In which Wil goes to Germany (updated)

The following was written about ten hours ago, on another continent. I thought I’d published it before I left, but it turns out I saved it as a draft, instead. Good times.

I’m sitting in the lounge at LAX, waiting to board my flight to Heathrow. Sometime tomorrow afternoon, I’ll end up in Germany, do my best to adjust to jet lag, and then spend the weekend at FedCon.

I’m super excited to talk about Star Trek, read from Memories of the Future, talk about Eureka, and get my geek on with European fans for the first time since Anne and I went to London in 1996.

I’m not taking a cell with me, because it costs something like a million zillion eurobucks to do anything with it, so Anne and I will be out of instant concoct for the first time since we’ve known each other. That’s going to be weird, but I understand that primitive people during the 20th century did that all the time, so I’m embracing the novelty. Until I get to my hotel room, connect my laptop to the Internet, and talk to her online.

I will be mostly Internet silent while in Germany, which will be weird for me, but I will make every effort to deploy the obligatory I AM IN YOU messages when I reach my various destinations.

Have a good week and weekend, everyone.

This was written more recently:

I’m sitting in a lounge at Heathrow, waiting to make my connection to Germany. Our flight here was pushed by a massive tailwind that got us here something like 40 minutes early, but also gave us the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. I hardly slept at all, so I feel a little blurry. My body thinks it’s about 5am, and even though I keep showing it my watch, it isn’t buying it.

I’m glad I have a day to adjust, so I’m not doing my Zombie Wil Wheaton impression all weekend.

And I may as well update this post again now, thusly:

I’m in my hotel room in Germany. The window is open, and I can hear the occasional European siren do the Doppler effect on one of the streets outside. I know it’s silly, but it’s one of those things that’s romantic to us Yanks.

My flight to Germany was nice, and I got all stupid and giddy when we flew over London and I could pick out landmarks. I tried really hard to stay awake so I could see France (having seen London, I need to see France, and then someone’s Underpants), but I didn’t even make it to the Channel. The flight attendant woke me up about 15 minutes before we landed, so I missed the whole thing. Oh well, there’s always the trip back on Monday.

I’m super excited for FedCon. The hotel is full of people who are also excited to be here, and the staff I’ve met totally have their shit together, which is pretty important to me.

My schedule is on the FedCon website, but here are some important things:

> I’m doing a Q&A Thursday night at 9pm.

> I’m doing a Q&A with Marina Sirtis on Sunday at 1pm.

There are also signings every day, and some photo sessions, too.

Okay, I think that’s it. I’m hoping that if I make myself stay awake for a few more hours, I’ll be able to sleep until something close to a normal time tomorrow morning, and I won’t be too exhausted to see at least some of Dusseldorf while I’m here. I mean, it would pretty much suck to come all the way to Germany and not see any of it.

50 thoughts on “In which Wil goes to Germany (updated)”

  1. Have a fabulous time in Düsseldorf! 😀 I wish I could attend, it’s not even that far away for me (not nearly as far away as California – I live in Berlin), but you can’t always get what you want… I looked at the guest list, it’s impressive! I would have loved to see you in person, especially since my love for everything Star Trek was rekindled recently when I bought all three ST series on DVD last December (and am at it ever since…) I’m looking forward to reading about your visit to the FedCon. I love the blog, I’ve been reading it long before you moved to WWdn in exile.

  2. I just got an add from Dell for “A laptop as unique as you are”. I’m in a cubicle, reading e-mails, scamming time by reading on the net, i live in the burbs, have one child who watches too much TV, and have an unhappy marriage… I think their laptops come in 3 or 4 models.

  3. I can’t wait to finally see you at FedCon this weekend! I’m super excited! FedCon is awesome and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the weekend :)
    I hope you get some time to recover from the jetlag so that you can fully enjoy the convention 😉
    Otherwise we would be already two zombies… my train leaves tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. and I’m probably too excited to sleep, as always..
    Anyway, see you at FedCon :)

  4. Happily, pay-as-you-go phone service is rather better in Germany than in the US; depending on how often you plan to get back to Europe, you could probably find something reasonably priced for your purposes. (Yes, I do miss competitively-priced services; why do you ask? *sigh*) GSM-or-better networks, so there’s also the option of getting a European SIM card if your phone is GSM-family rather than CDMA.
    Have a great time!

