This past weekend in Berlin was quite educational….almost too much so. Feeling the urge to dance one night, I asked the man at the hotel for recommendations to good clubs within walking distance. He directed me to Club 77 and off Kathryn, Jennifer and I went. Unbeknownst to us, Club 77 is a strip club as the other student teachers discovered when they Googled it. Thanks to our navigational ability we never made it there, but I’m still confused about the miscommunication. I said I wanted to save money not make money! For goodness sake, I was wearing glasses because I’d forgotten my contacts at home. Not your typical strip club attire I would think.
Berlin was cold and windy and an extremely interesting city to see. In some ways it is very young. Most of the buildings are modern due to the destruction during World War II. The turbulent history of the city is also very recent as well. My host family told me that they were there when the Berlin Wall was torn down and they even left a message on it for a friend one time. Seeing the faces of people who were killed trying to get over the wall brought history alive in a way that textbooks never can and also brought tears to my eyes. Most of them were young-around my age-and had so much life to live.
Some highlights of Germany so far include the following:
-Monday was my first day to teach an “official” lesson that I had planned and prepared on the train coming back from Berlin with only a few hours of sleep. In my haste to get to the bus station along with my first time teacher nerves, I tried to jump from the road to the sidewalk to park my bike and ended up face-planting in front of the bus. I got to teach my first lesson with skinned knees and scuffed up boots. Am I really old enough for this? Every time I careen down the road on my bike (the first time I road it on the sidewalk, a big no-no, and on the wrong side at that), I feel like I should wear a big sign that says “CAUTION: AMERICAN ON BICYCLE.”
-Kathryn and I took a trip into Dortmund last week. Somehow neither one of us had calculated how much money we should bring and thus were left with a very difficult decision at the mall: should we spend the two euros and 28 cents we had between the two of us to use the bathroom at 50 cents a person and split a euro ice cream cone OR forego the bathroom and each have our own cone? Mother Nature called and we split the ice cream just solidifying our unintentional “couple” status. It was also the first day for the Christmas market to be open and let me tell you it is no lie that the Germans love Christmas. In our eternal quest for directions to the market and Germany’s tallest Christmas tree, we accidentally gained an Indian admirer. “Come,” he said. We went and he never left. I told him that we were very religious and needed to go to the church and pray, yet still he followed.
-I pretty much live next to a grand castle complete with a moat and swans and ducks. I have been running on the trails behind it every chance that I get. Sometimes I have to wonder if it real life.
-Finally, I think I might be turning into a loaf of bread. I mean I like bread, but we literally eat it at every meal.