Monday 11/15/2004 - Egyptian Museum, Tom Waits Concert

We woke up at 6:30 am and headed down to breakfast at 7:15. We got yogurt, granola, cream cheese coated in ground black pepper (a surprisingly delicate blend of flavors), cherry cheesecake squares, eggs, bacon, sausage links, sausage patties, potato pancakes, rolls, bread, marmalade, garlic butter, cold turkey slices, tomato and mozzarella. We were at a table for 4, and a few minutes after we started eating a man joined us, even though the majority of other tables were empty. He was Italian and his name was Paolo. Craig and I noticed that this seemed to be a very European thing to do. After all, no American would sit at a table that was already occupied. And yet it's a shame. We had a great breakfast with Paolo. He works in geothermal energy and has worked all over the world, from Siberia to Los Alamos, New Mexico, Costa Rica, and Mexico. One of the first questions he asked us was about how things were with "Mr. Bush". With the way the country is divided these days, that is a touchy subject to bring up so nonchalantly with someone you know well, let alone with a stranger. But it seemed right coming from Paolo, like he truly wanted to learn about how we felt. We were honest with him and it sparked an interesting discussion. We gave him our website and he gave us his email.

We changed some money at the hotel desk. The on-duty manager's name was Bodo. We recognized that name from one of the German proprietors of the HorseFeathers bed and breakfast we had stayed at several times in Vermont. At around 8:30 we went back to our room to prepare for the day. We slipped a note under Richard and Julia's door to tell them that we were heading out, but would like to meet for dinner before the Raindog meetup, if they were game.

We had heard about German flea markets. We hadn't hit the big one on Sunday since we had covered so much other ground, but I had read that the Zille Hof flea market was near our hotel. We set off to find it and there it was, only a couple of blocks away, tucked into a little dead end alley. I don't know if it was the time of year or what, but there were only a couple of people selling things, and it was the same kind of junk that you'd find in our shed. Nothing of interest at all so we quickly headed on. After a couple of minutes of deliberation, we decided to head to the Egyptian Museum (Ägyptisches Museum). It took us a little over an hour to walk there, and it was a pleasant walk. On the way we passed some flattened flowers (roses and carnations) on the cobblestone sidewalk. "A Trampled rose!" I exclaimed, quoting a new Tom Waits song. Craig and I joked that maybe Tom would see it and play the song in its honor. I got a photo just in case he did.

We continued walking along HardenbergStrße past a beautiful old library and a few other buildings with very interesting architecture. Crossing the Ernst-Reuter-Platz and the Technisce Universität. We continued walking along Otto-Suhr-Allee as we approached our destination. The museum is right across from Schloss Charlottenburg. This palace is immense. It has wings that seem to stretch infinitely in every direction. You can't even come close to getting a picture of the whole thing while standing nearby. After taking a few photos we headed to the museum at a few minutes past 10:00. The museum had just opened and the entrance was not clearly marked. There was a sign on the sidewalk pronouncing it to be the Egyptian Museum, but there was a big wooden door with no real indication that this was the main entrance. In the United States there would be huge signs convincing you to come inside and spend your money. This was something we still are not used to. We approached and opened the door cautiously and it was indeed the main entrance. We bought admission tickets for 4 Euros each, checked our coats and bags, and got hooked up with the free audio tour (run by Jared's company, Antenna Audio). I told the girl that I have a friend who works for them in Boston. The museum's prize possession is a beautifully painted bust of Nefertiti. It is amazingly preserved, and was assumed to have been used as a sculptor's model, which explains why only one eye has been inlaid. My cd audio tour skipped and I ended up exchanging it. The second one did the same thing until Craig adjusted the length of the strap so that it was no longer hitting agianst my legs while I walked. You were allowed to take photos with no flash, so I got some of just about everything. After Nefertiti were some goddesses with lion's heads. Then there were rooms with gold jewelry, jewelry molds, and pottery. We then entered a larger gallery which had huge pillars with engravings etched into the walls. While we were in this room several field trips of German junior high students came in. They were staring at our Raindogs shirts. They blew through the place like a hurricane. We had to turn up the volume of the audio tours considerably but because the kids were naturally shy toward adults they kept their distance from us looking at the displays. The security guards that all seemed to come out of nowhere looked a little haggard chasing them around.

