Once around prose

Saturday, 09.09.2000, by fetching my starting-number for the 23th Berlin-Marathon I have seen an announcement for the Great Wall Marathon! An URL: www.great-wall-marathon.com. I was on fire immediately! 3 Travel-agencies for the runners from Germany. One in Berlin. This one demanded for the supply of a visum 100 DM, 45 $! For a Visum a passport is necessary I applied for it in February, it should be ready mid April. Luckily it was. The visum needed at the Chinese embassy 4 labour-days, DM 30,-
The German travel-agents offered different prices, from 1600,- only from Beijing to 4000,- for a complete tour from and to Berlin This was out of question for me, because I wanted to visit my old acquaintance Kopi (Andreas Kopac) in Shanghai .
A former brother-in-arms, partner in manufacturing meade and now close friend lived there! I was even guest at huis religious wedding in Hoexter. I booked at the agent answering 2nd, because he was 1600,- cheaper than the one in Berlin. Later he upgradeded his offer 400,-, but I accepted. Only 2 days later the 3rd one brought in his offer, which was the cheapest of all. Unfortunately I had already signed. Kopi recommended the tailors in Bangkok, which are said to be the best of Asia.
By fetching the starting-number for the 25km of Berlin on Saturday, the 05.05.2001 I met a commilitone from the study of chemistry at the TU Berlin. She told me from a cheap travel-agent, the successor of ARTU. Kilroy-Travels in the Hardenbergstraße! Around the world for DM 3000,- (~1 364US$)! For I had no flight to Beijing yet, I visited them. There they recommended me a „Wold-travel-ticket“,which costed me, as I do have finished my studies and am older than 32 years; DM 3 849,50 (~1 750 US$). 6 stops were allowed; as my pen-pal Loni from British Columbia had told me in advance she wasn´t at home the time I was practically around the corner from her, I had to re-arrange. Therefore I added a stop in London.

The time schedule:

1 LH1727H 17MAY 4 Berlin - FrankfurtHK1 1225 1335
2 TG 921Q 17MAY 4 Frankfurt - Bangkok HK1 1505 0645 18MAY 5
3 TG 662Q 21MAY 1 Bangkok - Shanghai HK1 0045 0600
24th of May to Beijing, 26th GWM, 28th back to Shanghai
4 AC 6H 02JUN 6 Shanghai - Vancouver HK1 1655 1245
5 AC3912H 02JUN 6 Vancouver - Montreal HK1 1415 2151
6 AC 772H 06JUN 3 Montreal - Newark HK1 1100 1218
8 UA 956H 10JUN 7 NYC JFK - London HK1 1855 0655 11JUN 1

9 LH5981H 14JUN 4 London City - Berlin HK1 1925 2220

Sunday, the 06.05.01
25km of Berlin! A light rain-coat, but before the start this to the exchange-clothes,onto, the truck. On the Reichsstraße my former kommilitone overtaken!

Monday, the 07.05.01
To the Institute for Tropical Diseases, a vaccination-counsel. The advices were immediately brought into reality: 1st agaist Hepatitis, one against Polio.
The week before the yourney the exchange-counter in the Europa-Center, travellers-cheques for 1000 $, 100 $ in cash und for 100,- Thai Baht.

Monday, the 14.05.01
13h to my financial manager Ralph Drabe, Effectiv-Finanzpartner. Nordinvest-shares sold, they had costed the time of purchase TDM 30 für Nordasia.com and 10 for Nordgenetics; plus Templeton, Frankfurt Trust and Oppenheimer. For 40 Immo-shares signed. DM 6000,- were destined as cash for the journey; supposedly more than enough by far.
Again to the Institute for Tropical Diseases, die 2nd vaccination against Hepatitis, 1 against Cholera.

Tuesday, the 15.05.01
In order to find my luggage easier on the big airports I planned to mark it with a big red X from textile adhesive ribbon, but our household´s supplies were enough only for my ¾ of my suitcase.

Wednesday, the 16th of May01
The Lufthansa was on strike on Thursdays! Kilroy gave me an info-telefone-number.
There I learned that it wasn´t sure if the strike was to be continued, but my ticket for the flight would be valid on the ICE (rapid express train).
Again had a close look on my pass-port and the visum for China.
Luggage finished. A big blue Samsonite (with a big red X on the one side and a single red stripe on the other) and a big grey traveler´s bag. Both were half empty!

