What remains of Borussia`s championship II- Wheeled walkers & Vikings
As we continue our search for what has remained in Dortmund's heart, we now reach Borsigplatz. Things can only do downhill from here, you might fear. But we have not lost our faith and still believe we are on the right path. A small recap: We escaped the Bada Bing Business in the bat cage and did not buy anything from Poststube's window sale. The Olafs tried to trick us and the ladies tried to charm us, but we are only here to find the answer to our question. Can we make it?
By now the sun has set over Dortmund. The mythical Borsigplatz. The home of Borussia Dortmund, the place where it all happened two weeks ago and a month ago, the place where Dede’s tears caused a flood of biblical proportions. The place I had not been to on that Sunday. Something that will put me into a critical situation in a few minutes, something I am not aware of while chatting to web about Muskara, the Backlava store which greets you when entering Borsigplatz from the west. Backlava, a Turkish specialty consisting of sugar, sugar and even more sugar, however is not on our agenda tonight. We continue our search for Dortmund’s memory. Can we find it here on Borsigplatz. At first glance the memory has left the building. The Liberty Pub does not welcome us at all and we swiftly move past it. We decide to leave Borsigplatz empty handed but to at least take a look inside the Big Boss on the corner of Oestermärsch. Through the windows we only see a few people inside and we are welcomed by a big sign in the door claiming “Toilet for guests only.” What looks like a mental place selling coffee and snacks through the night turns out to only be a mental place. The right thing for us now. An East European landlady is playing a game of Klammern with two folks from Borsigplatz. The bar has a few tables, but we sit next to the girl drinking a Malzbier. Smelling our fatal combination of beer and melancholia she hits the road again. Goodbye, Malzbier. Hello night! I spot a Jukebox behind the grey haired card players. Oh, beauty that lies within you. Jukebox! It might be the first Jukebox of the night, as I check out the bathrooms (nothing spectacular, behind a long corridor) web starts chatting up the trio. (steph)
When I mention Borusssia Dortmund one of the three suddenly has a sparkle in his eye. “I used to play for Borussia Dortmund” he claims. I examine him more closely. Could this be a fallen superstar of the past, that played with all the greats I only read about? But even before I can ask him for his name, he says: “Only youth football, back in the fifties.” My heart skips a beat. Have we finally found the championship spirit, we have been looking for all night? But he is more concentrated on his card game than on my stuttered questions. Has he lost the connection to the club he once played for or is my mind too dull by now to come up with the right questions? Once I have convinced him, that I really attended the celebrations on Borsigplatz two weeks ago, he finally admits that the championship does not bother him too much. Back in the sixties the celebrations have been much greater and nowadays being in such large crowds is too much trouble for him. It seems that you lose your passion for the club if you come of age. That makes me wonder what winning the 2031 championship will mean to me. It would be sad if I was not bothered just like this man is. To get rid of these dark thoughts, I make the mistake to ask the barmaid what the Schnaps specialty of the place was. She answers with something I just can’t figure out, could be Russian, could be worse. Get me two of those then, I am feeling adventurous. Where is Steph? Has he left the building. I don’t know. Do I care? I guess so, because the brown stuff inside those Pinnchen looks dangerous. Before I get so stupid to drink both of them, I spot my mate and we hammer it down. Tastes sweet. Tastes awful. More beer please. We drink a last round and then it is time to move on. We are still on a mission and Chuck Norris would not give up at this point! (web)
