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D U E S S E L D O R F - my good old town


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In times of Corona you cannot write trip reports about adventures and experiences in Siam.
Therefore I am writing today about my beloved "Altstadt" = Downtown in Düsseldorf, the beautiful city on the Rhine, capital of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
We - my family - have been living here for over 63 years. So it is my home town. This is where I went to school, this is where I spent my childhood and youth, studied at
Düsseldorf University, this is where I met my wife, got married and got a daughter, who is 34 now. My God! How time flies!
In 1989 I went to Hamburg on business, to a company right in the middle of the port of Hamburg. Since then my primary residence has been in Hamburg/Buxtehude.
But my heart was always in Düsseldorf.
After my stroke in 2012 I spend the summer half year mostly in our garden in Düsseldorf. Once a month, I go to Buxtehude/Hamburg for a few days to check on things
in my flat and to work off the mail; and I spend one or two days in Hamburg City and in the world-famous and wicked, disreputable district of St.Pauli.

By the way, in the course of the last 25 years (since the existence of the internet and the many Thailandboards - almost all are dead; e.g. the Secrets-Board) I have reported
about Düsseldorf on various boards. It's interesting how many board members from the Anglo-American world know my city.
So, let's start. Yes, the Düsseldorf Altstadt (Old City, Downtown) is something special.
There are 150 to 200 Kneipen =  bars, pubs, beer bars, discos, music clubs, cafes, restaurants and snack bars on just a few hectares.
There are many places of entertainment and fun for every taste and for every age group.

For about 55 years I have been a regular in the many pubs in Düsseldorf's old town. I enjoy my Altbier and the very special atmosphere of each location.
I remember Petula Clark and her greatest hit „Downtown“ from the early 60ties:
"When you're alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go – downtown"

The writer of this pop song must have had my beloved Düsseldorf Altstadt in mind.

The next weekend I'm going out with my daughter and a few friends and have fun.
The Kneipen, beer bars and music clubs and trendy locations of our beloved Alstadt are always fun.

"The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown, things'll be great when you're Downtown"

Here a panoramic view of the old town



On a summer's day in Bolker-street, the heart of the old town.




Inside a typical Alstadt-Kneipe.  [NOTE:  If her boobies are availably is unknown to me. I never asked her for barfine and longtime price.  55555]



Here we have a MILF; 50something, the landlady of the jazz bar "Em Pötzke".   Pötzke is great fun. Go there.



And here's what's most important: Alt Bier from Düsseldorf; top-fermented dark beer.



Here a photo from better and younger times; years before my stroke. With a few friends in a trendy pub called  "Einhorn" = Unicorn
trendy pub means in German Szene-Kneipe.
Students, artists, bohemians, bon vivants and me.

"Downtown - no finer place, for sure
Downtown - everything's waiting for you"


In our trendy Cafe


Here in a famous scene cafe at the edge of the old town, called Bazzar. ====>  https://bazzar.de/gastronomie/
A meeting place for the young, the beautiful and the rich.
All qualities that do not apply to me and my friends. 55555

In this cafe we meet once or twice a week and discuss the current political situation in Germany.
Again and again the common result of our long and heated debates: Germany is about to abolish itself!
"Deutschland schafft sich ab" = "Germany is abolishing itself" is the title of a famous book by famous Berlin boy Thilo Sarazin from 2010, which sold over a million copies.
The policy that has been pursued by the Merkel government for over 15 years:
* the energy turnaround
*the hasty and badly managed phase-out of nuclear energy
* the switch to renewable energies such as solar and wind; also carried out amateurishly: electricity prices in Germany are twice as high as in neighbouring countries
* the destruction of a key industry: car manufacturing
* the Euro catastrophe, for over 10 years we have been saving the euro; the debts are rising to immeasurable levels; the ECB is now drawing trillions from nowhere to save the southerners, many banks and companies from bankruptcy.
* the disastrous immigration policy with open borders for everyone.

I could go on, but I stop here. It is all so sad.
The saddest thing is that the German voter, the sovereign, is going through all this.
In elections, he votes 80% for the parties responsible for this policy.

The Germans, the German nation, that has been so successful so far, one of the leading countries in the world,
wants to get out of the Champions league and into the second, third league with all its might.

I started out so happy, so good-humoured and I end up full of grief, sorrow and heartache.

"Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht,
so bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht"

"I think of Germany in the night, so I am deprived of sleep"   wrote the great Düsseldorf poet Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856), full of love but also with a critical eye.


Let's go back to Petula and a better mood:

"Downtown - no finer place, for sure
And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along - happy again"

I sincerely hope that Nana Plaza and Pattaya, the Rockhouse, Mr. Phil's le Pub and all the other Kneipen and Bars and Pubs and Gogos I love will survive the Corona crisis.



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  • 1 month later...


KLEINENBROICH is indeed a little town - around 10.000 inhabitants - not far away from Düsseldorf.

