I realize I was there a month ago, but I want to talk about my trip to Berlin for a bit.

Because we were all in the same area, I went to Berlin with the other two exchange students, Ashley and Emily. They're not bad people, and I like them up to a certain point, but I'm not entirely fond of spending an extended period of time with them. Ashley a bit on the air-headed side; Emily is bossy, can get pretty bitchy, and likes backhanded, passive-aggressive comments; and they both come across as the "popular" type that likes to make people like me a pet project of sorts and really believes they're doing them a favor. I'm okay with them when they're not together (when they're together it just feels like they're ganging up on me) and if I'm only spending a couple hours with them. That said, I was initially glad they were going with me to Berlin because I'm not entirely comfortable walking around a strange city by myself - I probably would have (A) gotten lost, and (B) given up after seeing a couple things and gone back to the hostel to relax. I'm kinda lazy that way.

Berlin was fun, and for the most part the girls were enjoyable company. The part where they started to annoy me was when we were going to different museums on the "Late Night at the Museum" program. I wanted to see the museums that were related to World War II and the Cold War, specifically Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish Museum, Topography of Terror, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. (I also wanted to go to the Gay Museum, but they immediately vetoed that. Sorry, but the link is in German.)

The first thing Emily asked me after I said that I wanted to visit these places was "Are you Jewish?" No, I'm not. "Then why do are you so interested in these museums?" Excuse me? I can't be interested in a specific period of history unless I'm connected to it in some way? I like history, and I've been interested in the Holocaust ever since my dad told me about Anne Frank (which was around third or fourth grade - hooray for morbid fascination at a young age, eh?). It's really no one's business why I'm interested, anyway - all I wanted to know was if they would go or not. In retrospect, I should have just split off from them and gone by myself.

We went to the museums at night. Now, I realize that we were trying to go through a lot of stuff in very little time, but when we got to the museums, I would read the plaques and look at the exhibits and try to absorb as much as I could, while they pretty much ran through the entire thing and dragged me away before I was even halfway through looking. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather take my time and see less museums, but get more information and a better understanding of the subject, than run to as many museums as possible just to say I was there. Hell, I already knew more about the Holocaust and the Cold War than they did! They could have stood to learn more about the history of the country they were visiting.

What really pissed me off, though, was the next day. I was already in a grumpy mood, because my feet were covered in blisters and I couldn't walk too fast. We visited the memorial, and after walking through it we sat down on one of the concrete blocks to talk about what we were going to do next. I would have preferred a bench, but getting those girls to move would have been like trying to teach a dog to talk. Anyway, I was drinking from my water bottle, and Ashley pulled out a little bottle of wine she'd bought and started to drink from that. A guard came up to us and told us politely that alcohol is banned on the memorial grounds, and asked Ashley to put the bottle away. When he walked away, Emily started asking why we couldn't drink there, and I told her "Well, people litter, and if people got drunk here there's a possibility they'd try to damage the memorial or something."

Cue her whining "We wouldn't do that, though!" I tried telling her that it doesn't matter if she wouldn't do it, because the guards don't know her from Adam and for all they know she would do just that. It didn't go over very well. I just gave up and let her pout about it, and all was well until Ashley decided they needed some funny pictures.

There's a tower in Berlin, the Fernsehturm ("television tower"), and it has a visitor platform that's circular and makes the tower look like someone stuck a kebab skewer through a silver golf ball. Ashley got the idea to do one of those pictures where, if you pose right, it looks like you're holding a person/tree/building/whatever in your hands. This required her and Emily to stand on one of the concrete blocks. She asked if I'd take the photos, and I told her very calmly that I didn't think it was very appropriate to take silly "I'm having so much fun, wee!" pictures at a Holocaust memorial. They couldn't seem to understand why I felt this way, even when I told them that it's incredibly disrespectful to treat a memorial, dedicated to millions of people who were tortured and murdered just because they didn't fit some lunatic's idea of the perfect human being, like a playground. (Speaking of which, I was also pretty appalled at the people who were climbing on the blocks and jumping from one to another. Do people not realize where they are?) They took the pictures themselves, and after that they were finally ready to go, but they were still acting like I was just a big party pooper.

