Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SCBWI Scrawl Crawl 2012 - Stuttgart, Germany

Our first point on the scrawl crawl map is Starbucks – Hauptbahnhof. The first point over in France is the Eifel Tower. I’m not complaining, mind you. Folks come from all over the world come to see the famous train station of Stuttgart, Germany. Really, they do. We’re going to take the elevator up to the platform where we’ll have a bird’s eye view of the city. I’ve been here 22 years, and have never been up there. (Actually, I didn’t even know you could go up there.)

SO, as I sit here and scrawl in front of Starbucks, people watching, I begin to think about Stuttgart 21. I never really thought it necessary to rip down the train station and put it all underground, but I don’t feel strongly enough about it to wear a button, carry a sign, or slap a bumper sticker on my car. Certainly I feel bad for the park, and the trees. But not bad enough to camp there, or sit in a tree for a week.

I am the (German) Lorax, (Lorax-le in Schwabenland…) I speak for the trees. Where will all the drunk – saüfer-loots, in their saüfer-loot-suits go? Or the Swommee-swans? Most of all, Mr. German Once-ler, (Herr einmal-ler ) what will happen to all the train station pigeons? These aren’t country pigeons, these are bad-ass Hauptbahnhof pigeons. Peck your eye out for a crumb of your Starbuck’s cinnamon swirl bun – pigeons. They’ll flap that thousand calorie cup of vanilla latte right out of your hand just for fun. They nest in the swill of Rowdies. I’ve even seen a few with shaved heads, wearing little tiny black arm boots. Where will they go??? I think I might have to take a stand. If for no other reason but to keep the pigeons underground, lest we have an Alfred Hitchcock movie on our hands.

We’re up on the platform now. Our Scrawl Crawl leader, Kirsten, has a mission for us. We have each chosen a focal point on the street below. We are absorbing our focal point with each of the five senses. Sight, sound, smell, taste, and… wait, I think it’s just four. She has us close our eyes, and is mesmerizing us with her voice. Hear the city…, taste the city…, smell… Okay, you get the idea.
     Rattle, rattle little u-bahn. You have to make it back to the station by dark. Rattle, rattle, BEEP, HONK.  Rattle, rattle little s-bahn. Past Berlitz, and Bosch. Through Baden-Württemberg, no time to stop for a Dinkelacker. Rattle, rattle all the way through the sticky breeze, and stale Carmel Macchiato to the Hauptbahnhof. Rattle to the sound of Die Neuer 107.7 Bester Rock und Pop.

FIRE!!! There are fire trucks down there. What if the fire is at the train station. What if the only safe place is the roof? Within minutes, hundreds of commuters will cram up here, invading my Scrawl-Crawl-space. We’ll wait for helicopters to come and save us.
   “SAVE YOUR JOURNALS!” – Shouts Tiffany.
   “We only have room for two more,” the man says into his megaphone from the chopper above us. 
   “Take my dogs, PLEASE! SAVE MY DOGS!!” Kirsten sobs. “I can parachute down! I have one      in my excessively large handbag!”
As all of this plays through my mind, I glance over to see Kirsten watering down her dogs. I know she is doing it because it’s hot up here, and her dogs are old. But maybe, just maybe, she too saw the fire trucks below.

HOLY CRAP! How could I have NOT seen the gigantic Mercedes star turning above my head. Seriously, I worry about myself. I am so glad I didn’t actually say Holy Crap! Look at that! Out loud.

I didn’t crawl very far, nor did I scrawl very much, but I did have an awesome time. I met new people, and saw old friends. We ate lunch at an outdoor café next to the castle and those amazing fountains that Kirsten said she always wanted to sketch, and finally did. And although we weren’t atop the Eifel Tower, Stuttgart has endless things to write about and draw.


Jim Martin said...

Great post, Liz. I'm so glad Kirsten made you crawl and scrawl! I hope you're back for good now.

Anonymous said...

I love it too. Finally feels important and interesting to me personally what I'm reading here on this iPod. I miss accents! That's where I first read you! This is tiff

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