Visit to London, day 572

Over the weekend I visited an old friend in London. He had invited me, and it was great to see him after such a long time. Thanks to Ryan Air that makes it possible to fly for little money to London.

Saturday night. Somewhere in London. A jewish synagoge in the quater. Men with funny round hats with fur, kids in costumes, dressed as cowboys or nurses, or with spanish or turkish hats. The colour of the clothes are mostly red and black white and pink. Just one kid is dressed with a clownscostume in rainbowcolors. While the men are wearing these funny hats, that look like huge cakes, and the kids are in costumes, the women are not dressed up and seem to be lower than the men. I do not know much about jewish culture or religion. Just had a few contacts so far. And this weekend I am much confronted, as my friend lives in a road with the synagoge. And just this weekend there is a big festival called Purim.

While I am reading the text about purim in the internet, the sound from a truck with big loudspeakers, passing by enters my ears. On the truck is a white sheet with words in hebrew. The sound and the loudness, reminds me of carneval in Germany in Cologne and Mainz in the Rhine valley.

Even after midnight there is again and again suddenly loud music out of the silence. Appearing and disappearing. The friend where I stay, lives with his wife in a really nice appartment in one of the typical english houses.  All these houses have a little garden in front of the house and even though they all look quite a like, they are all differnt.

In one of the gardens there is a little tree with pink flowers. Already now, showing that soon there will be spring. The temperatures are around 10 celcius and the sun shows every now and then for a couple of hours changing with the wind and the rain….

London takes me into another world and time. Elements from films like  Harry Potter are to be seen when I pass the old houses. The costumes of the jewish men feel unreal. Long beards and hair, these amazingly large “cakes” on their heads and the dark clothes…. They are carrying baskets with food and cakes and other sweet food for the festival.  My stay in London feels like a dream while I watch them passing by the house.

We go out for lunch on time to the turkish restaurant calledDervish, another evening to the indisch restaurant called Rasa. Both restaurants are excellent. The food in London is amazing and in such a varity. All the cultures that melt together here in this town. Creating a new society a new world within London. This society feels friendly and peaceful these days, everybody seems to respect the other and to live side by side in peace. My friend sais yes most of the time, but there are sometimes conflicts too.

I do not feel watched or starred at. I think this is due to such a variety of people, faces, cultures, that a woman with a beard is nothing they need to stare at. People are used to see unusual faces every day. Feels good to be here part of the variety of this city.

Driving in the bus, I see faces I´ve never seen before. As if each country of the world has sent a few of their inhabitants to come here. …..We go to Brick Lane visit the market and there again within the variety of food you can have – the whole world is there: China, Caribic, India, Thailand, arabic food, spanish, and so on…

At Borough Market close to London Bridge you can even buy german sausages!

We are hungry and eat some oriental food on Brick Lane Markt and we love it. – In Berlin you are offered a lot, but London is much better conserning the variety of  food.

Tate Modern is worth a visit. We walk through the exibition – seeing installations of Beuys and Jeff Koons, paintings of expressionism, artists that I had to learn about during my time at school and studiying art.  The first time I saw paintings of Barnett Newmann in real. I had to talk about him and his picutres many years ago. It was different than I had expected. Most I liked the Red Room by Robert Therienn in which there are only red objects. My friend was more faszinated by Jackson Pollock and Gerhard Richter. These I did not like that much…tastes are different and I think in Tate Gallery there is something for everybody.

Back in the appartment, seeing all the jews from the window, I asked myself what would Germany look like today if we hadn´t had the holocaust? And it made me very sad. What a variety of human beings and culture had been distroyed by this….and what a lot of suffering had been caused by it. And all this out of fear –  out of being afraid if people are different, wanting to protect oneself by killing the ones that are scaring….


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