I'm still kind of mad at how dismissive they were of the whole thing (on top of being pissed off that they rushed me through the stuff I wanted to see, and then got mad when I my feet hurt so bad that I was too slow to keep up and didn't want to go to some of the stuff they wanted to see, and the fact that they never actually waited for me - they just kept walking ahead until they were about a block ahead, which is a great way for us to get separated and for me to get lost, and Ashley had our subway and train ticket so we really couldn't afford to get separated), but at least we didn't have the opportunity to visit a concentration camp. If they'd tried to pull that kind of stunt there I think I would have hit them. I'm so glad I was by myself in Munich - though I'm curious as to what my Dachau tour guide would have done to them.
amadeupname: (noriko)
( Sep. 17th, 2006 01:34 am)
Most of you who know me in real life, and quite a few who've only interacted with me online, have probably noticed that I'm a tad ... well, I guess you could call it paranoid. The term is bandied about so much that it seems to lose a lot of its meaning, but I suppose mild paranoia probably applies here.

I am very obviously afraid of a lot of things. I'm afraid of the dark (and on a related note, zombies). I'm afraid of being alone in large, empty buildings, especially at night. I'm afraid to go outside at night by myself and walk around. Every time I have to walk back to my dorm alone in the middle of the night, I keep looking over my shoulder to make sure that no one is following me.

I'm afraid to go out into the world. It's bad enough when I go to class, or to a restaurant or store that I'm familiar with. I feel like people are staring at me for being fat, or dressing like a frump or a slob, and that the slightest mistake will have people laughing at me, openly or otherwise, for being a socially inept monkey. When I go someplace new -- a coffeehouse, maybe, or the gaming shop downtown -- I'm petrified that someone will block my way and tell me that I'm too stupid to be there, that I'm not 'in' enough. I get slightly nauseous because I know I will do something stupid, and I fear that will be enough to have the whole place roaring with laughter.

I'm afraid the whole world is just playing one big joke on me after another. Deep down I'm so goddamn scared that college is an elaborate prank designed to coax me out of my shell just long enough to bring the hammer down and shatter me completely.

I'm afraid of people.

I'm so damned afraid that everyone is going to hurt me. My early experiences with people who claimed to be my friends, or people I mistakenly thought were my friends, has been that people pretend to like me because they want something from me, because they want to play pranks on me, or because they just don't know how to tell me to go away. I'd like to think that this isn't the case now -- I love my friends, every single one of them -- but somewhere I can't bring myself to believe that someone might actually like me for me. I'm convinced that I'm so downright ugly and repulsive, so obnoxious and irritating that no one could ever possibly want to spend time with me unless they thought they were getting something out of it. My own boyfriend can't convince me that I could ever be pretty, that I'm worth something, that he actually wants to spend what little time he can with me.

And it all seems so selfish to me, because all I really want when I spend time with people is for someone to pay attention to me. Just one person, that's all. When I'm with a group of two or more friends, I seem to fade into the background -- and the more people that are present, the more likely it is that this is going to happen. If I can work up the courage to say something, I'm usually either ignored outright, or I'm given the briefest acknowledgment, which seems like an attempt to get me to shut up so the adults can have their conversation. David asked me why I brought my book to Logan's house, and I just shrugged it off because I couldn't bring myself to explain yet again that I just can't handle crowds.

With only one friend, it would seem easier to get my attention fix, but that's not necessarily true. I know people zone out during conversations -- I do it myself, I'll admit -- but sometimes it seems like I'm just talking to fill up the silence. I'll prattle on to an unattentive listener, who is obviously staring out the window at some hottie across the street, or scribbling something down, or thinking of their boyfriend or girlfriend. If they were paying attention they would notice how my voice changes pitch, how my speaking becomes faster, more frantic, until I trail off, chuckle nervously, and prod at them (and whether this is to see if they're actually listening, or to see if they're even real, I'm not sure of anymore). Once or twice I've been in one of these "conversations", and the other person will suddenly start talking to the person next to them, or call out to someone else. Apparently it's too difficult for anyone to politely remove themselves from a conversation these days. I have to be made to feel like a fool instead.

I'm afraid of myself.

It's no secret that I don't like myself too much. I'm more than one hundred pounds overweight, homely, and I dress like a slob to boot. I'm lazy, whiny, and obnoxious. I have no self-esteem, and almost no sense of social boundaries. I'm needy, greedy, self-absorbed, perverse, ignorant, indecisive, stubborn, violent, and hateful. On a good day I'm able to laugh at myself and make self-deprecating jokes, and thankfully those good days come far more often than they used to. But on those bad days... I've gone batshit once or twice -- I hit Andy over a fucking slice of pizza -- and more often than I'd like, I've started crying over stuff that most other people wouldn't think twice about. I don't see why anyone would like me in the least, or want to spend their time with me, or their money on me. I can't imagine someone wanting to be with me if they didn't want sex. There's nothing about me that seems appealing in the slightest.

