Tuesday 9 July 2019

Children in Kreuzberg

Peanut, 11, and his sister Popcorn, 9, turned up at the door yesterday evening with their parents, having flown from Paris. I put out a bowl of what Peanut called "peanut-butter Cheetos" and some flatbread and hummus left over from our Turkish halal take-out chicken feast. 

This was just enough to keep body and soul together, and within a couple of hours we were all on our way to Bergmannstrasse in Kreuzberg because it is lined with restaurants. It also has a sandy play park, where P&P were sent by their parents after we sat at some tables outside Felix Austria, just within sight. Thanks to my job and all the reading about Kreuzberg I did 10 years ago, I was in agonies over the kids' safety (Kreuzberg!), but they were fine. 

We ate schnitzel and sausages, potato salad and cucumber salad, and drank much white Austrian wine. The children played a game where they attempted to whack my brother on his bald spot, which is not a game I, personally, would play with someone who has a brown belt in karate. My sister-in-law asked us what we would like to do in Berlin, as they have already been to Berlin, and I refrained from saying what I would really like to do, which is to go to Poland and eat kotlet schabowy there instead. 

Then we went to an all-night grocery store where Nulli and Ma Belle Soeur loaded up on breakfast foods, and I examined some very weird and unhealthy spreads. One appeared to be made of crushed caramel biscuits. Others purported to be made out of chocolate bars. This was a whole new level of Nutella, I must say. 

Finally we found the Mehringdamm U-Bahn station and travelled back to Alt-Tempelhof. The children sang a rousing patter song about bananas as we walked down the darkened street, which possibly made a nice change from whatever adults sing when they come back from a night out in Kreuzberg.

Our plans are not firm although Nulli has mentioned wanting to drive all the way to the Baltic Sea to see castles and the adults are agreed that we want to go to Potsdam. Sadly both our ancestral town and the town our Canadian grandfather was put in charge of in 1945 are a long way west. 

We may pop over the border to Poland, or we may not. Ma Belle Soeur and therefore the children are actually partly Polish, thanks to the wounded soldier who turned up at their Eastern European ancestress' farmhouse door in 1940 or thereabouts. Well, I suppose I should now have a look at what joys Swinoujscie has to offer, as it is the Polish Baltic town closest to the border. 

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