THURSDAY, the 17th of May 2001
Got up at 5.00 a.m., called Lufthansa: Strike goes on! My Mom brought me by car to Bahnhof Zoo. As I like riding by train and as ICE is the best of it, I wasn´t sad for the change. On time in the train. Merrily expecting things to come! 1st stop Spandau. 2nd stop Potsdam. 3 rd stop Magdeburg. 4th stop Brunswig. We were good in time, my good mood was even increasing!
I was completely equipped. The tickets, my time-schedule, my money, the traveller´s checques, my luggage, my passport, my.... Wait a moment. The passport?
Did I pack it back again after admiring it yesterday?
Of course I didn´t. That means: Back to Berlin! Re-booking everything! At the arrival of my train into the station of Brunswig I saw the other ICE heading Berlin waiting. A fast prayer!
I asked the train-attendant to call the other train to wait for me. My traveller´s bag and my suitcase flew literally out of the train, down the stairs over to the other platform and upstairs again! I actually ran to the ICE, which luckily had waited indeed. THIS WAS A GOOD START! 
I took the ICE just until Spandau. 1pm back in Berlin again! From there the S-train to Zoo; there I stocked up my foreign currency with 34 english pounds, then I RELAXED with an excellent ice-cream. As I didn´t think of locking my luggage at the Railway-station, I didn´t go to Kilroy-travels immediately, but went home. At least I informed the Bangkok tailor that I would stay two instead of three nights, that was cheaper for him. Good thing, this e-mail! Then I called the travel-agent and went there. Extra costs: 100$ for re-booking, DM45,- the ticket for the ICE from Brunswig to Spandau, finally about 140,- for a return-ticket to Frankfurt am Main. Cheaper than a one-way ticket! Home, early into bed.

FRIDAY, the 18th of May 2001
Again got up early. Underground to Zoo Station, there into the ARPT-Express-bus to Tegel. Departure today LH1041 10.21 am for the connecting flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok with the Thai Airways TG left 2.45 pm. Seats here comfortable also, food delicious (my choice was duck on rice) and the drinks exclusive. I didn´t save myself of a ´99er Chardonnay.  As I took my personal hygiene-bag with me into the cabin, I was able even to brush my teeth in the evening. A screen on the front side of the cabin showed the relative position of the plane!

SATURDAY, the 19th of May 2001
There weren´t too many clouds above Bangkok! Because we were flying against the Earth´s spin, we arrived after 14 hours of flight (in a Jumbo-Jet) 19th of May 6.45 am. The Airport was outside the city! The tailor warned me about the taxi-drivers: They´d bring me ANYWHERE, where they´d get commission by the host.Therefore I didn´t take a taxi, but a shuttle-bus into the town. Kopi had telefaxed me an advertisement of the tailor´s, on which there was a map with his studio. Sukhumvit Soi 7, Sukhumvit Road, latitude Nana Station. Therefore I got out Nana Station! Luckily my suitcase had rolls  The studio was on road-level! But at 8 am not opened yet.  I had to wait. The other side was a snack-bar, from which came a delicious smell. Despite in the plane there was supplied a light breakfast, I was hungry now.
Thai “snacks” are much more ample and various than I am willing to list at this place. At about 9am a young man aproached the studio – but he had no key. Finally one arrived who had and let us in. Inside I asked for my mail-mates, Bob and Raja, to learn they were at a clothing-exposition in Frankfurt/Main the moment. Instead I was served by a Sikh named George. Very pleased! I was to choose cutting fashions for the blazers, a collar style for the smoking (finally no tuxedo) and fabrics for everything. 10 different shirts, 5 knickerbockers, 3 trousers, 2 blazers und 1 smoking. I was supposed to return 3 pm. At first I wanted to look around the town. And that´s what I did! At first to a shoe-shop, new slippers. Costs about 33 US$! Into a pharmacy, little leather-pads to glue into the shoes and various multi-vitamin stuff. Sukhumvit Road was busy shopping-road with many mobile merchants offering virtually everything.Best I liked coconuts with thin cover, little meat, but plenty of juice! A very pretty young lady offered her company and tried to make me take a coser look onto the displayed goods. But when I communicated that I was not willing to buy anything, she was rapidly gone. In the department store “Setan” I bought a youth-backpack with Mickey-Mouse on it, for my luggage on the day of the run and as souvenir for Erik. Later, on Sukhumvit, red textile-reinforced adhesive tape. I told the tailor to put the buttons on handles, like mushrooms, that I wanted to pass my left hand through the closed left cuff and that the right arm had to be as well longer as more wide. And I payed: Altogether 612 US $. Lodging I should in the Metro Palace, Petchbury 13, at the Petchbury Road.
The taxi-driver crossed a road with a big sign of the hotel, despite I told him to go there! Afterwards he made a sight-seein-tour with me. I told him that the tailor would pay him; he didn´t want to let me out, before I had payed. When I demanded a receipe, he let me get out. In the hotel I had a pretty room, refreshed myself and relaxed. In the afternoon came a parcel from the tailor, the shirts. Midnight the 2nd one, with the blazers!