We saw mummies of adults and children which had painted cloth faces in the Roman style, mummy masks, sarcophagi, coffins, canopic jars, papyrus scrolls, and the sphinx of a female pharoah who was written out of history because she adopted a male persona. I was so good about not using my flash. One time it went off accidentally and I felt like a jerk. And it wasn't even that I forgot to turn it off or something. I swear I turned it off but it worked anyway. The guard hurried over but I made it clear that it was an accident, and wasn't simply ignorance. When we entered the hallway there was a door which looked out into the courtyard. It was inaccessible, but we could see an Egyptian Buddy Bear out there! Craig insisted that I took a picture through the glass. We got a good laugh out of that. We went to the second floor gallery. Two rooms were closed due to the fact that they were changing the installation. We saw a painted statue of a man and wife seated together. She had yellowish skin from staying inside. His skin was darker from working outside. She had her arm around his shoulder, which showed her strong and equal status. We saw the three archetypes of the human figure: seated (ruler), scribe (knowledge), and standing up in a physically impossible position (about to take action). We spent a little over two hours in the museum, leaving at around 12:30. It was great that we had the audio tour because we learned so much more about what we were looking at. Smaller rooms where we could have looked at something and moved on quickly turned into very interesting lessons in Egyptian history.

We were getting hungry and had read about döner kebabs, Turkish fast food which was supposed to be very good. We had seen some in our wanderings but hadn't had time to try one yet. As we walked back to the hotel we kept our eyes peeled. We wound up on a pedestrian shopping street at lunch time and thought for sure we'd find one. But we didn't. After a while we almost gave up hope and just got some kind of pastry to tide us over. Luckily we didn't, because as soon as we turned the corner from the pastry place, we encountered the Tekeman Grill, an Imbiss whose specialty is döner kebabs. The Turkish man behind the counter saw us eyeballing the place and waved us in with a big smile. We went inside. He only spoke a few words of English, but we each ordered a kebab. He took an electric razor type of thing and shaved off thin curls of meat from a perpendicular spindle of meat. As he was starting to ask what else we wanted on our sandwich, his coworker, a young Turkish man who also didn't speak English, had returned and took over the counter. Just as Craig was going to simply point to one of the sauces without really knowing our options, another patron saw the difficulty we were having and he explained that we had three choices for sauce: spicy chili sauce, cucumber dill sauce, or garlic sauce. We both chose cucumber dill thinking we didn't want to be too risky with the concert tonight. Craig ordered a Berliner Kindl beer (we had seen tons of billboards with the a Berliner Kindl casting the shadow of the Fernsehturm with the caption "Kiss Me Kindl") and I ordered a Fanta. The restuarant was very narrow. It had a counter with a few stools against one wall, and there were a few tables on the sidewalk outside. But the older Turkish gentleman led me to the back of the restaurant where there were two small tables. While Craig was waiting for the food, he poured our drinks and asked where we were from. He kept saying "Paris? Paris?" He was very much of a flirt and being very sweet to me. Craig came back with the döner kebabs: flatbread stuffed to capacity with shaved meat curlicues, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber dill sauce. It was delicious and looked like plenty of food. The older Turkish man sat at the table next to us and ate a döner kebab of his own now that the main lunch rush had finished. As we left he asked if it was good. When we assured him that we loved it, he shook our hands and said goodbye. The very filling meal, including the drinks, came to a whopping 6 Euros. We were amazed and wondered if that was actually the regular price of the food and drinks.

