The shopping mall is exhibiting personal devices made for escaping East Germany: a homemade submarine (powered by paddle), a hot-air balloon made from patchwork material that carried a whole family over mountains, an ultra-light aircraft powered by a lawnmower engine, a scuba outfit, and a car and motorcycle disguised as government issue. There is also a table manned by a women that allows you to see your very own STASI files. It's all a weird compliment to Benetton and the shoe shops surrounding this stuff in the Goethe Gallerie (a mall named after the great man — is he rolling over or what?).
We're still trying to cut costs here and there on the proposed South American tour. We're getting closer to not losing lots of money, but we're not there yet. Had a big meeting with all the band and crew; it was maybe the first time we've all sat in one room.
I ran along the river here and waved or smiled at people I passed — but mostly I got no reactions or heads down. Maybe it’s bad manners on my part, or leftover Communist paranoia on theirs. Then again, maybe I am just a stranger.
As our show began, I looked out on a small sea of people mostly dressed in black, some holding umbrellas against the drizzle, and I felt disconnected. It was less than 24 hours since we were in sunny Italy by the seaside and the contrast in cultures was shocking. I hadn't absorbed or processed it yet. I made some weird comments like, "we haven't been here before and so we don't know you and you don't know us."
But about halfway through people began dancing and smiling and I loosened up as well. Maybe I let go of some of my preconceptions and maybe they did too.