SUNDAY, 20th of May 2001
Today I wanted to see something of Bangkok! I bought a multi-ride-ticket for the Skytrain and got off. Bangkok has two Skytrain-routes; I took each unto both ends. The weather was grey, so I had no good visibility; the photos became unspectacular. But I got massaged; for in Berlin „Thai-massage“ has the odour of red lights, I immediately told the clerks I wanted „No nude“ and „No sex“. The massage did me very well! The girl massaging me looked at me from the side for long times and said repeatedly „Mei luuu“ in a soft and tender voice, whatever this may mean. Back in the hotel: A man wanted to speak to me, said the clerk at the reception desk. For I was tired, I told him I expected noone; therefore he sent him away.In the evening I rode around midnight to the airport, where very early tomorrow my plane left.

MONDAY, 21th of May 2001
At exactly 0.45 am! Thai Airways Int´l, TG662. Check-in half an hour earlier. The usual security-program. A snack, little, but of excellent quality. 0600 arrival in Shanghai! On the old City-Airport. On THIS airport lots of dredgers were active, trying to abduce me. When I told them I was waiting for a friend, a young woman claimed he was waiting for me; I was supposed to follow her. Luckily I had his phone-number and called. He was already gone; shortly later he actually collected me. We drove by taxi to his firm in the Change-Road, later to his flat in the Hongshen Dalo(Tower) in the Dingxi Lu. 14th storey! It was still under construction. But in luxury! Marble, stucco end engraved glass in the doors. We had lots to talk! For sleeping we found a place in their sleeping-room, which wasn´t yet equipped, but at least there was no work done.

TUESDAY, 22nd of May 2001
Looked around in Shanghai, my friend´s wife showed me the clothing-market. I bought one pair of trousers and one pair of shorts. Sightseeing! Looked around for a pharmacy to get nourishing-salts for the yeasts. Finally I was at a chemist´s. Jana Kopac ordered a plane-ticket for me to Beijing. In the evening we were eating out, with staff of his company and customers. A very noble Japanese restaurant!

WEDNESDAY, 23rd of May 2001
On the Campus of Shanghai´s University ran about one hour. Sightseeing. With Kopi eaten mongolic at a kiosk. Delicious! The meade prepared: Tokay and Bourgund.

THURSDAY, 24th of May 2001
From City-ARPT early to Beijing, a domestic flight. Service exquisite nevertheless! The cabin-crew spoke a little English. One of the stewardesses was the most beautiful Chinese girl I had seen until then! I gave to her my calling-card.  Taxi to the Quianmen Hotel. Quite nobel. The cabby drove circumventions! In the evening conference about the schedule.

FRIDAY, 25th of May 2001
Today walking the route! Departure 5h bus to the starting-point. We walked the part on the wall and the parts in the valley. Inthe hotel bought a belt-bag branded „North Face“, about 50 US$! In a supermarket I bought knee- and ellbow-protectors. A millenium-old stone-wall is very inconvenient ground to stumble and fall down. I was searching for a straw-hat for the run, but I found none. Except on another customer´s head! I tried to ask him, where he got it from, even to trade it off him. It was futile. Sadly I stole away to pay for my purchases. Suddenly the man was there: He even gave me the hat as a present!! I was happy. Back in the hotel I got a massage. When I wanted to get money to pay for it, my bank-account was suddenly empty!

