Kino stories


1. Karlstorkino, Heidelberg

At the Karlstorkino in Heidelberg, behind the counter in the tiny foyer that divides the entrance from the small movie hall, the woman with dark hair and dark eyes says she does not have a Coke. She names another drink whose name I don’t catch. It’s like Coke, she says, almost apologetically. The beginning of the film is a quarter of an hour away. I pick my drink and flip through pamphlets and cards advertising upcoming titles. Posters on the walls hold frames from movies I have never heard of, but this is unsurprising: they customarily screen not mainstream movies but obscure titles ignored by the rest. Three young men, all blond haired, enter the foyer. One of them is barefoot. The kino is close to some altstadt apartments where university students live – this man may have just crossed the street to get here. Still, it is refreshing to note this streak in a German. The hall, accomodating not more than thirty seats, is half empty when the movie begins. I sip my Coke-like drink and sink into the cushioned folds as the title flashes across the screen: Guilty of Romance.

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Jewels of the East, hidden in the West


Last week, Wife and I decided on a whim to visit the Turkish quarter in Mannheim.

I had returned a few days previously from a long trip to India, and the first few days in Germany had seemed too quiet, a big contrast to the chaotic fabric of life in India. Imagine spending each day for a few weeks in a busy market, full of color and life, and returning to a monastery, where monks wore white and silence was the only sound. Even Wife thought things were unusually quiet: perhaps it was due to a short work-week (Thursday was a public holiday) that the Germans were all elsewhere, on a vacation.

Whatever the reason, we decided that the remedy was to get a taste of the East. But where? I suggested the Turkish quarter in Mannheim, a district we had discovered quite by accident while searching for an apartment last year. Wife concurred, and we set off one evening after an early dinner.
Continue reading “Jewels of the East, hidden in the West”