Wandering The Old City

I am thinking about a movie about killers hanging out in a medieval city, and it reminded me of the last time I went to a medieval city.

Nürnberg. I was there for work back in the spring of 2005. I had meetings Tuesday-Friday, but arrived early on Monday, and had the day off to get used to the jetlag and wander the city. I went and saw Albrecht Dürer’s house. It was closed, of course, because it was Monday. Museums are often MONTAGS GESCHLOSSEN. Beautiful from the outside, though, like the rest of the old city.

It was spring there, while it was still grey in Boston, and I was happy just wandering around the city’s medieval center, grabbing a sandwich midday, flipping through the guidebook to say “eine lager, bitte?”

All the bathrooms had vending machines with cute ten-packs of Lucky Strike Light cigarettes, which I remembered from Chile, and which you just can’t find in the US. The tourist info maps had ads for restaurants, family amusement attractions, museums, and porno palaces. The famous court where the war criminals were tried is still a working courthouse, and wasn’t open during the days I was there. All the other museums were Montags Geschlossen, too. I went to the porno palaces.

Tuesday we had meetings. The other two people from my US department had arrived Monday night and Tuesday morning, and were jetlagged and irritable. I was fresh, but I was junior staff. I was there to learn about how to conduct international meetings, and to impress upon the German counterparts that this series of meetings was important enough to bring three people to Europe for a week. Sometimes the point of a meeting is not only in the topics discussed, but the priority of those topics. My presence indicated that this was a topic of three-people-in-Europe importance. But not three executives. Just three people. I don’t recall if anything really came out of the meetings.

Mostly I sat around and nodded and took notes and read a book about how to be a product manager. After work we went to the biergarten and I wandered around the city some more, browsing stores where I couldn’t read the labels on things and guessing at what signs meant, walking until my feet hurt.

I didn’t kill anybody, though. So I didn’t have a lot to run from. I was just there.

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