I don't want to be the girl sitting in the corner because she can't approach a stranger. I don't want to be the crazy old cat lady. I don't want to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, hoping that if I bring hubby his beer and don't interrupt his football game, he'll let me go out with my friends instead of giving me another set of bruises. And I especially don't want to be the one person in a group of friends that everyone simultaneously despises, but either no one is able to tell them to go the fuck away, or that person doesn't listen. I don't want to be the obnoxious one. I don't want to be the whiny emo kid. I want someone to be genuinely glad to see me.

I don't want to be crazy.

All of this makes me feel like I've been zapped back to eighth grade, and just that feeling makes me want to scream until my voice gives out. Tomorrow morning, I'm calling my mom and asking if she will pay for a psychologist, because I think letting this sit will just make things far, far worse.
Today's rant inspired by [livejournal.com profile] maladaptive's most recent post.

I've noticed a disturbing trend in the pro-life movement -- more disturbing than the desire to control our uteruses, I mean. (What IS the plural for uterus, anyway? Uterii? Uterae? Uteres?) They've apparently decided to compare abortion to the Holocaust - I've even heard it called the "American Holocaust". I've seen that phrase on T-shirts, along with the predictable "Abortion is Murder" and the like.

The problem with this analogy is that -- now, bear with me people, and try not to faint from the shock -- abortion and the Holocaust are not even remotely the same thing. Abortion consists of a doctor removing an unwanted life form from a woman who could have any number of varying reasons to not want to be pregnant, and I can guarantee you most of them aren't having abortions because they hate children and want them all to die. The Holocaust, on the other hand, was caused by a sick, twisted individual who had an irrational hatred of anyone who didn't fit his idea of the perfect human, and consisted of over eleven million people being killed in death camps through various horrifying means. The survivors were in pretty bad shape themselves, and some of them didn't live too long after they were liberated. Call me crazy, but I'm not seeing the parallels here.

If there are any Jewish people on my f-list (or just reading this entry, that would be great plzkthxbai), what are your opinions on this? I'm guessing I'm not ever going to get the opinion of an actual Holocaust survivor, but an actual Jewish person's perspective would be appreciated. I mean, just because I'd assume that a comparison between a horrific act of violence and hatred toward a group of people and a controversial arguement between what is and is not considered murder would offend me if I belonged to the former group, that doesn't mean that it holds true for anyone in that group, right?

Also, this is not supposed to be an abortion debate in the typical sense. I'm not getting into whether it's right or wrong, just whether it's right or wrong to use this kind of analogy.
This rant's been floating in my head for a bit now, but this thread just kind of clinches it for me. Basically, [livejournal.com profile] chayyot decides to sling insults about Mana from Malice Mizer because the OP stated that they use Mana as a PB in a roleplay. And there is drama. MINDLESS, STUPID DRAMA. AUGH.

*cough* So, anyway, on to my rant. "You" is a general "you", not anyone in particular.

Yes, I get it, you like your fandom. Just because I don't like said fandom, or a certain character, does not make me a horrible person. Neither does the fact that I like a fandom that you think is horrible. IT JUST MEANS I HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION THAN YOU DO, FUCKER. GET OVER IT.

This is why I don't like discussing music with people. Inevitably I'll get "Oh, they suck!" or "They're so emo!", and I'll be expected to defend them. When I say, "Well, I like them, it doesn't really matter to me whether you do or not," people get mad at me. Why? Why do I have to defend my choice of music to anyone? Why do I have to explain why I don't like your favorite band? Why can't I just say "I just don't like their music" and talk about something else? I've got varying tastes, people, there's got to be something we can talk about without getting into a "this sucks!" war!

There should not be arguements about which band's drummer sucks more, or which whiny asshole anime character is hotter, or anything else. Skill aside, what it all boils down to is difference in opinion. OPINION. As in, not fact. As in, subjective. As in, depending entirely on the person to whom the opinion belongs. As in, just because you think that Harry Potter is complete shit, that doesn't mean that whoever reads it is a complete idiot.

By the way, your fandom sucks balls. *hides*


amadeupname: (Default)
Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags