Today I went to the Deutsches Museum, not really knowing what to expect. Museums can be hit or miss. I hadn’t been to one in a long time, so I was prepared for the worst case scenario: seeing the exact same things as any other museum. Things got off to a good start when I pulled off my usual ‘I’m still a student’ scam, and got in for 3 euros instead of 8. I wandered inside, cheerful to be out of the bitter cold and cheerful to have enough change to catch the U-Bahn back again later.
The place was enormous. I didn’t know where to start so I just walked. I found myself in a hall full of engines and motors, electrical equipment, cranks to turn, buttons to press, explosions going off in the distance, electricity dancing off coils. It was like being in a mad scientist’s laboratory. I was entranced. I hadn’t expected this at all. I wandered around, and gazed for a time at a massive Porsche engine that could get a 1 and a half tonne car to 100km/h in 5.9s. I stared in wonder at the poorly translated information, and I marveled at the contraption itself. It’s strange metallic parts. Pistons and pumps and all things that I don’t know the slightest thing about. Not for the first time in my life, I felt that strange pang, that wistful fleeting feeling, that wish that that spark of interest was just that bit bigger and I could be more like Dad and be into the car thing.
I wandered through every field of science, a new one in each room. It’s easy to see why so many scientists (or ‘natural philosophers’ as it were) were multi-disciplinary beings, following their diverse interests to wherever they took them. The world’s too damn interesting to specialise in just one thing.
Then I found the good stuff: the aviation section, and the space section. I wandered around taking photos of flying things like my life depended on it. I felt a bit giddy, and I must have been grinning like an idiot.
I don’t know how many hours I wandered through that enormous place… more than 3 but I’m not sure how many more. It was a good day. After that I went walking in the soft snow-flaky air until I found myself at Odeonsplatz. I bought a hot chocolate at a Starbucks to warm my hands, and kept walking towards the hostel. In an underpass a young German-speaker approached me asking for help. He didn’t know how to get to Ostbahnhof. What is it about me? I always get asked these things. Matt the Integrator. He was a cute kid, roughly my age, and I tried to help him out as best I could. I walked on, whistling to myself and passing the hot plastic cup from hand to hand.
I think the reason I enjoyed the museum so much is that it made me remember something about myself. Something I haven’t thought about for a really long time: that I am such a boy sometimes. Haha.