What do I say now? It's strange to me that my mind and body and spirit are now accepting this place as my home. Some initial shock has worn thin, and now I have stopped questioning what once felt like a dream. Don't get me wrong, I still have my moments when I feel like asking someone to pinch me, but mostly, I'm here, I'm living and breathing Berlin, and I am realizing that if you try hard enough, you can find a home pretty much anywhere.
This past weekend was wonderful, minus the losing my camera part. Wednesday (yes my weekend started on Wednesday) we went out to an Indian bar, and I had my first mai tai (which was on fire!) and my first taste of naan. I don't know why Indian cuisine has mysteriously been missing from my diet for the past 20 years, but we are now best friends and hope to stay that way. Thursday, I met up with a guy from Mexico to go salsa dancing, which was muy bien. I spoke German, he spoke Spanish, and when things got way too confusing, we just resorted to English. I guess it is his job to travel, so he's been pretty much everywhere and has pictures in front of Mexican restaurants all over the world. Kind of like the gnome thing, but better. We are going out for the best Mexican food in Berlin this week, and I can't even explain how ecstatic I am. If I miss anything about De Soto (besides my family and Nemo) it would have to be Señor Nacho.
On Friday, after visiting the Pergeman Museum, where heaps of ancient Greek ruins reside, we went to Club Weekend, which was classy and nice (although it ate my camera and was definitely on the teuer side) and was on the twelfth floor of a building, so it provided a beautiful view of Berlin. Els, you will definitely appreciate this next part. I met some Belgian guys there and proceeded to tell them the one Dutch phrase I know (Watch out for the flying squirrel!), and they actually understood me! I stopped there though because I wasn't about to sing the Bob the Builder theme song in Dutch. That would just be embarassing...
Samstag Abend it was my 21st friend's birthday, so everyone hung out at his apartment, and then ventured out in separate directions. I ended up playing Uno in a bar until about 2, and then hungrily consuming a vegetarian döner (sooooo yummy) and meeting two Bolivians who, once again, indulged me in speaking Spanish/German and going dancing until well into the morning. Oh, I love this place. In fact, I think somebody made it especially for me.
Sunday we went to the Flohmarkt im Mauerpark. That place is amazing. You can buy anything you can imagine for extremely cheap (piles of clothes and everything goes for one euro!) and they have mass karaoke. Definitely my new Sunday hang out spot.
We are leaving for Eastern Europe on Sunday. Sadly, that means no Oktoberfest for me, but it also means I get to visit three new awesome cities (Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest). Hopefully, I'll be able to understand Austrian German, although I've heard that it sounds quite funny. Maybe I'll at least learn how to imitate it.
So, in conclusion, what, what, what do I find interesting this week about Germany?
1. Germans rival the French for the best bread for sure. Also, when they make sandwiches (like all Europeans) they put butter on them. I thoroughly appreciate that.
2. McDonald's has veggie burgers! But, you have to pay for mayonnaise and ketchup...
3. There are definitely as many problems with immigration and integration here as in the U.S. I knew that already, but it's easy to think that everything is better in Germany. I'm doing a presentation on immigration, and I'm realizing that we are not alone in wanting to keep everyone out.
4. Germans seldom say sorry/excuse me. Actually I think that's a Berlin thing. You just gotta make sure you don't get in somebody's way.
Tata for now. Time to work on my Referat!