We walked further down the street and saw some Buddy Bears in the window of a small gallery. I wanted to buy one, and we thought they would also be nice gifts for our nephews, so we went inside. We wanted to get three different bears which all related to Berlin in some way. We saw two in a glass case that we wanted, and the third one was only present in the window display. Before we had the clerk move a bunch of postcard racks and climb into the front window display to get it, Craig went back outside to take another look at it. As he opened the door to step outside I heard him say "Guess who's here?" I followed him and saw Richard and Julia! We had felt bad about not meeting up with them before this, and we were a bit nervous as to the logistics of how we would meet up that night. But this was perfect timing. We chatted for a few minutes and made plans to meet for dinner at 6:00 for dinner, and then we would go to the Raindogs gathering at Quasimodo (a bar that is the building between our hotel and the theater) at 7. Julia said that they had put Tom Waits flags up outside the theater today. They headed off for the Egyptian Museum (it's pretty much the only museum open on Mondays). We went back inside the gallery to purchase the three little Buddy Bears.

We then headed back to the hotel to drop off our purchases. At around 2:30 we headed back out. We walked past the theater to admire the three black flags hanging out front advertisting the Tom Waits concert. We then walked over past Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche and up the street to KaDeWe (Das Kaufhaus des Westens) the largest department store in continental Europe. KaDeWe was established in 1907 and was originally owned by Jewish people. When the Nazis took control of the country, they seized the KaDeWe as well. It is absolutely huge. It has six stories, and the famed sixth floor contains food items exclusively. We had seen this in an episode of Globe Trekker and wanted to see if for ourselves. We entered the KaDeWe and immediately found a store directory sign in English. We went up to the third floor which contained "gift items". There was a huge book department which we browsed through. There was also a Steiff teddy bear department. A tiny classic style (1920) "teddy bär" with mohair fur and jointed limbs cost about 75 Euros apiece. They were fun to look at, and I remember being told about them as a child by my dad. But they were too expensive to buy. We found a whole department of wooden nutcrackers, which were gorgeous. They were also about 70 Euros apiece. You can get imported German ones at home for about the same or less money, so we decided on small nutcracker Christmas tree ornaments instead. Next we headed up to the sixth floor...the legendary food court. We had seen it on television and read about it in the guide book. An entire floor of nothing but food. There were counters where clerks were selling fresh cakes, torts, meats, cheeses, fresh fish, anything you could think of. They would even prepare the food for you. If you wanted to eat it there you could take it upstairs to a dining area. Or you could take it to go. There were counters of every type of chocolate imaginable. When we arrived, I had it in my head that I was going to buy a nice piece of cake or pie. But when we actually got there, I was totally overwhelmed and walked around the floor bewildered. There were just too many choices. Craig was looking for fudge, and that seemed to be about the only thing that wasn't available. Or was it, who is to know? We wandered around until around 4:45 and while admiring a huge chocolate bell (about 4 feet around and as tall) I started to feel very hot in my winter coat, and time was running out, so we realized we must make a decision. When push came to shove, we bought two Sawade Valille-Butter-Truffle weisse schokolade ohne alkohol. They were vanilla truffles that looked just like butter balls. We also got four Sawade mandelspilter biterchokolate onde alkohol, dark chocolate nuggets with something crunchy and cookie-like inside. We took our small bag of chocolate and headed down six escalators to street level. When we arrived on the street amidst the crowds and the Christmas window displays (one store had blue lights in the window which cast an interesting glow on the sidewalk) we split one of each type of chocolate. The vanilla truffle was absolutely amazing. It was so smooth and creamy and had such a strong vanilla flavor. We immediately headed back inside KaDeWe, went up six escalators, found the correct candy counter, and bought a dozen more so that we could share some with family at home. Feeling satisfied, we headed back down to street level. On the street we split the remaining original vanilla truffle.

