Future Landscapes


Tales from a random day in Berlin

No word of a lie. I was at Real yesterday morning to get some breakfast stuff (Real is a grocery store) and the 80 year old man in front of me at the cash out had 6 giant bags of gummi bears and a playboy magazine.


I was there in my UofC sweats, the ones that say 'UofC' across the butt, in a prototypical university student fashion and I thought I was going to show the Germans some North-American style class. But this old man totally out-did me.

The day could only improve from there. I discovered my new favorite breakfast food: mini bacon wrapped sausages. Out of what I can only call a mountainous display of self-control I cooked up 3, one of which was consumed by a hungry marathon runner posing as a vegetarian. *stares fixedly at Jed*

After that we biked to prinzessinnengarten to see what kind of work needed to be done. We transplanted mustard seedlings to their own pots and left them in the half shade. It wasn't very vigourous work this time but we're looking forward to going back on Thursday. They have bee hives where they get honey (which they sell) and they have a cafe that makes food from what they grow. I am notoriously terrible with plants so I'm trying to develop more knowledge about their care. And Jed is hoping they will believe us when we say we are experienced architects and let us build something for them. 

I've been wanting to go to Herr Nilsson for some time, and we finally made it yesterday afternoon. Not before we had to make a lengthy excursion to find a bank to take out cash...

This is what I don't understand about Germany: it's a 'cash based' society, fine. But then you would expect there to be banks on every street corner so that you can take out this all-important cash. We are both with Deutsche Bank and we can only take out money at a few other banks free of charge. If we go to the Sparkasse, for example, or a geldautomat (atm), or Berliner Volksbank... we have to pay a surcharge of 5 euros! It's incredible! How can you have a cash based society that penalizes you for taking out cash? AAahhhgggh. My brain.

I'm getting closer to the best part of our Saturday. I have never been to a 'live at the met' performance although I've known about them since we lived in Halifax. So I was pretty stoked when we saw La Traviata was going to be streamed live at the cineplexx at Potsdamer Platz, especially because what is better then seeing the opera in a place where you can eat popcorn??

I am a hick through and through it would appear, since all the stuffy elderly folks around us had glasses of wine and we were literally THE ONLY people with popcorn. 

La Traviata was amazing! The subtitles were in German, of course, and the opera itself is in Italian so we armed ourselves beforehand with a summary. Operas are not overly complex anyways, just being really long, drawn out versions of simple themes such that peasants could understand. But in any case we were both impressed not only by the singers, who were amazing, but the incredible set. And we both followed along in the German subtitles tolerably well. Pretty impressive for only 3 months of self-study :)

We used to get really annoyed at Danish people when we'd go to any kind of theater event because they clap for EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING. They will clap like their lives depend on it for a solid 15 minutes, through 6 encores and only the prospect of after-theater beer will finally stop them. I've discovered the equally irritating opposite to this: German people not clapping at ANYTHING. Okay, I know that we were technically in a movie theater and the performers wouldn't actually be able to hear us clap, but I really don't think that matters. When I'm impressed with a performance, I want to clap. And NOBODY clapped.

Actually, they clapped tepidly for about 10 seconds when the man who performed Alfredo's father came out to bow at the end.... because he is German.


We walked around the Sony Center afterwards, savouring the last half of our popcorn, while a visibly annoyed janitor came along behind us sweeping up our popcorn crumbs.


Today I started reading Ivanhoe, the last of my English used books from our excursion to Kreuzberg 3 weeks ago, and made a Rhubarb-Apple crumble. This evening is my first bouldering excursion with my new shoes, legendary falafel, and skype dates.

Oh holidays, I want you to last forever!