But it is not in the north of Düsseldorf, it is in the west.
You have to cross the Rhine bridges in a westerly direction.
After about 20 km you reach this little town.
It is located between Düsseldorf and Mönchen-Gladbach.
This actually insignificant town Mönchen-Gladbach is known worldwide because it has this famous football club:
Borussia Moenchen-Gladbach.
Many very famous German national players come from this club.
I only mention one: Berti Vogts, who comes from Kleinenbroich.
Berti Voigts was World Champion, European Champion, and as coach of the German national team he won the European Championship in 1996.

ok. ok. I stop here ...


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I will now continue with my reporting.

We are in deep autumn, the days are already very short and the nights long, the temperatures are autumnally low, it is wet and cold, often foggy and cloudy. In addition, November is full of sad Sundays and holidays such as All Saints' Day, Sunday of Death, National Day of Mourning (commemoration day of the fallen and dead of the two world wars). In addition the Corona Lockdown. All this together creates a sad mood.

Corona in Germany - Lockdown throughout November 2020 -
all pubs, cafes, restaurants closed. All cinemas, theatres, museums etc. closed. The Bundesliga plays in empty stadiums. That is just terrible.

Boredom sets in after three weeks. I make phone calls, have video chats with friends. I read a lot, research and browse the internet for interesting things
and I've found what I'm looking for. I have written a lengthy email to my family and a few friends and acquaintances.
Here is the revised version translated into English.

Hello my dear people and friends,
I am enthusiastic about a picture - a painting - and have been for a long time.
Some of you will have seen the movie about this painting, maybe even read the book, the novel, written by the American with the French name Tracy Chevalier,
about the making of the painting. It became a world bestseller; it was published in German about 2001 and was then filmed in 2003 with great success.
You still do not know what the object of my desire is?
This painting is actually a relatively young newcomer among the world-famous paintings of the Art history.
In 1994 it was extensively and expertly restored and then went on a world tour of several years through many art halls and museums of the world.
This world tour made the painting world-famous, it was celebrated. The people poured into the exhibition halls en masse, just to see and marvel at this picture and celebrate it.
Then Tracy Chevalier wrote her novel about the creation of this image. The basis of this fictional history were the relatively few reliable data on life and circumstances of the painter.
Then followed the Hollywood movie in 2003. This film made the painting even more famous and brought even more fans and museum visitors to this painting.
A few weeks ago, out of boredom, I rummaged around in the media library of ARTE.tv and found some really interesting documentaries about this painting.
The picture has been examined with the most advanced examination methods of modern high technology to reveal its secrets.

"How could this guy paint such a picture? How did that guy do that?"
Some Dutch official, interested in art, saw the painting at auction in 1881 and and bought it for about one to 2 Euros. 2 guilders 30.
Aaaaaaaaahhh  Ich krieg' die Krise  = I lose it.
Today this painting - at a worldwide auction at Sotheby's, where a few dozen billionaires would be involved in the race - would achieve 40 to 50 million dollars.
Presumably that would still be a Bargain price. There is no upper limit; you already know "… on the open-ended Richter scale".
We all know that such pictures are actually incompatible with money. So let us refrain from further thoughts and dreams.
The title of the picture reads something like this: "The girl with the turban" or simply "Girl's portrait".
In Dutch: Meisje met de parel - the girl with the pearl earring. ===> the dutch title is for Khun Sanuk, Marcel.
It now hangs forever and ever in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
The mayor had to promise faithfully his people that this painting would never again be on tour; something might happen on the way ....
The creator and painter of this work of art is Johannes Vermeer (1632 - 1675)
Here is that famous girl:


She is wonderful, isn't she? As you can see now, I did not promise too much.

to be continued ...




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On we go ...

The question that is now interesting:
Why did the successful and intensive reception only began at the end of the 20th century?
My answer: It is the modernity of the picture. Painted in the baroque period, in the middle of the 17th century, around 1665,
I think that this picture is completely out of the frame of contemporary painting of that time.
The girl looks at the viewer, you can enter into a relationship with her, the painter has the face of the girl frozen in exactly one hundredth
of a second as a fleeting, friendly smile over her face scurries, with her lips slightly open, as if she wanted to say something or as if she had just spoken. 
The picture also has the epithet "Mona Lisa of the North".

She is not a queen or princess, she is not a noble lady or any other important female person of great society.
In fact she is just "the pretty girl next door".
Is she turning straight towards or away?
"Hey, look over here for a second!"

Anyone can make up his own little story about this scene.
A short encounter in the stairwell.
The boy next door – secretly fallen in love with that girl.
He: "Hello, how are you? You look great again today!"
She, snappish: "You don't have to bother, I already have a boyfriend."
She turns away and leaves.
Or a chance meeting at Jungfernstieg or on Königsallee (famous avenues or boulevards in Hamburg and Düsseldorf)
He: "Oh, nice to meet you. What strange clothes are you wearing? Is it modern now?"
She: "I was in the artgallery at the Vermeer exhibition. The picture with the famous girl can be admired there. You know.
I got the beige jacket from the boutique just around the corner, the blue turban with the yellow scarf I got it at a Turkish tailor's shop;
and the pearl earrings I bought in a junk shop for three Euro. Do you like my outfit? Do you like my clothing style?"