The Schnaps really gets me going. Web still tries to find out how Klammern works but I only have two fears right now. Will the guy for the third time ask, were I have been on that Sunday two weeks ago, or has he been calmed down and, even more important, do I have a Euro coin in my pocket to finally listen to some music? I need to jump on the street, make sure to avoid any conflicts with the kids lurking on the street and get some change from the Trinkhalle next door. Yes! The first song I find is Der Wolf, Dortmund DJ and one hit wonder, with Wer ist Deutscher Meister, I jump up and down, not knowing the lyrics at all but hey. After two more songs it is Eisbär from Grauzone that makes us leave the Big Boss without having listened to Rubbeldikatz am Borsigplatz. Rubbeldikatz, something the Schnaps had just done to us. And so we walk on down the road, driven by our mission to find Dortmund’s memory. Has it all gone down the drain within only fourteen days? I bet you not, I tell web, and point towards the Actien Becher, a cosy Pub. The place to finally find the answer to the only question we ever had. How much is the Stößchen? We open the door and are greeted by Nordstadt’s elderly drinking society. A grand old lady smiles at us and winks at the barmaid (why are there always barmaids? and why does that lady wink at her?). We get our Stößchen and smile back at her. She hides her wheeled walker behind the table and gets going. “She just wants you” the barmaid explains and with her 78 years she certainly is a charming young lady. But even Big Boss Russian Schnaps has not put us off our mission. What happened a fortnight ago, I ask and then slowly retreat to the restrooms. The lady is not following me. (steph)
The barmaid, not the freshest fruit as well, seems undecided whether the championship celebrations have been a good thing. “Yes, we did sell lots of beer, but all that fuss and all that rubbish in the street afterwards…” Maybe at 70ct per Stößchen selling lots of beer really is not that big an argument. But rubbish in the street? Come on, you can’t fool me. I’ve been down this street before and it has always been butt ugly rubbish or not. Maybe this is still not the place to find the true spirit of the champions, but what the heck, get us two more, will you? To our astonishment she refuses and says that it had been the last round already. I look around and the place is packed and nobody seems to run dry but us. We get the message and leave the place. There must be somewhere better just around the corner. We have a mission and we will fulfill it by all means even at the cost of our own health. The Nordstadt looks a bit eerie by now. Some of the pubs we walk past are actually closed. There should be a law against this. Wait, I see a light. Yes it is the banner of the Kronen brewery that leads us to our next attempt to finally find the spirit. In the Kronen Eck nobody seems to get ready to leave and we are given a warm welcome. At the bar three older guys play the famous Schocken dice game, which makes it kind of hard to chat them up. There are other reasons that make it kind of hard to chat anybody up by now, but who cares? Two Stößchen please! (web)
Feeling like The Hare in the Grimm Brothers' “The Hare and The Hedgehog”. Things are getting slightly out of hand here. Sitting next to the bar is the 78 year old lady with her wheeled walker. We thought we had left her behind at the Actien-Becher. How is it possible she was quicker than us? Apparently, we find out, she is married to one of the Schocken guys. But at this point of the night, he doesn’t seem to care that she already is giving us the eye again. Will we find Dortmund’s memory, have we ever been looking for it at all? Blurry thoughts inside this place. I even forget to go to the restrooms and repeat my question again: “What remains in your heart, Dortmund?” “Nothing but a strong headache for you, my kids” someone replies. “This can’t be all” I insist, still trying to keep head and heart apart. Our health is not completely ruined but all that remains from Kronen Eck is another Stößchen, set free somewhere in the Nordstadt. The Ordnungsamt nowhere to be seen, thank god. Das ist nicht normal! (steph)
On we walk to the Schützenstraße. Schützenstraße? That’s pretty far off! How did we get here? I don’t care, I see a man walking past us with a beer crate. Brinkhoff’s. Come on man give me one. After 10 minutes of convincing I get my free beer. Triumph! But what is that? Steph actually found a place still open. We enter the Kleine Bierkutsche to find it packed with coked up Moroccans. For whatever reason, I treat one with respect which makes him my new best buddy. Mission? What mission? The spirit of champions surely not to be found in here. We order some more beer but even the shadiest pubs seem to close from time to time. We have one more in us before we crumble, so we dare to enter the Wikinger. Here the party goes on all night long and we are back to darts. But this time it is played by tattooed rockers. For whatever reason I treat one with respect and he becomes my buddy. But who is that coming in the door? My Moroccan friend! Fantastic! More beers. Is Steph at the restrooms? Why did we come here in the first place? Mission aborted! (web)