Project Düsseldorf

During my first year in Madrid, most of my travel was throughout Spain.  After graduating from college and finding out that I'd be returning to Madrid to work for a year, I thought I'd finally get to see some more of Europe.  By spring of my second year in Madrid, I realized my travels were still all throughout Spain.

I tried to figure out what was keeping me from planning trips outside of Spain, as there was no doubt I wanted to do so.  I reasoned that I was overwhelmed with all of the possibilities.  I wanted to see it all; so if I went to Greece, for example, that meant I was choosing not to go to France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Amsterdam, etc.  You get the idea.

My solution?  Project Düsseldorf.

It is no secret that I am a fan of Regina Spektor.  Regina's got a song called Düsseldorf, and during the song she sings of many locations in Europe.  So I thought, why not let the lyrics be my checklist?  That way I've got it narrowed down some, and it'll give me some travel-focus.

I'm in no rush to complete Project Düsseldorf; it can be a lifelong adventure.  To date, I've visited 6 of the 13 cities mentioned in the song.

Without further ado, Spektor's Düsseldorf:



In Düsseldorf I met a clown
His nose, it was red
In Gelterkinden I forgot to frown
Then remembered again

In Paris I saw a big fish
Swimming slow in the Seine
It made me hopeful
That someday our water will be breathable again

In Frankfurt I heard eine zwei drei
Counting cookies and no one was shot
In Berlin stopped by the polizei
For drunk driving and everyone smiled

In Prague I knew I’d been a witch
Burnt alive, a pyre of Soviet kitsch
It made me miss my Moscow muttdom
It made me miss my New York nothing

In Montpellier I stayed in a château
A boy climbed into my bed
And he knew no boundaries

And in Amsterdam I got quite crazy
Might have been all the tulips and canals
Or it might have been all that hash

And in Barcelona, buenos dias, chocolate, le Picasso
And in Brussels, clean-cut hostel
And in London, me and the French existentialists

In Corsica I floated away
All the way to Marseilles
I should have held an after-party
For all the thoughts I didn't say

In Düsseldorf I met a dwarf
With bad breath and a really good tan
In Gelterkinden I remembered how to laugh
And I never ever forgot it again . . .
• • •

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