So everyone can fantasise his own story.
I'll stop...

Here is the original documentation of the Dutchmen.
This documentary was then dubbed into German and French (and possibly many other languages) and then shown on the French-German television channel ARTE.TV.
The Dutch Jasper Krabbe and the painter Charlotte Caspers and all the other Dutch experts and art experts did a great job.
For Khun Sanuk and the Dutch crowd here on the board:


Some explanations here; about 4 minutes - in English

For those who are bored, here about 20 minutes


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Now to something else. Johann Sebastian Bach, and his influence on modern pop music.

Stefan (my brother), Bernd (my friend), here we get confirmation of what we have been "researching" for about 50 years and suspect
who in the pop world has helped himself to Bach, who has taken inspiration from him. We have often discussed this.
Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Procul Harum and even the Beach Boys.
What were the 60s and 70s productive, innovative decades of pop music with really excellent people. And today on the other hand?
Florian Silbereisen ... I get the green puke, I could puke. (Silbereisen is a german singer, musician and entertainer)
Look here and listen. This David Bennett is really great.


All my readers should watch and listen to this video documentary. Please.
Dear daughter Nina, dear niece Johanna, sit down at the computer with your father and switch on the loudspeakers and listen.
Stefan, your father, can translate English into German for you.
Stefan, you can also play some music on the piano. You know all the Bach pieces very well.
When I think of today's young generation, I can only regret it.
For 20 years in the pop world, it's been almost nothing but shit... ! For clear facts clear terms.
This primitive techno boom boom, this RAP stammering of brainlessness and vulgarity can't be undercut anymore. All rubbish, crap, trash.
This is not just rubbish, this is hazardous waste.
These annoying noises (I refuse to call it music) are also played in the Gogo Bars at Nana Plaza in Bangkok.
My Thai friends and I, we are driven out of the Gogo after a hastily drunk beer; we can't stand it anymore. The eardrums ache, the diaphragm jumps.
We storm around the corner into the next almost empty beer bar. After a minute Khun Ott (well known from my travel reports; a former Phantom F-5 pilot)
gained the air sovereignty over the notebook.Here the music is controlled and selected. We listen to Wolfgang Petry "Last concert at Schalke".
I know, It's not exactly brilliant, but to what we just had to listen to, it's a step up.
Ott, General Kwanbun and our flight captain Somyod sing along loudly; they are sure of their words, letter-perfect. They remember the german songs.
The mood is rising, the Chang beer begins to flow in streams.

For the German crowd here. Wolfgang Petry and his last big concert in 1999:

I greet you all warmly.
It is still November - maybe I will continue with my diary.


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I spent a couple of nights at the "Jugendherberge" (spelling?) in Dusseldorf in the early '90s. I don't remember a great deal about the city but I do remember Koenigstrasse as apparently being one of the swankiest shopping districts in all of Germany.

I would later learn from a German friend in Bangkok that there is something of a rivalry between Dusseldorf and Cologine, where he comes from.

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Yes, Herr Paul, Jugendherberge = Youth Hostel, right.

The Düsseldorf youth hostel has a very prominent address; it is located on the western side of the Rhine, in the noble Oberkassel district.
20% of Düsseldorf's urban area is located on the western bank of the Rhine. This is where the residential areas of the " higher earners" are located;
poeple with money. The rents for flats, apartments, are extremely high here; all very expensive.
Oberkassel is a somewhat different, unusual and special district. About 20.000 passionate Düsseldorfers currently live here.
Oberkassel is by far one of the most beautiful districts of our state capital.

[Admin, khun Sanuk, I cannot load up a picture ...  that is ridiculous .... ]


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Yes, there is a special competition, a rivalry between Düsseldorf and Cologne.
Now you have to know that Cologne is the ancient, venerable city, over 2000 years old. It may be that Caesar built a military camp here for his legions,
and then built the first bridge over the Rhine to explore the east side with his legions.
Düsseldorf is about 1200 years younger. For centuries it was a miserable, poor fishing village, later a small town. In 1288,
the village at the mouth of the small river Düssel into the Rhine received its town charter.

Düsseldorf only experienced its great upswing with the beginning of industrialisation in the 19th century.
These small hints should suffice.

one more small hint.
When Monsieur Napoleon was planning his campaign against Prussia, he made the 17th century old town pub and restaurant "En de Canon" his headquarters 55555
Here is a picture of this Altstadt-Kneipe and Restaurant and Biergarten.
Admin, khun Sanuk, I cannot load up a picture ...  that is ridiculous .... ]

I assume that you only have a certain megabyte of images available per thread.

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Really appreciate your writings.

The blondie when you was young is cute.

Though lately I also have a thing for MILFS

I remember Dusseldorf well, lovely town, thought the Repperbahn in Hamburg was far more adventurous.

I remember hanging out with a USA Soldier in various bars as he wanted company, ended up in a brothel, when he suddenly burst into my room and jumped out the window onto a fire escape telling me to follow

Turns out the military wanted him back and he had snuck out for fun. AWOL I think it's called

Very exciting evening for an 18 year old hitch hiker

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