  5. Ahhh Germany! der Vaterland!
    I am so jealous. I was supposed to go this Summer for my cousins wedding and see a Matthias Reim concert. But alas crappy american economy and 67.00/week paychecks prevent that. So I shall dream another year. And maybe manage to deduct it as a tax expense while deploying my own Evil Plan for Economic Sovereingty. Yeah… lets hope its as impressive as it sounds.
    Imagine though if I could swing a trip to see my Cousin, Matze(Matthias Reim), Sting on his European tour AND catch a con!!!!! I’d knock a HUGE dent in my bucket list!!!!!!!
    We should maybe name this National Luddite Survial Skills week or something. My sweetie and I are out of contact for technologic reasons as well. It didn’t kill my grandparents to not be in constant contact while commuting between Detroit and Elk Rapids in the 40s. It isn’t gonna kill any of us now. And given the distinctly stereotypical German temperment… a little distance now and again may actually save the relationship. Though the jones for a rousing game of killer bunnies is quite pressing…
    I hope you enjoyed much of the German cuisine and the bier. 😀

  6. *waaah* Aeofel, Al, Somethingsomething comes to Germany and we can’t come to bathe in his awesomeness.. even with this Wheaton Guy coming with him, it would be a total personal Waynes World experience.
    Hope you won’t need another five Years to come visit us again.

  7. One time John DeLancie came to a convention in my small home city and said it reminded him of a European convention, fewer attendees and more personal. I see from Wikipedia that FedCon isn’t that kind of convention, but have you had a chance to attend those kinds of conventions at all? We’re talking fewer than 50 attending.

  8. In case you are done with being like “primitive people during 20th century”: Borrow a GSM Phone, go to the next “Lidl” Store near you, pay 9,95 for a Sim-Card and enjoy 75 minutes talk time to the US. Every next minute will cost you 9c, after recharging..

  9. That sounds like all kinds of fun (well, excluding the jet lag part). Have a good time, Wil. Drink a beer for each of us.
    On a random completely unrelated note, you and Anne totally infiltrated my dreams last night. Obviously I’ve been reading your blog and tweets too much lately. :p

  10. There’s not an enormous amount to do in Düsseldorf, other than drink, as the excellent people above have suggested.
    It does, however, have many excellent Fußgängerzonen.

  11. Nice timing: Sunday is a holiday in Germany. The night from Saturday of Sunday there are many dance events and parties (“dance into may”). On Sunday itself are many spring festivals and many people will take their first long walk or bike tour of the season – usually accompanied by lots of alcohol ;D
    I’m really sad that the tickets for Fedcon where too expensive for me this year. I live close to Düsseldorf, it’s a nice town with a amusing party culture. Also visit the Japanese temple, if you can! Enjoy it ;*

  12. You’ll enjoy every minute of it – if there’s one thing Dirk and crew know how to do, it’s run things that make you wish 3 days lasted your entire life! I’m supremely jealous, so make sure you drink your own body weight in Bitburger on my behalf. It’s the Fedcon/Ringcon way!

  13. You don’T need be “internet silent” in Germany. You can get at least a wlan connection at the con, even the smallest motel has a hotspot and the maritim for sure 😉

  14. Viel Spaß! :)
    Not a lot of touristy things to do around there, it’s not the most exciting part of Germany, unless you have time to hire a car for a ride into the countryside.

  15. This is true, there are much better places if you want to see something sxiting – but you need time.
    Only places wich are really “famous” i think are the “altstadt”, the “Kö” and the Japanese garden.
    But especially this weekend could be very interesting but even awkward regarding the date.

  16. Two years ago I spent 9 weeks traveling from Guatemala to Panama. I only used the internet to book a hotel once or twice. No email, no facebook, no cell phones no nothing. This might be a bit easier for me since my wife and I both have no cell phones…never have.
    It was great although I did get very homesick. The cool thing was when I got home I had a lot of stories to share as well as photos. Nowadays people know all about your trip since they saw the photos, read the blog posts, etc in real time. There is nothing to talk about upon your return.
    This was how I backpacked Europe in the 90’s and I prefer it.

  17. Ah, Düsseldorf! Love the City, my Grandmother lived there. When I was a teenager, we lived in a small village in southern Germany, and when we went to Düsseldorf once or twice a year, this was the only place I could get my geek needs satisfied. Thinking of this, isn’t it great to live in the future?
    Some recommendations, if I may?
    First, for drinking beer:
    Zum Uerige, Berger Straße 1 – probably what everybody would recommend. Very good beer, atmosphere very typical for a brewery they have in this part of Germany (Rheinland). Don’t be bothered by the brusque attitude of the waiters (“Köbes”), they are supposed to behave this way – take it with humour. But beware! If you order a beer, they will continue to serve the next one if you empty your glass without being asked – this is custom here. You have to actively ask them to stop. If you only plan to eat a little, I recommend taking a “Röggelchen mit Mett”, a bun with butter and “Mett”, raw spiced meat with raw onions. Otherwise, everything on the menu is great if you like simple but tasty.
    Alternatively: Schumacher, Oststraße 123 (my favorite) – basically the same as the Zum Uerige, but less tourists. Everything said there applies. I also like the beer better, and I think they have more space.
    Sightseeing: The whole “Altstadt” is very nice, a big pedestrian area full of pubs and restaurants (sometimes called “die längste Theke der Welt”, the longest bar in the world).
    Shopping: The “Kö”, short for “Königsallee” is quite nice, especially for people with enough money…
    I think somebody above mentioned it, Düsseldorf also has the largest Japanese community in Germany.
    It is now some years since I was there, probably somebody else can give you more recommendations?

