This is 43

This is a little late since I was in Berlin for my birthday and whatever goulash of chemicals and electricity in my brain couldn’t bring me to write this. Let’s just say that I was in a whole lot of pain since my sciatica came back a week before I left. The pain then transferred to my right hip. All in all it made everything difficult: walking, sitting, lying down. There is not any moment where pain and discomfort didn’t affect me. Actually I’m still in pain, but it’s more of a dull sustained thing rather than anything sharp and debilitating.

So that’s to say that one of my regrets of going to Berlin was I was not able to be quite as ambulatory as I had wanted. I did manage to go out do some record shopping, go to the Philharmonic, go to a Michelin-starred restaurant and take some pictures, but I really wanted to do more. But, isn’t that the regret of most vacation-goers?

I do not regret the luxury I indulged in however. Because of my back pain, I decided to use my points to upgrade to business class for my flights on Air France. That was such a good decision with the lie-flat seats and wonderful menu. However, can someone explain to me why there are no non-stop flights from LA to Berlin? Connecting at Charles De Gaulle was a fucking pain and took forever to get between terminals.

Pre-departure champagne.

I also stayed at the Ritz Carlton right in Potsdamer Platz. To tell you how nice it was, they gave me a birthday cake! Not pictured was my meal at Nobelhart and Schmutzig which was close by my hotel — a 10-course Michelin-starred meal that featured hyperlocal sourced ingredients because they forbid pictures being taken and urge people to savor the moment. Again, no regrets.

Birthday chocolate mousse cake from the Ritz Carlton Berlin.

I realize as this thing called life goes on is that there’s a whole lot of bullshit that clouds our lives and makes it seem so much more complicated that it needs. Like all of these self-help bullshit artists and cloying folks who want people to like them who say that travel is deep and self-realizing is at its heart just bullshit and unnecessary. No, in all of my trips I have not gained any deeper insights into myself. No, I have not gained any deeper insight to the world as a whole. All I know is I just want to be happy, do what I want to do as long as I’m not causing harm to others and want as little misery as possible. It’s bad enough my body betrays me with pain, so I just refuse to deal with pain from others. And not everything needs to have a deeper significance, life doesn’t need to have meaning.

So this is 43. This is the reason I’ve started to get tattoos. This is the reason why last weekend I decided to get my first piercing: a septum ring that I had actually wanted for decades. I’m just here just trying to be happy. Thanks for the self-indulgence.

Anyhow here are some more photos from Berlin: