Monday, March 31, 2014

Leipzig and Köln Re-Cap (With MANY pictures)

Just kidding, I lied about the many pictures. I forgot my camera. I HAVE NONNNNE, you guys, ahhh, the whole book fair and all the people and costumes and books and bagels, and no pictures. This is a terrible thing.

Here I will list them, though. The things I didn't take pictures of:

- When I was at the Zürich airport waiting for the flight to Berlin, the lady on the intercom called for a passenger Putin on a flight to Moscow. Everyone was like:

- When I was in the taxi on the way to my first day at the Leipziger Buchmesse, the taxi driver told me that if I was really lucky I might be able to get into a reading and meet a real live author.

- I was pretty lucky.

- I got a box of chocolates from Martin Suter, who is a famous author in the German speaking world and is also published by Diogenes. I desperately need to write him a thank you note somehow, because that was super nice of him.

- I met Ingrid Noll, another popular German author published by Diogenes. She was born in China and was homeschooled, too, and started writing books in her mid fifties. Also, she's hilarious. I was a little bit in awe of her and now I want to read all her books.

- The room I did a reading in at the litPop in Leipzig was in this old castle-y building, and the floor had pillows and squashy bean-bags and I sat in an old leather wing-chair and read to a great many cool people, and felt about 80 years old.

- We had dinner at Auerbach's Keller in Leipzig, which is a vast restaurant in a basement/wine-cellar type space with murals on the walls depicting scenes from Goethe's Faust. Diogenes has its own alcove there, because it's Diogenes.

- The Buchmesse Leipzig is a lot like the NYC Comic-Con. There are transformers and manga creatures and I SAW MERIDA FROM BRAVE.

- During my very first German-language reading, my foot fell asleep and I had to slop off stage like an octopus. It was very attractive.

 - "Schmalfingrige Schornsteinirrwische" is hard to pronounce. In English it's "thin-fingered chimney sprites", which is way easier.

- If I speak German for more than a few hours at a time, my brain forgets what language to think in, and so it will be like, psh, nuffa this, and will stop thinking altogether.

-  An awesome lady from Germany's socialist newspaper came by the Diogenes booth and gave me her review of Die Seltsamen in person, and it was pretty much the nicest review ever. And then her friend gave me a pack of pens for signing because I had forgot mine. So, obviously I'm voting socialist next time.

Just kidding, I base my voting habits on who gives me cake not pens.

Just kidding.

But just kidding about just kidding, because cake is delicious.

- On my last day I was doing a reading in Köln, and I was sleepy and a little bit annoyed for no particular reason, and so during the Q&A I said something about how people tend to expect nothing good of teenagers and if you expect nothing you'll probably get nothing, and also how I think it's dumb that private education is illegal in Germany. The moderator quickly changed the subject.

On one hand I really hope the audience didn't think I was a bratty American come to upend their carefully-ordered way of life with revolutionary ideas, and on the other hand it needed to be said because both ageism and repressive governments are dumb.

- I almost threw up at one point during the fair. I don't know what I ate, but my stomach was not a happy thing.

- Anyway: it was lovely and I want to thank alllllllll the people who organized, and carted me around, and kept me from getting lost, and came to my readings, and listened to me stumble over the word "Schornsteinirrwische". Thanks for being so cool, and I loved meeting everyone!

- Last thing: I'm super behind in email answering and blogging and cleaning my room and basically everything, but I'm doing a giveaway next week for some The Cabinet of Curiosities Teasers and some of my fellow Curators' awesome books, and maybe a German edition. I haven't quite decided. But it's happening! :)

And to end this post, here's GIF of a hamster being tossed out of its hamster wheel, because it made me laugh and because anyone who is in school right now can relate to this hamster on a spiritual level.


  1. I'm so glad to hear that you spoke up with something less than expected regarding teenagers and school. Good for you.
    You SERIOUSLY need to take a photographer with you on these jaunts. Someone who likes to take photos and sees a photo op in everything. I volunteer!

  2. I AM that hamster right now, yes. Another great post. :) Glad we Germans weren't too scary!!

  3. Glad you spoke up in Germany! Despite the missing photos, the memories are picturesque and made me chuckle! :)