SATURDAY, 26th of May 2001
Today was the great day! Departure at 3 am, just the knapsack with me. Breakfast in the bus. Relaxed. The place: Absolutely picturesque! Great weather! Speeches of various government officials, music. Clothes in the knap-sack, last time to the loo, then onwards! Exact description of the route and 2500 fotos at www.great-wall-marathon.com! I´m runner # 39, the one with the big straw-hat and the little sun-glasses. Not to get into the throng on the steep steps to the wall, I took care to be the last runner to cross the starting-line. What isn´t put down there: On the wall I was careful; even climbed backwards if the path was difficult and the securing rope was on the right hand. But in the valley I hurried to catch up time. I stumbled and fell. My precautions payed off!  No bruises on the knee, neither on the ellbow! But as it comes: I was that fast as to overthrow and hurt my shoulder. To clean the wound, I had nothing sterile with me, but I had elektrolyte drink! Isotonic and in the composition are an acceptable approximation to Ringer-solution, which in medicine is generally used to clean wounds. Of course not sterile, but of drinking-water quality and GUARANTEED with less bacteria than the Chinese street-dirt I was washing out  This year even the winner needed 3 hours 50´! My own time was 7 h 18´ 05´´. Limit was 8 hours. After finishing I went to the 1st-aid-tent and had my wound properly washed out and disinfected. Later I bought postcads and a painting of the wall. Finally back to Beijing.

SUNDAY, 27th of May 2001
The day for free disposal; in the evening gala-banquet. Strolled a litle by foot through the sorroundings of the hotel, I asked where I could get a railway-ticket. As I was very low in cash, that was a better way to return to Shanghai. Ordered the ticket in another hotel. My empty account was annoying! With my very last bank-notes I bought the ticket; it was just enough for the cheapest class, „hard seat“. But today I needed no money; the banquet was included in the journey´s fare. At Photoloader, the Danish photographer, for 100 US$ the „Gold Pack“ ordered, many photos, 1 CD ROM with 100 fotos. Looked at all, 3x I was 3 times on! But had no money for a down-payment.
The food was appropriate to the journey´s price! Beijing-duck and a giant buffet. Aside I found some odd-shaped, decorative fire-red fruit looking like fresh peperoni. Curiously I ate one. Chinese peperoni are hotter than western ones by far! 

MONDAY, May 28th of 2001
Very early made my luggage ready, 12am the room had to be left. I had my luggage locked away. In lobby of the hotel they had touch-screen-telephones giving access to the Internet! I mailed the taylor because of my trousers. Then I went to the other hotel to collect my ticket. In the end I took a taxi to the railway-station because of my luggage. I had to wait some time, but in the end it was a ticket for a reserved seat. Departure at 6 pm. The train was VERY crowded. But despite the confining narrowness a relaxed, even happy mood! The Chinese seem to be used to confined spaces. One of my neighbours spoke a little English, that made the trip even pleasant. There were even foods and beverages supplied! To be payed extra, but ridiculously cheap and of good quality. The Chinese even gave me readily space to eat more comfortably! Could it be that later, in God´s Kingdom, an overproportionate number of Chinese?  I met in the train even two other Europaeansr, two girls from Island on a hiking-tour with whom I spoke English. As my immediate companions were not too shy to stretch out on the „hard“ seats to sleep and this picture was to be seen throughout the cabin, I made myself comfortable also.

TUESDAY , May 29th of 2001
In the morning one could purchase breakfast on the train. Arrival in Shanghai at 7.45 am. The station was gigantic! As the one in Beijing. Staf was as friendly though! One employée offered me to wait in her bureau and even made it possible for me to call Kopi, to pick me up.. The rest of the day was to re-create. In the evening eating out with his company´s customers in a noble Japanese Sushi-restaurant, in the evening to a „KTV“-, Karaoke-Bar. Very strange to me, but most of the Chinese did amuse themselves greatly. There were also hostesses present, partly singing duetts with the guests. A Lady which Kopi later introduced as chief of staff of the girls sat aside me claiming „I love you“. Really.

