Monday, December 5

I <3 Berlin

So... where the heck have I been the last few days? I'm sure you've all been worried sick...

Well, Phil was headed to Berlin all by his lonesome after Munich so he begged and pleaded and twisted my arm and eventually I gave in and decided to go with him. Ha! Actually the mere suggestion of escaping the sometimes stiffling gemuehtlichkeit in Munich for a weekend to be a tourist and see Caroline in the coolest city ever was all I needed to pack up a back pack and meet Phil at the train station after class on Thursday. I love Berlin! Love it! It's just so....dynamic, raw, exciting, romantic, new, old, everything and anything

We ended up staying at a hostel because Caroline's roomate's boyfriend was also in town and for some crazy reason they wanted some privacy or something.... ;-P But it was a very nice hostel and kinda fun to stay in a hostel again, it's been a while. I took Phil to my favoritest tourist sites in Berlin, the Pergamon, the TV tower and the Reichstag... all in the first day! It was really really cold, but no matter, fun all the same. Caroline came with us to the Reichstag and then we went to a little dinner party at her place with some of her Fulbrighter friends. Lots of wine and good times.

Saturday we went to the new Jewish Museum which is really really good I think. The building itself is awesome. Designed by Daniel Liebeskind, very powerful. The exhibit is really good, covering the entire history of Jews in Germany and in Berlin. I liked that it didn't focus on the Holocaust. I read quite a bit about Jews in Germany for my thesis last year. It was nice to see a musuem with information about the long history Jewish diasphora (sp?) and a contemporary section on what has happened to German Jews since and what it means to be a German Jew today. Lots of films and museums focus on the Holocaust experience, but don't show what happened after...there are still Jewish people in Germany. Of course remembering the Holocaust is important, I was just at a concentration camp last week after all, but it's also important to not let that be the whole of the connection between Germaness and Jewishness, it's important to be able to move forward as well.

We also went to the New National Gallery where they had two special exhibits going. We went to one by contemporary German artist Jorg Immendorff, it was pretty cool. Very political, really interestingly laid out, very German and very appropriatly located in Berlin.

After that Phil and I pretty much crashed. Went back to the hostel and didn't get farther away than accross the street for dinner. I warned Phil that mexican in Germany would probably not be good...

Phil left early Sunday morning for Amsterdam and will be heading home this week. It was fun to travel at bit with him, I'm glad we reconected. It's nice to see high school friends who've turned out to be such nice considerate mature interesting people... not that all my friends weren't all those things in high school... but you know what I mean. It was a bit strange being with someone all done with their european experience and looking forward to going home when I'm only like 1/3 of the way through mine... which is actually really far, I can't believe it's going so fast, and yet can't believe I won't be home again until July... that's a long long time....

Anyway, so I kinda bummed around Sunday, went over to Caroline's, chit chatted about life and ate lunch with her and then went out and wandered around Alexanderplatz, the Christmas markets, and some of the surrounding streets for a little bit before it was time to go see Caroline's German Synchro depute... that's right, I went to a synchro show in Berlin, and it was super :) Synchro shows are always guarenteed to be velveata level cheesy and really really fun. Caroline was excellent as a swan in their production of Cinderella and I'm glad I got to go see it. After we went to yet another dinner party at another Fulbrighters house. Apparently this is all they do in Berlin. It was very nice and I ate lots and lots and then some peanut butter cookies- yay americans and imported american baking products! They all have really cool big apartments in east berlin that actually have some charactor, as opposed to my steril little white box in the suburbs, and they're probably all paying lower rent than I am.... I'm a tiny bit jelouse in case you couldn't tell.

So yeah, that was my lovely weekend in Berlin, I'm quite glad I went. And it actually wasn't so bad coming back to munich this time because I had presents waiting for me! There was a package from Alexis on my doorstep when I got back, it was like the next best thing to actually havinga person to welcome me home. Thanks Alexis, I love it and I'm listening to the Chistmas CD right now and I'm really excited about the new Nickel Creek CD because the old one is one of my favorites to listen to on trains :-D
Also when I got back I had FOUR windows to open in my advent calendar which meant four pieces of chocolate all at once. mmm.

This week I actually have a fair bit of lesson planning to do, yikes. Next weekend I don't have plans, probably some baby sitting or something- definitely need to make and not spend money for a while, the weekend after that I'm going to Nuemburg and the weekend after that my parents are coming and it's Christmas!!! Wee. I love living in Europe and going on spontaneous weekend trips.

You should all go out and rent "Wings of Desire" right now because it's one of my favorite German movies and it's kind of about Berlin, and does a good job at capturing the city back when the wall was up. go watch it. You should also rend Goodbye Lenin, also good and also about and in Berlin. I would recoment some books by the Jewish German authors I studied but the ones I read don't all have translations....

2 comments:

Phil said...

how did caroline deal with the bathing suit issue?

Caroline said...

bathing suit issue? hmmm, i'm not sure how i dealt with it. if you mean the white suit, i looked like a pasty blob person, but everything was rated G. so that's good.