  18. Yes, but this is Germany, they will be charging an arm and a leg for it. With one of the superior rooms you get a whole hour for free. 😛

  19. Oh I love Germany! Cologne/Köln is right next door to Düsseldorf, and if you happen to be over there, the Cologne Cathedral/Kölner Dom is AWESOME and definitely worth a visit. You can take an English tour of the excavations/ruins under the cathedral, some of which date back to the Romans! Hard to believe there are like, 3 other churches below the massive cathedral. Have fun!

  20. *gasp* You are in Düsseldorf? I had no idea that “this FedCon” you were tweeting about is taking place right here.
    Anyway, Düsseldorf isn’t spectacular but it does have nice spots, e.g. along the Rhine or the many japanese stores and restaurants near the main station. There are also a lot of good museums. I’m trying to come up with something geeky but draw a blank :(
    Depending on how much time you’ve got I recommend going to Köln/Cologne (30min by train) and at least see the cathedral. It’s a touristy thing to do, but the cathedral never fails to awe me.
    You probably get this all the time, but for completeness’s sake: If you’d like a native guide, I’d be happy to show you around. Also you’re welcome to my internet anytime 😉

  21. I believe it just sprung from a random tweet Wil made when he went to Canada to work on Eureka. I could be wrong. It happens often. 😛

  22. Willkommen in Deutschland, Herr Wheaton… wir hoffen, Sie haben einen angenehmen Aufenthalt. (Welcome to Germany, Mr. Wheaton… we hope you’ll have a pleasant stay.)
    In case you wanna see a german comicshop AND you’ll have time left, just look here:
    Best greetings and fight the jetlag… :)

  23. Irgendwelche Sehenswürdigkeiten, die man an Düsseldorf gesehen haben muss? Ich habe schon einen Comicladen vorgeschlagen. Vorschläge, Karohemd?
    (Any suggestions for a sightseeing tour, Karohemd?)

  24. Yeah, great. Until this year, I worked in Düsseldorf, while FedCon was in Bonn. Now, I work and live in Bonn … FedCon is in Düsseldorf. That sucks !
    However, have fun trying all those different pubs in Altstadt.
    May I also recommend “Killepitsch”, a local speciality liquor :-)

  25. As others have said, you MUST get out and have some beer (Bier). Go to a Gasthaus (they serve food too) or a nearby bar. I was supposed to go on a Christmas cruise in Germany this past holiday, but plans fell through. I was last in Germany in 1994 for three weeks and I loved every minute of it.

  26. If you are going back through London, see if you can get your connecting flight delayed enough to go to the Doctor Who Experience. Take lots of pictures.

  27. thank you for your posts, as if I am going there with you, or rather IN YOU. As if I can feel the smell and sounds of the city, and the other awesome stuff (like Q&A ). Maybe you would write something about Marina Sirtis when you come back, what you were talking about, this and that…

  28. Sorry to go off thread, and I do hope you have a wonderful time in Germany, but I just learned that you are returning to Phoenix ComiCon.

  29. I’ve only been a visitor myself and don’t know the area well enough to make recommendations (and the last time was over 10 years ago).

  30. I hope you enjoy your stay in Düsseldorf aka. my hometown :) Have you time to see something/go out or is it just airport -> hotel -> airport?

  31. I don’t normally recommend a product, but my wife and I went to Ireland last year, and we used a product called “No-Jet-Lag”. I jokingly called it “speed” because it’s little white pills, but it’s homeopathic, and it really helped us adjust when we traveled. Unsure if anyone else here has had experience with it, but I like it.

  32. Get yourself some melatonin. It works a treat to reset your body’s circadian rhythm. Take one each night about 10-15 minutes before bed.

  33. I don’t think you’d’ve seen France anyway. I’m English and I’ve flown to Germany from Heathrow before, and there was on-board BA map of the flight.
    Since Germany’s east of London and France is South, I think they usually go over East Anglia, the North Sea, Belgium and the Netherlands, rather than south to the Channel and France then east.

  34. A rousing game of killer bunnies is a rousing game of killer bunnies, Freud. Oddly… it has superceded that which you euphemised in order of importance. I’m sure that should be rectified. But not sure that it will be rectified. somebody killed 10 of my bunnies right before nabbing the last carrot and I owe that special someone a “game over Moonpie” just as soon as I design my special blank card and dig my “How We Roll’ shirt out of the summer clothes bin to increase my saving roll karma. He is hassenpfeffer! 9my german is better than my klingon or i’d go all Shledon on him)
    rectified is not a euphemism either :p

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