Monday, August 13, 2012

Grand Hotel

The Cinematic World Tour Blogathon is an event in which participants use the movies to take virtual trips around the world, using settings and moments in movies to inform their writing approach, hosted by All Good Things. This blogathon lasts from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so check back periodically at the host site for posts from participating blogs.

Grand Hotel
seen on TV @ TCM

Greetings from Berlin!

I've met all kinds of remarkable people while traveling around the world this summer. Currently I'm in the company of the lovely daughter of a French diplomat who has invited me to spend a week with her in Berlin. I've promised to paint her portrait as a gift for her father, and I'm being paid quite handsomely for it too, which is fortunate because I'm almost out of dough!

Here's a shot of the lobby of the hotel we're staying in. This is fancy-schmancy stuff - a four-star joint, one of the best in all the world!

On our way to the hotel, we wound up sharing a taxi with this squirrely little fella named Kringelein. Apparently he's not in the best of health, and he came to town to have a big blast and live it up while he still can. My companion felt sorry for him, but I got the feeling he didn't want pity.

There was some kinda mix-up at the front desk regarding his room, but he got it straightened out. Some big shot intervened on his behalf. Thought I heard him say he was a baron.

The young lady (she asked me not to mention her by name; she's the self-conscious sort) was very beautiful, but also extremely fussy. We spent the entire first day in Berlin going from one boutique to the other trying to find the right outfit she wanted to be painted in. The hats alone took over two hours. I wish I was joking. If I wasn't getting paid for this, I woulda ditched her long ago. She saw how bored I was, though, and offered to make it up to me by buying tickets to a ballet that night.

Some hotshot Russian ballerina was in town and my lady friend wanted to see her in action, but she musta been sick or something, 'cause she didn't go on that night. Not that I cared. Ballet's not exactly my bag.

The next day, the young lady was unavailable. She was meeting with some pals of hers, so I spent the day playing tourist and seeing the sights. I returned to the hotel sometime in the late afternoon and hung out in the bar for awhile.

I saw Kringelein again, dancing - if you could call it that - with some skinny American chick. He certainly was living it up like he said he would.

Then some big dude came up to them. From the looks of him, I knew he was gonna be a killjoy of some sort, and before you know it, ol' Kring starts getting into a shouting match with him. I think this other guy was his boss, from the sound of it - and I guess Kring figured, since he was dying anyway, why not finally tell his boss off? Actually, his boss looked like the type who couldn't care less about the people who worked for him. I have no doubt that he never gave ol' Kring a minute's respect.

But then the boss takes a swing at Kringelein! I couldn't believe it - this was a big guy, really imposing looking, and here he is, laying a little guy like Kring out on the floor! They had to separate him before it got worse!

I was gonna go over and see if Kring was alright, but his friends got to him first - his date and that baron guy, plus some old dude with half his face all messed up (though not from the boss). It looked like they had things under control, so I left.

My companion left a message for me, saying she'd be ready for me to paint her tomorrow, so I had dinner alone. The next day, I rang her room and left a message for her. At this point I'm thinking I'm getting taken for a ride. She paid for my room, so that wasn't a problem, but I was getting sick and tired of this runaround by her. So I went out and toured Berlin again.

When I returned to the hotel, there was all this talk going around that Kringelein's baron friend had died somehow. The bellhop I talked to didn't have all the details, but I think that boss of Kring's might've been involved somehow. I'm not entirely sure. 

I asked the front desk to ring Kringelein's room so I could talk to him, but there was no answer. In fact, I haven't seen him since. I hope he's alright; I'd hate to think that boss of his tried to start something with him again.

I finally caught up with my lady friend and she invited me to dinner, all apologies. She said she hadn't seen her friends in months and lost track of time or something. I didn't care; the free dinner more than made up for it. 

Tomorrow, she says, she'll be ready to begin her portrait. I certainly hope so, although I'm kinda nervous. I made myself out to be a better painter than I actually am. Maybe she'll go for an "Impressionist" look?

Wish me luck,



  1. Awesome post Rich as usual. I put up a link over at All Good Things to let everyone know!

  2. Boy, oh boy. I'd always heard that was the kind of place where nothing ever happened. Stuff must follow you around!

  3. Sometimes it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

  4. WOW this is cool!! I love your choice Rich, even though I haven't seen the film. I didn't know there's a Grand Hotel in Berlin, I only know the one in Michigan on Mackinack Island :)

  5. Berlin is ostensibly where the film takes place, though you'd never know it. The film is all interiors and sets and no one speaks with a German accent. I don't know if there's a real Grand Hotel in Berlin or not. Glad you liked my post though!


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