoanalysis complete with Freud quotes.
-The French tour guides stubbornly refuse to say "Danke" even in Austria, it's "merci."
And on the way out, I ran through Quarter 21, which is like a hall full of practice rooms for conceptual artists in training. One room on freedom had a girl in it, and we got to chatting, and she invited me back that afternoon to be part of its open discussion, which was great because I had NO PLANS! So an hour later I came back and the room filled with people talking about patents, the Fluxus movement, and freedom of expression in the age of the net, just my thing! 15 minutes in, a girl showed up in Japanese street chic, and when she took off her jacket she's painted her arms to look like she'd slit her wrists and was "bleeding" neon glitter ("I eat sequins for breakfast!"). This was as loud as she got in a conversation invoking multiple interpretations of Foucault though.
I left them after a while to go back to J's to pack, but en route (took a tram and not subway, so I could look around) I saw a big Indian grocery. Having seen no such place in Berlin (lots of hippy but no Indian) I ran in to buy hennah and a slightly legal copy of a Bollywood and had a nice chat with the store owner and his two sons about movies and what actors were greater than or equal to others, with his daughter coming in at the end with a yell of "KING KHAN!" "Which one? There are like 7!" Laughter from everyone.
Later came the hard pary, saying goodbye. Remember that Muppet song in the The Muppet Movie "It's Time for Saying Goodbye"? Yeah, that's just how I was feeling, like a sad Muppet. It seems like J and I never get enough time to properly pillage anything, and I got a little >SAID WITH SOUTHERN ACCENT< saynt-uh-mental (sentimental), but as he rightly said, there's mostly a hello at the end of our goodbyes, and I will see him again while on The Continent.