Small Talk in the Train or Seeing Kassel Through Different Eyes
Saturday morning. A warm, sunny day – perfect for going in to town, checking out the shops, enjoying the post-dOCUMENTA feel of the city and savoring a bagel with cinnamon and sugar at the “Coffee & Bagel Store”. That was my plan when I woke up on Saturday and I got started right away in making it a reality. Dressed lightly, with a flowing dress, shirt and sunglasses, I made my way to the nearest tram stop hearing towards downtown Kassel.
Dreamily and satisfied, I sat in the tram and was enjoying my day when suddenly, “wow, would ya look at that mansion. How amazing is that?” said a young woman, maybe early twenties, who was sitting across from me with her boyfriend or brother or male friend. By mansion, she meant the Red Cross building which we were just passing. I had to smile, but was just able to catch a glimpse of the “mansion” she was talking about. And yes, she was right that the building is exquisite, with its red facade, the two towers and impressive entry. With its grand park, it really could be mansion. The old mansion of an influential noble and his family. The girl's room in the left tower, the boy's room in the right tower. Finely dressed women in long Baroque dresses and intricately done hair strolling through the grounds, drinking tea…
“What, and that's supposed to be the university?”… Which jolted me out of my dream about the noble family at the Red Cross. The girl across from me was glued to the window watching the school of engineering building go past.
Onward Towards Downtown
Then, „what is that for a cute little thing?“ Me: a cute little thing? What does she mean by that? The girl, with her nose glued to the window pane again (she was starting to leave a mark), was marveling at the Torwache (those of you wondering where this „cute little thing“ is located, it's across from the Hessisches Landesmuseum at Brüder-Grimm-Platz). „She's right, in a way, that it's a cute little thing.“ So small, in fact, that I usually just pass by without even noticing it.
The tram traveled on towards the next stop, which was City Hall, where things really got going. Her eyes weren't sure where to look first. But this time her boyfriend, or brother or male friend who had remained quiet until now, started getting excited, too. „Look how big! And the golden lion. Look how beautiful the flowers are!“ As if out of a clicheé, there were three Asians (no joke!!!) standing in front of City Hally having their picture taken at the exact moment we arrived. „Oh, let's take a picture, too“ was the last thing I heard from them before they stumbled out of the tram and were gone.