We walked past the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche which was lit up nicely in the dark. Unfortunately the nice little Christmas display at the base of it had yet to open, and since we were heading home tomorrow, we wouldn't see it. Back at the room we freshened up, I wrote in the journal, and at 6:20 we met Richard and Julia in their room. Because it was getting late, we decided to forego dinner at a restaurant and headed straight to Quasimodo. The place was packed and the waitresses seemed angry about it. The place catered to people sitting at tables and some people waiting at the bar never got served. It was crowded and uncomfortable. It seemed that wherever we stood, we were in the way of the waitresses. We realized we might not even be able to get a drink let alone a bite to eat. We talked to a few Raindogs from Finland. Julia talked to a few of her friends, and we headed out with Jakob, his sister, Dennis, Julia, Richard, and guy from the Netherlands whose name I don't remember. We went across the street to a restaurant called Art which was decorated with animated characters. The building was in an archway under the train tracks, and when the train went by the entire building shook. It seemed very Waitsian to be hanging out with Raindogs under the tracks. We all got soup. Craig had potato baden soup and I got orange ginger carrot soup. Craig had a dark beer and I had a "vodka lemon", vodka served with a Schweppes bitter lemon soda. There were a couple of guys at the adjoining table who were in town for the concert from Vancouver, and we chatted with them. They took a group photo for us.

After we were finished eating, we headed to Quasimodo to try to meet up with some other Raindogs. Tom and Sabine from Germany (with whom we had corresponded via email) recognized us from the photos on our web site and introduced themselves. We chatted with them and Ken(adian), from Canada. It turned out that we and Ken have a mutual friend. Ken was in Vancouver for the Waits shows, and although we hadn't met him there, he did appear in one of our photos. After a few minutes of chatting, we headed next door to the theater. Everyone was very excited. We queued up outside with Richard, Julia, Tom, and Sabine, and went through the security pat-down. We asked where the restroom was and were told the location of the bar. That's right, in Europe they don't say "restroom." We changed our inquiry to "toilet" and were told the location. It's just a cultural difference, because asking for the "toilet" in America would seem rather vulgar. When we were ready to go to our seats, the usher told us which door to enter. Like the theaters we had been to in London, you enter a specific door according to your row. There is no center aisle, you must walk across everyone in your aisle to get to your seat. We were in row 9 in the center. Julia and Richard were in row 1. The show was scheduled to start at 8:30, and it was pretty much on time, starting between 8:30 and 8:45. The band consisted of Larry Taylor on bass, Marc Ribot on guitar, and Brain Mantia on drums and percussion. Tom's son Casey was not on percussion this time around. There was a black backdrop on the stage, and the lighting wasn't as severe as at the Vancouver shows. The set list was as follows:

Make It Rain
Don't Go Into That Barn *
Lost at the Bottom of the World *
Hoist That Rag
Sins of the Father *
Top of the Hill *
Trampled Rose
All the World is Green *
Misery's the River of the World **
God's Away on Business **
Tabletop Joe
Metropolitan Glide *
Day After Tomorrow *
Get Behind the Mule *
Shake It

Johnsburg, Illinois ***
Lost in the Harbour ***
Lucky Day ***

2nd Encore:
Jockey Full of Bourbon

* Tom on guitar
** Tom on harmonium
*** Tom on piano

A few notes on the show: The audience was very respectful throughout but we were slightly disapppointed that the crowd didn't sing along to the "Yes sir/no sir" call and response of "Don't Go Into That Barn." Seeing and hearing "Lost at the Bottom of the World" was amazing; we had never heard this song before. We picked up on lyrics which also appear in "All the World is Green": "balancing a diamond on a blade of grass". It was incredible to hear a song for the first time at a Tom Waits concert and the silence of the crowd was much appreciated during this one. During "Sins of the Father", the green lighting illuminated Tom's hat brim and looked like a halo. It seemed very fitting. He ended "Top of the Hill" with a snippet of Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime". And then he played "Trampled Rose!" After we had seen that trampled rose on the sidewalk earlier in the day! It truly had been a sign! Craig and I both got a kick out of that. "God's Away On Business" was very staccato, and it was immediately followed by the very sibilant and sweet "Alice" where Tom hissed his way through many lines. "Tabletop Joe" had a sing-along. The crowd went nuts when the piano was wheeled onstage. "Lost in the Harbour" was especially poignant after seeing the remnants of the Berlin Wall:

"And over there everyone's hiding their tears
But they're crying inside
And the wall won't come down
Till they're no longer afraid of themselves
And if you don't believe me ask yourselves
And then I can come down to the harbour
Down to the harbour
And then I will fill the ocean back up with my tears
I still have a couple more years"

