The Freedom Trail

17th of August 2016

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Today I started my sightseeing tour at the oldest college sport stadium and Business school of Harvard. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, short MIT, I discovered Gehry`s reflecting curvy buildings, which reminded me of the buildings “Zollhof” at the harbour of Düsseldorf.

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Around noon, I finally arrived at the Freedom trail. Boston`s most touristic attraction. Especially for Americans is this very need. Since Boston offers a lot of historic spots and is for American circumstances an old city. The trail leads through a lot of nice parks along a lot of nice old and small buildings. Nevertheless, I had the impression, that every trifle was exaggerated and promoted in a heroic way. The top was the USS Constitution Museum.

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But first and foremost, I passed a three hundred years normal looking church, Franklin`s graveyard and more “old” nice but not outstanding churches. After dozen people were asking me for the way, but I was unable to help them, I saw an old street musician in front of the beautiful statehouse. He played an instrument, which I have never seen before. He looked like a German, but sounded like a bagpipes.

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While I was listening to his melodies, he asked me, which language I speak. When I told him, that I speak German, he started to speak German too. While playing his instrument, he sang, that he is from Brooklyn and sat next to one of the senators of New York in school. Moreover, Bernie Sanders went to his school. He sang a whole ballad about his career in a romantic style. Later on he showed me how his instrument called hurdy gurdy looks from the inside and sang a song about me. He seemed to be a very interesting person. To experience more about his background I asked him some questions. He told me, that he is a happy guy, who travelled in 68 from Europe to India. He learned one Indian language and how to play a traditional Indian instrument. Later on he and his Hungarian wife moved to Germany for a few years, where his son was born. His son got his education at Berkeley College, one the best or perhaps even the best school for performing arts.

On Yom Kippur (a funny Jewish Holiday on which it is a Mitzvah, a good deed to get drunk) he smoked weed the first time. It happened with an old friend on a rock in Forrest Park. But besides this occasion, he does not follow very much the Jewish tradition. For him the holy books are stories, which bring humans spiritual further.

After he talked about Indian music I asked him, if he also plays some Klezmer music. Immediately he started to play Tumbalalaika, one of my all time favourites songs. Although the lyrics he sang, was a little bit different.

When he stopped he said:” I knew a man, who moved from a Cello to a Tumbalalaika. It was a little bit small. But he could live in it.”

Suddenly his attention focused on something behind me. “What a wonderful guy. He must have been on the road for many years. He is probably from Scandinavia or Switzerland”. When I turned around, I saw a man with two plastic bags in his hand, strolling along the freedom trail. I asked him, how he can be so sure about that he is homeless for so long, but also from Scandinavia?

With a smile on his face, he said, that he just has a good feeling about it, since he plays since over 35 years on the street. A few seconds later, 3 young guys walked around the corner. He asked them in German, if they speak German. They turned to our side a little bit puzzled. For a second I thought he was wrong and had just too much fantasy. To my surprise on of the guys started stammering talking German and asked how he recognized it. “In time of the globalization it gets harder, but you looked so German to me” answered here. For me, they could belong to every western population besides the Mediterranean countries.

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After talking half an hour, I bought a cd of his son, his wife and himself playing French songs. Then I continued my walk on the Freedom Trail. While I was waiting on a traffic light to look up the directions, two guys passed me. One came a few steps back and said: “If you do it, do it with a Marine!” I did not want to let him down and took a selfy with him.

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Around the next corner I saw lots of street performers, who successfully attracted lots of people. As soon as a few persons stopped, mostly one minute later the street performer was surrounded by the big crowd. Their tricks were really amazing. The only boring thing was, they tried to make an half an hour show with only one trick, like contortion or one dance.

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After I saw the pretty North End with it´s old (at least for Americans) houses, I made it all the way to the USS Constitution museum. Having not much time left, I asked right on the front desk, where I can see the US Constitution. She pointed to the door, to which I entered and said: ”Go out and immediately to your left in the dry dock. assuming, that the US Constitution would be a way to holy to explored outside. I asked again and got the same answer.

But first and foremost I walked through an exhibition about a US War ship and how great the US is. Patriotic videos with the national anthem were exhibited and you could scratch your name in copper blades, which will be attached to the USS Constitution, in order to protect the old, legendary warship from the salty water.

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I went outside and looked to my left and saw a sign on which was written USS Constitution and pointed to the ship. As soon as I recognized, that I messed up one of the most famous and old war ships with the constitution of independence, I started to laugh. On the ship you could buy an American flag and pull the star sprangled banner up for 25 Dollars. Lots of people used this offer. The marines on board were very friendly, easygoing and playful as you might never have expected, when you are facing a soldier. After seeing Bunker Hill, a cute British looking neighbourhood, with a huge monument, I took the ferry to go to Boston harbour.

After an hour of relaxing and postcard writing, I went home, to take a swim in the private pool. When I wanted to check in very late in the night, I recognized, that my flight got cancelled, although I did never received any mails or texts about it.

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