WEDNESDAY May 30th of 2001
Today Brunch in the Sofitel Hyland Hotel. We tried to invite his Partner Cheng Ching Chung (for Europaeans „Peter“), but he wasn´t free, Genny, the KTV-Lady we didnt reach. „ Sky-Lounge“, the restaurant on 33. floor, was furnished with much style! Classical music live on a grand piano, the other young Lady was accompanying on a violin. Buffet at it´s best!! Salads, soups, meats, fishes, crémes, caviar more than enough!
All of it for about 25 US$ each.A beautiful sight over Shanghai! Many photos taken; one moment without concentration, the camera got open.
Kopi had a favourite shoemaker on the streets, who applied into my shoes from Bangkok leather patches into the back side. Moreover he showed to me the old house where he lived earlier and the street-markets. Most important: His source for Suntory-beer!
I needed decent shoes. In Shanghai there were settled shoemakers also. I had measure taken and ordered 2 pairs, 1x with laces , 1x slipper.

THURSDAY May 31th of 2001
Sightseeing! Nangking Road, the largest shopping-street. Like Berlin´s Ku-Damm, but pedestrian-area! Place Of The People, harbour... Shanghai has an exquisite river-face with pompous buildings back from the colonial era! My wounded shoulder turned out to be infected in the end. Therefore I was with Jana in the Poli-clinic. There I got prescribed a broad-spectrum-antibiotic, which I was able to purchase right in the hospital´s pharmacy. Expensive, about 45 US In the hospital´s pharmacy there worked the (in my eyes) most beautiful Chinese girl I had seen so far. A colleague! :-x

FRIDAY June 1st of 2001
For soybean-milk is a product of the country and is pressed fresh daily, in the morning I went to the street-market to buy some. But I was late! It was sold out everywhere. As a replace I bought from a little supermarket open 24 hours a day milk from cattle. Today Kopi gave me a guided tour through Shanghai. More of the university, shops. He highly recommended Chinese snacks, as dried meat and roasted field-beans. He didn´t promise to much. Delicious!

SATURDAY June 2nd ofi 2001
My schedule was to depart today, but as I had no accomodation in Montreal I decided to stay 2 days longer in Shanghai. Place Of The People, river-port, parks. There they tear down buildings which in most other cities would be regarded as „middle-class“. This is called „Slum-sanification“!

SUNDAY June 3rd of 2001
Kopi had shown to me an „investmen-ruin“ in the best area of Shanghai, at which the promoters shortly before the installation of the windows ran out of money. They´re in search of partners! Maybe I know the right people. The shoes were ready! Custom-made in superior quality for about 40US$ the pair.

MONDAY June 4th of 2001
Departure! A taxi ordered. To Kopi´s bureau 1st, he brought some e-mail for me, to my mobile address nitus324@yahoo.com. From my sis Annette. Then to the ARPT-bus to Pudong! This time Air Canada. French-speaking! Pudong is giantic. But clearly arranged! Again flewn into the night. Air-staff was friendly again. Across the Pacific ocean, to Vancouver. Arrival 12.45am. Here I just saw the airport! But I bought picture-postcards and a city-guide. 2.15pm the connecting flight was scheduld, but it was delayed around one hour. Therefore I was only at about 11pm in Motreal/Dorval. I took the ARPT-bus into the city. Another passenger from the ARPT descended also at the central bus-station; a young Lady from France, de l´Alsace We had a very inspiring talk for 3 hours! ;-)
TUESDAY, June 5th of 2001
At the bus-port there were about half a dozen hotels and pensions, some beginning with 25 Can$ the night; but those were completely booked out. At about 4 am I finally found an accomodation. The „Hotel Visitel“ in 1617 (Rue) St-Hubert for 50 Can$ the night, for 2 nights 70, as the 1st was almost over. By carrying my heavy suitcase upstairs to the 2nd floor I lost my balance and got a deep abrasion at my left ellbow. The friendly hotel-clerk from the reception heard the noises and came upstairs immediately and helped me to transport the suitcase into my room. I looked after my wound, refreshed myself and got to bed. The early afternoon I tried to phone my „mail-mate“ Trixie, but she wasn´t at home yet. Then I went to buy some food; fresh bread, milk, some fruit and a meat-pudding. I was searching for a laundry, found one; but it was expensive and I´d have had to stay there. The hotel-clerk showed me the hotel´s laundry-room! There I put my shirts and trousers into the laundromat. I went again to buy a bus-ticket to Dorval-ARPT and a road-map from Montréal. On the road close to the hotel a quite pretty young woman asked me: „Do you want a girl?“ All I could do was smile to her and say: „Of course!“ She answered: „For an hour or a half?“ My smile became broader and I replied: „For all of my life. To marry!“ There she became sad and she objected she had a „friend“. Sympathetically smiling I wished her a good bye and went away. After I had eaten, I looked up the street where my friend lived and went there by bus and d by subway. She lives pretty! She got one of the Chinese ink-drawings, one Jade-ring and a tea-pot. In the evening she ordered a taxi for me. Half way to the hotel I realised to have left my belt-bag with Trixie! So we had to return. For I knew where I had put it off, It was quickly found. Back to the hotel. Tired, but lucky I felt asleep.

