I really wish that I hadn’t been so damned grumpy and tired yesterday, because trying to explore Berlin for, like, a day? Not easily done. Even on fucking kickass bike like the one I rented today (seriously, yo, it was such a Berlin-y bike – generator lights, big cushy seat, basket – this is what people ride here (mostly)).
Today was especially complicated by very thick fog (it was also quite cold) which did not really burn off at all. It made it very difficult to take epic shots of buildings, statues, etc. Even the Fernsehturm was invisible all day and, as it is a good landmark for me since my hotel isn’t too far away, I got lost. I actually did a complete, 10 minute, loop from Checkpoint Charlie to, well, Checkpoint Charlie. (I did not pay to enter the museum, though. €12.50? Good god. Of course, I did go to the gift shop and spend more than that, so they suckered me anyway.)
Before that, though, I did hit the Bauhaus-Archiv, which was fantastic, and where I had my first full(-ish) conversation/disagreement in German with the dude selling me my coffee. Who couldn’t figure out that five 20-cent coins + one 50-cent one = €1.50. I’m not ALWAYS confused by currency, dammit! (Even though I have four different kinds in my purse right now. Aiyeeeee.)
For the Berliners with whom I spoke (almost) nothing but English? I apologise. Three years of German in high school means that I can remember lyrics like “‘Kann ich mit Herrn Vogel sprechen?’ ‘Es tut mir leid, er ist nicht hier.'” (or, if it’s a later verse “Seiner leitung ist besetzt”) — and even then my grammar ist der Sketch — but I can’t remember how to say things like ‘bill’ and ‘left’ and ‘how much?’ (Luckily, I do remember things like ‘Ich verstehe nicht’, which came in handy yesterday when some Biblely folk try to hand me literature in Potsdam yesterday.)
Berliners, by and large, speak English better than I do. That doesn’t mean that the English here always make sense. Here is some weird English (mixed in with some other Berliner oddities/awesomeries) for your perusal:
No clever insight or punchline today. Next time I come here, I need at least a week. Berlin needs far more time than I have ever given it. Tschüß, Deutschland. Bei mir bist Du schön.