Afterward we opted for a walk through the Tiergarten and a ceremonial stroll through the Brandenburg Gate. The revelry of the German fans celebrating the recent victory over Portugal in the EURO2008 was fun to experience. Much honking, flag waving, screaming, noise-making and general merriment was happening all around us. After we went our separate ways, I skipped off to the subway to make my way home. This is where things got interesting. A few hundred fans making their way on to the next point of celebration in various stages of inebriation... well, let's say that it was loud!
This morning I experienced a little adrenaline rush and acted on it in a way in which I am not so proud. I was on Mimi and almost to the office, riding in the outside lane of a four-lane street. There was a car double-parked in the outside lane ahead of me and I was trying to get my little scooter into the inside lane to get around him. The cars in that lane were bumper to bumper so I decided to use my small size to go between the inside lane and the space left in the outside lane after this idiot decided to park his car partially in a driving lane.
I slowed down and tried to see through the back window of the offending car to get the status of the possible driver to get a clue of their intentions, or just see if there was anyone IN the car. Unfortunately the combination of a dark back window and sunlight reflecting back at me was not allowing clear vision. As I got to within one car length behind and alongside the rear of the car, the driver's side door popped open, directly into my path. He had one foot out immediately and even though I honked, he did not close the door, just looked at me uncomprehendingly. Mimi and I managed to squeeze between his open door and the moving traffic in the inside lane... just barely.
Immediately I pulled Mimi in and parked several car lengths in front of the idiot. Before I could even get my helmet off I was screaming obscenities in English. I proceeded to tell him what an bonehead he was for parking illegally and then not even looking into his mirror before opening the door. At this time I realized that I was screaming at what appeared to be a Turkish man in English and I KNOW he has no idea WHAT I am saying... so I switch to my shitty German - maybe there is a chance he will understand that language. Yes, that language in which I can barely function... BUT when put under pressure I came up with some very interesting and colorful ways of letting him know that I thought he was an absolute Dummkopf. He just stood behind his still open car door with his mouth wide open, never uttering a word. When I'd said my peace I hopped on Mimi and took off. YEAH!
Several things I'm thankful for:
* He didn't start exiting the car a second earlier which would have resulted in his door being open the entire way and his body the whole way out of the car... this would have taken up too much room and Mimi and I would have lost that battle.
* He didn't fight back at all. Male Turks here in Berlin are famous for their masculine bravado, and it could have easily escalated into a shouting match on the street, neither of us understanding what the other said.
* No one reading this thinks I'm racist for pointing out the guy's probable ancestry without questioning how I could know this... (he was proudly displaying two Turkish flags on his car, ostensibly to support the Turkish football team in their run for EURO2008).
* That no one reading this is going to tell N. She's already nervous enough that I'm even riding Mimi... We don't need to add to her fears, do we?
Finally I was able to speak my Pop after almost really messing up Father's Day. It was a great conversation. We talked about our lives, other family members, and current events. Recently he was given a special honor by the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame, and we finally had a chance to talk about it. He was all alone during our call whereas normally I catch him on his way to do something or driving, or with a bunch of people around him.
As he answered the phone he was on his way from the house to his workshop which for him is the most comfortable place in the world. We talked until his mobile phone ran out of battery... 2.25 hours. I just love the guy, and miss him horribly. In my rather F'd up teenage years, my old man took me in and gave me stability, love, and trust. It was invaluable and probably kept me sane.
Music from Tim Russert's IPod was used at his funeral service to send him into the great beyond. Now I'm a little scared. Does this mean that participants at my funeral will be hearing Haddaway's "What is Love"?