In the hundreds of concerts that Craig had been to over the years, he had never been as touched as he was during that song, given the history of Germany that we had been immersed in for the last few days, the current political climate in the States, etc. The concert was about 2 hours and 10 minutes in length. After it was over, we went out front where there was a guy selling T-shirts and posters in the light rain. Although we did sort of like them, we felt it wasn't appropriate to support somebody making money off Tom in this way. If Tom had been selling shirts in Berlin we definitely would have brought one home. Then we headed to Quasimodo's and snagged a table. Richard ended up getting drinks at the bar and Craig got drinks from a waitress, thinking we'd be there a while and it wouldn't matter. But Julia found out that everyone else was going to Schwarzes because the bathrooms at Quasimodo weren't wheelchair accessible, and Matt would be there in his wheelchair. So we quickly swilled down our two rounds of drinks and headed down the street to Schwarzes. We finally got to meet Matt and Helen after correspondence via letters and email. It was so nice to finally meet them. Matt has posted some photos from the night here, and Helen has also posted some here.We also met and talked with Peter, Dave from Wales (who had the same camera that I had, and we had a quickdraw contest to see who could take a picture of the other first - it seems I won since his photo is just a flash), Dennis, Kees, Ulrich, Ilari from Finland, Jakob, Jakob's sister, Outi from Finland (whose friend bought a her rose from a guy wandering through the bar selling them, just so that she could ceremoniously trample it on the table), Tom and Sabine, Sam, Paddy, and many others. We got a group photo, and everyone spontaneously burst into a sing-along of "Innocent When You Dream (Barroom)". Go ahead and listen to it; it's clear that the drinks were flowing freely and everyone was having a great time. Our photo had a few people blocked (including Craig) but Helen asked the waiter to take a photo, so there is a group photo that has everyone in it at Helen's site here. Then there was a sing-along to "I Don't Wanna Grow Up", where Matt played his harmonica. I had looked at my watch at 1:00 and then the next thing I knew it was 2:30, and Richard and Julia had left because Richard had to catch an early flight. Julia was staying on in Berlin for the remaining concerts. Although we had to fly out the next morning as well, this was our only opportunity to hang out with the European Raindogs, so we stayed. At 4 am, a sing-along to "Raindogs" started, with people banging percussion and girls dancing on tables. At that point the waiter, who had been very patient thus far, turned on the lights. He said that the bar had stayed open especially for us, and that he was afraid that the neighbors would call the police. He was being a really good sport and asked us nicely saying that he didn't want to end the party, and he didn't want to be a jerk, but could we please try to tone it down a little bit. It seemed the singing especially would cause troubles with the neighbors. So of course we happily toned it down a bit. It was such a great time, and everyone was so nice. What a sense of camaraderie basking in the afterglow of the concert. Craig had been drinking tall dark beers all night, and I was having vodka lemon. I wanted to put a little something into my stomach so I ordered a piece of butter cake. At 4:55 am, we decided we really should go get a little sleep before heading home tomorrow. Most people had disbanded at that point, but there were a few die-hards who were still partying. We found out that Ken(adian) was staying at our hotel, and we walked back with him.
Bust of Nefertiti

Egyptian pillars

Carving the meat for the döner kebab

Richard and Julia

KaDeWe Department Store

Tom Waits flags at Theater des Westens

Pre-concert dinner at Art with the Raindogs

Theater des Westens

Tom Waits onstage at the Theater des Westens Tom Waits onstage at the Theater des Westens

Tom Waits onstage at the Theater des Westens

Julia and Richard at Quasimodo

Tom and Sabine at Schwarzes

Dave at Schwarzes

Raindogs Schwarzes

Raindog group photo at Schwarzes

Ken(adian) and Craig at Schwarzes

Dennis and Steph at Schwarzes

Helen and Matt (playing his harmonica) during the 'I Don't Wanna Grow Up' sing-along at Schwarzes

See more pictures from this day

Previous Day Trip Overview

Back to Craig and Steph's Vacations
Next day

Read our guest book   Guest book Sign our guest book
Please send any questions or comments to
All photographs and text copyright 1996-Present except where noted.