Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Berlingo!

3 hours of sleep and groggy as all hell, not to mention many utterances of FUCK I got on a plane to Berlin. When you don’t want to face your life… run from it. How better to run than getting on a jet plane? I took my first day of vacation in over 9 months and tempted the friendly skies. No fucking around with Thor the Swedish God of Transport this time… I am flying to Berlin, on a major airline THANK YOU. Up yours Thor. Gratefully no Teutonic God of Transport is known to exist. Thus my trip went smoothly, well besides the ear-popping bit. As the dark started to lift I was sitting in the plane. Looking forward to gravity and propulsion pushing me back against my chair and taking me away from the chaos that my life has been over the past two weeks. Away from that raw shell and the slicing wounds that came from change and some bitch provoking my flaming insecurities- the ones that living abroad exacerbate on occasion. Cotton candy pouf-pouf clouds of insecurity are below me and that pink band on the horizon is my future. I am leaving the negativity that my life as a soap opera is, BEHIND. Berlin here I come! It has been a long time since I have been in a country where I don’t speak the language. Landing in an international airport, I expected signs pointing the way into town. Nein. After wandering around the airport I managed to find my way to the transfer location to catch transport into town. Woot, let’s go exhaust my 8 word German vocabulary. Gutentag sprekensie englishke? Berlin is an international capital; I am talking to a tourist official at an international airport. Am I unreasonable to think they might be able to understand English? YES. Sprekensie italianske? Nein. Sprekensie frankoischke? HAHAHAHAHAHA. Then they asked if I spoke Russian. Da of course… NOT, that is a negative ghostrider. Wilkommen til Berlin, let the language games begin. Somehow I managed to make my way into town and dropped my things off at the hostel. While Berlin has always been on my “to visit” list- it has never been the top. I was coming to Berlin to see a friend Mark. This is shorthand for Tink… having no tourist plan what so ever. Which meant walking all over with NO plan. Personally I wouldn’t go that route again in Berlin, particularly because of the feeling that Berlin inspired in me. I could be being harsh, Berlin could be the kind of place that grows on you, but to me it felt soul-less. And the history I hoped to feel was nearly non-existent. The weather however, was gorgeous. Initially I tried to find Fadensnel but instead? I found a Turkish apartment building and a döner stand. I continued on my way, I saw bunches of stuff and nothing all together. I wandered the gardens surrounding Schloss Charlottenburg. I went through Potsdamer Platz. I shopped the K’damm. The most interesting for me were the Bauhaus Archives. I wanted to save the huge sites for the few hours I would be able to pull Mark away from work so I put off the biggies. I walked myself to the point that I returned to the hostel at 9pm thinking I would change and get food before taking the night bus to see Berlin lit up. Within 15 minutes I was out cold. Yup in the town of the partying- I was out at 9:30pm on Saturday night. I am a party diva… Sunday morning I went out for a LOVELY brunch at Tomasa, and started seeing parts of town that felt a bit less soul-less. I wandered the Gendamenmarkt. Next thing I knew it was time to meet up with Mark. My dear JETLAGGED friend, I love him (he brought me Redvines!!). Anyways we trekked around: The Reichstag, Brandenburg Tör, the Jewish Museum, and Museum Island. And then Mark had to go to a horrible work dinner of really bad Bavarian food (nothing against Bavarian food but this was bad food, that unfortunately was Bavarian) Me I went to a restaurant in the hostel area. An Italian restaurant, where I spoke the Italian and they were sooooo nice!! And again after all the walking CRASHED. The next morning I woke up early to find the Wall gallery. Again the language games… even right at the wall when you say “wall” they have no clue what you are saying. Thanks to a very cute teen helping at his parents food stand, I luckily found my way, after buying me all of his marzipan rittersports. And I added one German word to my vocabulary- mauen. I walked a good length of the gallery. Then I ran “errands” which involved trying to find Birkenstocks (this is Germany it should NOT be so hard) and La Laine. La Laine was a lovely store. I got to touch all those Lana Grossa Yarns and am still wishing I hadn’t left some Red Debbie Bliss Maya behind (so much so such that I may call and see if they will let me order). I didn’t bring lots of yarn home. I bought a few balls to test out and play with and another set of Addis. I have to add to the one ball stash syndrome. And I didn’t really have the space or inclination to carry lots of yarn around while sightseeing with Mark. Mark and I ended up in front of the Ritz at Potsdammer Platz when Robbie Williams was leaving. Neither of us were impressed; me cause I don’t get Robbie (he creeps me the fuck out) and Mark cause he didn’t know who the fuck he was. We walked past the CDU headquarters and headed over to Checkpoint Charlie where we went through the museum. I have to say I think this was my favorite part of Berlin. I was with my buddy. I got a dose of history. But even better during grad school I had a professor who was awesome. Like we would go out and have beers and he would pay kind of awesome. Anyways Dieter was a military man who went VERY high in the German government. And when I say very high I mean that when there was a Wall he had a pass to go back and forth. Minister of a Government Department, Advisor to the Chancellor and President, VERY HIGH UP. And during class he would go off on tangents. These tangents often involved stories about this time in his life. And I couldn’t help but hear him telling us how it was amazing that people would fit under the trunk of a VW bug to cross the border (for my sake hear that being said with a GREAT German accent, because that is what makes one LOVE LOVE LOVE Dieter). I had to run from Checkpoint Charlie to the airport. And when I say run… I mean run. I ran to the UBahn station, I ran through the UBahn station making it only by seconds for my connections. I ran to the hostel to get my things and I ran back to the Ubahn. I ran from the Ubahn to the Bus station. And caught my bus getting me there with enough time to relax. And tell off the Air France lady who due to ONE HALF of a cm refused to let me take my carryon that I brought here as carryon on the plane. And then the bitch tried to play the whole, POOR US in Berlin enforcing the rules... Ticket in hand and said. Sorry as you have just added about an hour to my transit you will pardon me if I feel NO sympathy for your ridiculous and arbitrary Prussian tendancies. Her eyes bugged a bit and I went on my way home, to face another week.

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