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2015年10月20日 星期二

A Pilgrim's Progress (朝聖步履)

Germany is a country known for its methodical efficiency and precision, its technological advance, its wealth and its emphasis on the importance of music, literature and the depth of its philosophy, psychology and theology. One can hardly think of serious music without immediately calling to mind such names as  Bach, Haydn, Handel, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Bruch, Richard Strauss, Wagner, Mahler. Likewise one can't think of psychology without thinking of Freud, Horney, Jung, Fromm, Erickson, Katz, Eysenck, Arnheim , Goldstein and its philosophy without recalling such illustrious names as Leibniz, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Scheler, Jaspers, Marcuse, Gadamer and such social philosophers as Dilthey, Marx, Weber, Horkheimer, Habermas, Benjamin, Spengler and such logicians as Frege, Carnap etc and theology without thinking of Luther, Tillich, Schleiermacher, Bonhoeffer, Barth and Kung.  Who hasn't heard of such authors as Goethe, Herder, Schiller, Hölderlin, Mann, Hesse, Frisch, Grass, Dürrenmatt? One can't think of painting without thinking of Dürer, Kandinsky, Macke, Ernst , Klee and performance art without thinking of Beuys and of course, its most notorious  "forger" Beltracchi. One just can't imagine what the modern world would be like without the contribution of the Germans.  And one could never forget that brief but dark episode in its recent history when it was overwhelmed by the ideology of the National Socialists or Nazis which caused such untold suffering to the Jews and the rest of Europe. Yet, until the Renaissance, the Germans were considered barbarians and it wasn't until 1870 that the modern German nation was born. For a long time, German culture is something most puzzling and fascinating to me.  And in every October, there would be two great festivals there, the beer festival and the book fair. I was just in time to be late for the Oktoberfest in Munich but I managed to catch a glimpse of that other famous event called the Buchmesse in Frankfurt. 



When I went through immigration at the airport at Munich, I was subjected to the most thorough security check in my entire life. I had to take off everything: belt, wallet, jacket and shoes but I did not expect that I had to hold up both my hands above my head for a photograph too. I felt like I were some kind of criminal! But upon seeing that they did exactly the same thing to the native Germans as they did to me, I felt a little less offended. At least there's equality of treatment! After that ordeal, I could finally go out and have my first glimpse of Germany: the luggage reclaim area at the Munich Airport: clean, spare, quiet and efficient.


When I emerged from the airport custom for the airport train, this is what I found; a vast open area covered by a canopy.


The staircases were lit: everything in geometrical lines; nothing fanciful.

  
A closer look at the train station with the letter "M" right in the middle at the top,presumably standing for "Munich"? But if so, why that slant in red?

  
this is one of the two decorative features there: an orange (!) rocket.


Believe it or not, this is a fast food restaurant.


a huge propeller in front: lit with a lurid blue light



Apparently some renovation work was going on the side but no sign of any building materials piled on the ground,:everything hidden behind the spotless plastic cover sheet. 


 Looking back at the airport: Terminal two


This is the only other decorative feature: as if aeroplanes were mere toys.



A food trailer for the restaurant at that courtyard.


The only sign of organic life, standing as door posts to the bar-restaurant.


Ah, some signs of actual life: two tiny tods playing with a sculpture in the food court


I wonder how does it feels?




What are you gawking at? You who looks so different from my parents!


Breakfast time! Surely too early for an Erdinger beer which I'd see a lot of in the days ahead. But no waiter inside, any way, even if I were inclined for a sip of that national drink.



This one looks more promising


What's on offer?



All kinds of bread, pastry, cakes, tarts, pies



and sandwiches



Never before saw such sandwiches which look remarkably like two soles piled one on top of the other with some meat and vegs stuffed in between.



Better check out the prices at the next stall first.



 Even some "Home made ice tea and lemonade"!


And some fruit cups and mixed fresh fruit/vegetable drinks for health.




When I cast my eyes across the the hall, I found these strange reflections.



But breakfast first



He's having something too.



German wires at the side of the airport train



As it was early, the train ran practically empty.



Is this a sign of what I would get in my stay, light amidst gloom and monotony?