WEDNESDAY, June 6th of 2001
Of course I had breakfast 1st, got ready and packed my luggage. The personnel of the hotel gave me one dozen calling-cards. www.hotelvisitel.com! Departure 11 am from Dorval. My luggage contained no potential threat to air-security, so the check-in was quick. In the plane (AC 772) and out of the windows I took again many photos! The most out of the window. 12.18 in Newark! A little bit out of the town. In the foyer of the ARPT there were some agencies supposed to distribute the passengers to the hotels. At one of those agencies I bought a bus-ticket to Brooklyn With that into the city. The ride was the 1st sight-seeing tour! Very in contrast to the subway. A brother from Berlin had informed me that the Bethel was close to the subway-station Borough Hall. There to! Station Borough Hall is in Brooklyn, some hundred meters from the Bethel („House of God“). Luckily I had bought at the ARPT a map of the subway-net, so I got along. I often asked trespassers to the way to the „Watchtower-Building“.The complex was gigantic! At a smaller street, the Adams Street, I saw people coming out of an unpretending entrance - No.117. I rang there and it was opened. A small, plain ante-room – and behind another door a flat, but VERY extended reception-room. At the long desk there were only 2-3 brothers working. One of them answeered a telephone-call - „Watchtower House, Lobby one – Good afternoon!“ With a very melodic, almost singing voice. The pleasure in serving Jehovah was clearly recognisable at him! The brothers were so friendly to look for a hotel nearby; the 1st having a bed vacant was the Courtyard by Marriot, in the Central Park Way. At first I tried to get to Manhattan Island, where the Central Park is. The subway was partly under re-condtruction! Therefore I was wandering about the tunnels with my heavy bags. The rolls of my Samsonite-suitcase had already on the ARPT of Shanghai begun to squeek, probably because of the ample dust on the construction-site of Kopi´s flat; on the way to the Bethel it became unbearable. What could I do? I asked the brothers for an oil-can. Futile. There I had an idea: For the Marathon I brought an ointment based on vaseline. But how to get it on the place? As I had nothing better, my tooth-brush was sufficient. The succes: The suitcase rolled even swifter and more silent than as it did when was new!  The hotel was close to the La Guardia ARPT. That I had to find 1st! Easier said than done. As I was low in funds, I wasn´t able to just catch a taxi! The ticket-machine in the subway accepted my German cash-card for a week´s ticket. Finally I found the way: Subway-Station Roosevelt Avenue, then bus Q33.
New York´s subway goes partially above the surface, as elevated railway, on a scaffold. For I didn´t posses a „Major credit card“, I had to pay in advance! „Watchtower-rate“ 119,- US$ + tax. My cash was sufficient for just one day! This one I payed, then felt into my bed as tired as dead.

THURSDAY, June 07th of 2001
Breakfast in hotel wasn´t included into the Watchtowr-rate. As an iron ration I had dried fruit from China and electrolyte-tablets! Under the viaducts of the elevated railway of Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave. There were shops in the houses on the sides; this morning I had Indian food. On my map the distance was tiny; from my hotel in Queens to the Bethel in Brooklyn just18 cm (6´´)! First some stations with the bus. Line E to p.ex. Canal Street, then take the A or C on to High Street. This is the direct way already! 18 stations, some very far apart. As „tourist“ I wanted to see the production-works described so fascinating in the video „Organized...“. It was even greater! Among others tumble-washers with drums the size of a Volkswagen Beetle! I was all eye. Even afterwards on the way to the hotel! Without the mega-heavy suitcases the subway was real fun! From Lobby 1 I called back home to have money sent to me. A Moneygram.

FRIDAY, June 08th of 2001
Today the departments „Shipping“ and „Bureau“. At parts I got an extra-guided tour, just for me! It´s really fascinating whereto all over the world literature is sent! On my way to get there I saw much of New York´s streets. A pen-pal of mine lives in Columbia-street. I found one in Brooklyn. But in the given number she doesn´t live! I was searching for an exchange-shop; with my passport and the secret pick-up-number I finally got the money. How beautiful and pleasant there are people as parents!  On the way I was addressed by lots of people if I wouldn´t also like this one great program of the democratic party. Finally I helped myself saying: „I already voted. I´m a loyal subject to Jehovah´s Kingdom!“ There they left me alone. Accidentally I met two young men looking strangely familiar. One of them carried a thick book! There I asked him: „Excuse me, is this a New-World-Translation?“ The two were on their way to their book-studies in the Columbia-Street! Of course I joined them immediately. As it was to be expected I was accepted heartily and even got the opportunity to give comments! From there I have got my Creator-book in English. The way back down the Columbia Street I enjoyed the georgeous skyline of Manhattan! With many fotos, of course. In the evening I called my pen-pal: She lives in Manhattan, not in Brooklyn!

SATURDAY, June 9th of 2001
As I was REALLY hungry, I asked the doorman of the Courtyard where I could get reasonably priced breakfast in the neighbourhood. He recommended 2 streets away the „Buccaneer“. Thereto I relocated immediately. Reasonably priced indeed! The dishes were slightly more expensice than in a fast-food-restaurant, but the portions were much bigger! And very tasty. I had been trying to locate my other mail-mates in NY, but I didn´t succeeed. Out of a beautiful habit I at first payed a visit to the Bethel; also to tell everything went all right. (Psalm 84:10) For a day in your courtyards is better than a thousand [elsewhere]. I have chosen to stand at the threshold in the house of my God Rather than to move around in the tents of wickedness.
Today I enjoyed the walk over the Brooklyn-Bridge! And I documented it detailedly. I was in search of a gift for my father, best would be an extravagant cork-lifter. But even the department-store in the World-Trade-Center had nothing adequate! Furthermore I wanted to visit my mail-mate Dawn Griffin! I had already bought a road-map of NYC; the Columbia Ave. Was about 2km away. Nevertheless I took a taxi. The driver brought me to anywhere! When I realised we were going into the wrong direction, I mentioned it; he didn´t listen. Finally I demanded: „Let me get out!“ He claimed that he had understood „Columbia Street“! The driver fidgeted, but in the end brought me to the real place. „Please don´t tell your cab-drivers at home about this!“ As I had this way a nice sightseeing-tour I paid him US$ 15. Well, my acquaintance was at home, she accompanied me some way to my hotel. As she hadn´t told at home, she didn´t come all along. That was it I bought the teapots and Jade-rings for! Then I returned to the hotel.

SUNDAY, June 10th of 2001
There was not much to pack in, as I had done most of it yeasterday. For the staff had shown generous with the paying the bill, I gave to the chief of the reception for his colleagues US$ 50. To Kennedy-ARPT! The hotel offered a shuttle-service. Aside me two families used it; they needed another airport! The driver brought them first. Result: I got my plane just in time. United Airlines UA 956 at 6.55 pm. Now across the Atlantic Ocean!

MONDAY, June 11th of 2001
6.55 am landing on Heathrow! A little bit larger than Frankfurt. I took the opportunity to get a breeze of the wide world on the tourist´s lookout-platform! I hadn´t locked in my suitcase, so I had to carry it halfway upstairs. The gorgeous view onto landing and starting airplanes paid me amply for this effort! As the underground-traffic on the line to Heathrow was interrupted, there was a bus instead to Acton town. In the entrance-hall of the underground-station I caught a glimpse onto a familiar book-cover. The creator-book! The pretty young black Lady holding it in her hand was a sister! Immediately I asked her for the next congregation. One station towards Heathrow, South Ealing, then left. There the speech for the public had just begun! The WT-study was very edifying, again I was able 2 give comments. Then the brothers explainesd to me how to get to the Bethel! Underground Mill Hill East, then walk or bus.
The Bethel is situated in a real park! There I got some telephone-numbers of various places to stay. The only vacant this fast was the as Cumleigh House Hotel in the Nether Street. But for one night only! This afternoon I met brother and sister Rawn, who invited me for supper tomorrow. After I made myself comfortable in my room in the hotel, I wanted FINALLY AFTER SOME YEARS to eat Fish´n Chips!!! I didn´t fidget around, but asked any trespassers I met on the street: „Excuse me, Sir. Could you please tell me where I could get some decent Fish ´n Chips?“ In the end I was directed to a street up-way, there would be more life. I found the little way, named „Lover´s walk“. At it´s end a young man crossed my path. I immediately shot my question off! The stranger smiled understandingly and even helped me to search! We mutually introduced ourselves: Francis Antoniadis, from the Greek half of Cyprus. At a time he asked me what made me come to London. Now it was my turn to smile understandingly: „ I hope to find some of Jehovah´s Witnesses!“ He was a little taken aback first, but then he said to my great enchantment with a friendly grin: „At least ONE you have found now!“

TUESDAY June 12th of 2001
As I had to leave the room before noon and had no other accomodation yet, I packed my luggage and went to the Bethel. There I joined in a guided tour! It was still impressing, although the plant in NY was even bigger. At one address for „Bed and Breakfast“ we were successful at last! At Mrs. Harris, 1 High Mount, Hendon Central. „A Jewish Lady, but she cooperates with us.“ As it turned out later, she wasn´t really Jewish, for she didn´t believe in God. But she was an Israeli patriot! Even for auxiliary defence-service in Israel she volunteered! Later I was in town to search for a museum. What I found instead was a computer-shop from which I could access the Internet! I sent mails to my parents and Rosie, whom I hoped to meet. 6.30 pm with Francis to the congregation´s meeting! In the evening supper at the Rawn family. As was to be expected the dear brothers had prepared a banquet! We prayed and then started. It was to much by far to even take a pick from everything! The brothers are the same worldwide!  Then there was talked a lot. When I arrived at my accomodation, Tomiko opened, a Japanese girl living with Mrs. Harris constantly.

WEDNESDAY June 13th of 2001
Today I wanted to buy presents and see something of the town. Francis brought me to a department-store, where I finally found an indigenious cork-lifter for my father. And a hang round-bag for Christian service! Tottenham Court Road, Liverpool Street, Tower Hill... In the evening Francis took me to a restaurant where the Fish ´n Chips were supposed to be the best of all London. Something with „Brother´s...“. They weren´t bad indeed! Astonishing was the Brits don´t have their „Chips“ not like the continental „Pommes Frites“, meaning fried crusty, but rather like stick-shaped fried potatos fried with much oil. At his home Francis showed to me a very beautiful service-satchel made from leather which he would like to give to me in exchange for my plastic-bag! He had stored it 5 years in his cupboard only, unused....

THURSDAY June 14th of 2001
Today it meant say farewell to England! I asked Mrs. Harris what was more important to her: Peace or security. She didn´t have to consider for long: „You can´t have the one without the other!“ Wise answer. So she got both! In form of the correponding Chinese signs with ink on bast-paper, from the market in Shanghai. I brought my luggage to the left-luggage-office in Liverpool Street Station and went to Tower Bridge! There I wanted to visit the museum in the bridge´s towers. Really a rewarding trip! Look onto the photos also. Time flew away! In the end I had to hurry to get my plane! Liverpool Street fetching my luggage, Tube Station Canning Town the bus to the City ARPT, departure LH5981H to Berlin-Tegel at 7.25 pm; again good food, good wine ( a Chardonnay). Arrival in Tegel scheduled 10.20 pm, we even were a bit quicker!
FromTegel by bus to the U-Bahn-station Zoo, from there U9 bis Rathaus Steglitz, Bus 148 bis Habelschwerdter Allee/Drakestraße, then with the 111 bus to Ehrenbergstraße, the last150m by foot.  At home again!

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